Rapaport Magazine


September 2007

By Amber Michelle
RAPAPORT... It’s back to school and fall is in the air. Hints of Halloween, Thanksgiving and, dare we say it, Christmas and Hanukkah are popping up everywhere. Retailers are gearing up for the busiest shopping season of the year. The recent ENK Accessories Circuit in New York City highlighted some of the upcoming trends for the season. Top among them was the continuing popularity of the super-sized handbag. Metallic leathers in silver and gold remain strong. Leopard has won the race as the most popular animal print, adding the cat’s meow to bags, belts and shoes. This perennially popular feline gets a modern edge with racy siren-red trim. Although there are some familiar names, much of the fine jewelry at Accessories Circuit is from up-and-coming designers, some of whom have diamond collections at attractive price points. There is diamond and silver jewelry from Saundra Messinger; diamond numbers, musical notes and spiritual amulets from Alex Woo and diamond stacking rings from Dawes Design.

Jewelry designers do brisk business at Accessories Circuit. It is notable that boutique stores are adding moderately priced fine jewelry to the mix of accessories offered, and why not? A woman is already in the store buying clothes. It’s easy for the customer to pick up jewelry to go with an outfit right on the spot. It’s simple to try on jewelry with the clothes and it’s a comfortable environment for the shopper. Not only that, but it is fun diamond jewelry that has design value. Women are willing to spend for this jewelry pretty easily, which makes sense when you consider that the average price for a designer handbag, as recently reported in Women’s Wear Daily, is $1,500.

The boutique is never going to take away the jewelers’ business; jewelry retailers, after all, offer an expertise that the boutique retailer won’t have. What is important to remember is that women have spending power. A recent survey in the New York Times found that women from 21 to 30 working full-time in New York City are making 117 percent of what their male counterparts make. In the years to come, women will speak in many ways and one way in which women will roar is through their purchases and their influence on the purchases of those around them. Smart marketers know not to underestimate a woman and her wallet, to talk to her as the intelligent person that she is and to remember she has the power of the pocketbook.

Amber Michelle

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