Member Press Releases

Man on the Move; from Mumbai to Milan, via Munich

19 Feb 2020

David Brough, NAJ's 'Man on the Move', joined NAJ envoys Lindsey Straughton and Helen Dimmick during their visit to the IIJS Signature trade fair in Mumbai to explore trade links between India and the UK after Brexit. David also reports from INHORGENTA Munich and Milan show HOMI Fashion&Jewels.

 Lindsey Straughton and Helen Dimmick and Prernaa Makhariaa

Image: Lindsey Straughton and Helen Dimmick with Indian influencer Prernaa Makhariaa (@StylePrer

IIJS Signature

NAJ 'Ambassadors Abroad' Lindsey Straughton and Helen Dimmick visited the IIJS Signature trade fair in Mumbai, a popular destination for British Asian retail jewellers, to develop trade links between the UK and India.

They held meetings with Indian jewellery trade leaders and manufacturers at the Signature edition of the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS), which ran from the 13th to 16th of February.

IIJS is a leading Indian trade show, held twice a year, gathering Indian jewellery and diamond manufacturers, who take orders from retailers from India and abroad.

Straughton said she was exploring possibilities for UK designers to collaborate with Indian manufacturers, opportunities for UK buyers to source gemstones from India, as well as for UK manufacturers to sell platinum jewellery to India despite import tariffs.

Dimmick, an industry consultant who was formerly interim business leader of the CMJ, said the visit was a perfect opportunity to develop links between the UK and Indian industries.

“The timing of this visit, shortly after Brexit, could not have been better,” she said.

British Asian retailers attending IIJS Signature, including Jayant Raniga of east London retailer PureJewels and London-based wholesaler Mehul Lodhiya, spoke of plans to hold the first meeting of the British Asian Jewellers Alliance (BAJA), a networking forum, soon.

The two NAJ envoys attended the Artisan Awards on 12th February, a showcase for Indian jewellery design talent, whose special guests included UK designer Stephen Webster and Italian jewellery analyst and forecaster Paola De Luca, head of creative intelligence agency The Futurist.

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Elin HorganImage right: Elin Horgan, a designer in the UK Pavilion, presents her recycled silver necklaces at INHORGENTA Munich 2020

INHORGENTA Munich; Steady visitor numbers despite coronavirus concerns, exhibitors up, strong sales seen in gems hall

INHORGENTA Munich saw steady visitor numbers and a rise in exhibitors, with jewellers talking of vibrant sales notably in the C1 gemstones hall. There was talk of some visitors staying away because of concerns over coronavirus, but it was too early to estimate the impact.

C1 was among the busiest halls on the 16th of February, with NAJ members among the international visitors ordering gemstones, and exhibitors upbeat about their sales.

“There was a splendid range from top manufacturers of semi-precious. I opened a couple of new accounts,” said Vanessa Burkitt, owner of retailer Catherine Jones of Cambridge, referring to C1 where she bought unusual stones and particular cuts.

INHORGENTA is renowned for its high-quality and varied gemstone offering, featuring a variety of coloured gemstones, as well as diamonds, some of them flaunting imperfection, such as the salt-and-pepper diamonds showcased by Hatton Garden-based Bjorn Diamonds.

“INHORGENTA is one of the highest quality and best organised shows in Europe,” said designer and retailer Alexander Davis, who ordered gemstones in C1.

“There is an extraordinary variety of gemstones at this show.”

Other UK buyers visiting the show included UK retailer Alexis Dove.

INHORGENTA has one of the biggest gem showcases in Europe, in part due to the proximity of Idar-Oberstein, Germany’s gemstone cradle, home of leading exhibitors at INHORGENTA, such as Groh & Ripp.

Among the other halls, C2 showcased innovation and offered on-trend jewellery such as Bristol-based designer Elin Horgan’s necklaces in recycled silver, which are in tune with increasing consumer requirements for sustainability in luxury.

Burkitt referred to “the coolest new craft-led but finely-made work” that she saw in C2, where she opened a new account.

The UK pavilion there featured a variety of unusual concepts in jewellery design, such as a necklace from Lukas Caspar Jewellery featuring salt-and-pepper diamonds, and nude colour natural zircon beads.

Salt-and-pepper diamonds are a hot trend in jewellery design as part of emerging tastes for imperfection in luxury, jewellers and designers say.

The seminar programme featured well-known industry speakers, such as London-based Rita Lahlou, head of jewellery at Amazon Europe, and influencer Katerina Perez.

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Tibetan ethnic jewellery

Image: Tibetan ethnic jewellery featured among a wide variety of designs showcased at HOMI Fashion&Jewels in Milan.

HOMI Fashion&Jewels, Milan; strong order flow seen, show aims to attract talented fashion-led exhibitors

Visitor turnout was high as the February edition of HOMI Fashion&Jewels wrapped up, auguring for a strong flow of orders at one of Europe's leading fashion jewellery, fashion and accessories trade shows.

The event coincided with other fashion sector trade fairs in Milan, helping to drive footfall into the show, which is organised by Fiera di Milano.

The vibrant business at HOMI Fashion&Jewels underscored a growing trend for fashion retailers to sell jewellery and accessories in-store, as seen, for example, at H&M and Topshop.

"We want new international talents to come and exhibit at the show. We are doing our best to attract a talented array of fashion-driven exhibitors who will appeal to buyers," Exhibition Director Emanuele Guido told NAJ online.

"The positioning of our show is to put on stage the type of product that helps retailers flourish in the market."

Visitor numbers were buoyant, and there was no sense at the Milan show that concerns over coronavirus had kept visitors away.

HOMI Fashion&Jewels prides itself on identifying key trends to keep visitors aware of what will sell in the coming seasons.

A seminar at HOMI Fashion&Jewels revealed "New Romantic" (#soft #bloom #floralcolors) and "Underground" (#urban #cosmopolitan #neoncolors #genderless) as macro trends for 2020-22.

Many jewellery items seen at HOMI Fashion & Jewels were linked to the ocean. There was a strong showing of red Mediterranean coral and pearl jewellery with the summer holiday shopping season in mind.

Over-size pieces were popular, as exemplified by chunky, colourful necklaces offered by Intini Jewels.

Unusual jewellery materials featured too, such as the leather necklaces designed by Athens-based Marina Panagiotoulia, as well as pieces made from glass, wood and recycled plastic.

In the popular New Crafts section, innovation reigned, notably an extraordinary handcrafted Murano glass necklace by Italian designer Barbara Proverbio.

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Source: David Brough