Rapaport Magazine

Gold Expressions 2007

By Amber Michelle
RAPAPORT... Nothing says fashion like Italian Gold and New York City, where the World Gold Council (WGC) hosted its annual Gold Expressions: The Language of Italian Design 2007 collections. Seventy Italian gold jewelry manufacturers debuted their designs to the press and the trade at a private event in the Big Apple. Now in its fourth year, Gold Expressions, a research-based, product-development initiative, was created by the WGC and the Vicenza Fair to stimulate gold jewelry demand in the global markets.

The designs tap into consumer purchase motivations, which fall primarily into two categories: gold as a gift of love, affection or friendship and gold to express a woman’s individuality. Much of the jewelry targets the self-purchase customer through fashion-forward designs that set the trends in gold jewelry for the upcoming year.

“The combination of Italian creativity and quality craftsmanship with the ongoing learning from WGC consumer research ensures the commercial relevance of the new designs while maintaining strong consumer appeal at point-of-sale,” comments John Calnon, managing director, U.S., for the WGC. He notes that for the second year in a row, gold jewelry supplier Bel-Oro International has the exclusive distribution rights in the U.S. for designs from many of the Gold Expressions participants.

A variety of trends emerged strongly in this year’s offerings, says Duvall
O’Steen, the WGC’s manager, jewelry public relations and promotion. “Geometry can’t be contained — geometric shapes continue to dominate in the gold category. In 2007, it will be ‘hip to be square’ — with the rectangle becoming almost as popular as the circle motif. Medallions, squares, rectangles, circles and ovals abound in Gold Expressions 2007, mostly as links but also as pendant shapes and ring motifs,” comments O’Steen.

According to O’Steen, the boule is one of the most important forms in gold jewelry this year.

Ancient coins, coin-like motifs and flat, round discs that suggest a coin are popular themes, says O’Steen, who believes that the trend is inspired by the rising value of gold and its ability to hold its value over time.

Italian designers are also adding details in the form of cutouts to the inside of circles, squares and medallions, dubbed “Interior Design” by O’Steen.

“Texture is king in 2007,” notes O’Steen. “Hammering and laser etching are forming lovely and eye-catching surfaces on many shapes.”

Mixing color golds continues to be popular, while textures and surface treatments create added contrast between shades of gold. Movement continues to be an important element of design in the form of drop earrings, charms and dangles.

While most of the jewelry has a big look, it is lightweight, which makes it wearable and keeps the price point down for easy gifting and self-purchases that let women glow with gold.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - January 2007. To subscribe click here.

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