Rapaport Magazine

Note from the publisher

By Martin Rapaport

Jewelry designers are creators who use their creativity and imagination to enhance the beauty and value of the most precious materials. They elevate materials by connecting them to an idea and story. A lump of gold or a collection of a few gems becomes an attractive, beautiful object that creates personal desire.

A few years ago I visited an exhibition of JAR (Joel Arthur Rosenthal) at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met). It was all and only JAR-designed butterflies. Big ones, small ones, all beautiful and magnificent. Sure, the stones were interesting but the jewelry was so much more than the material. JAR made precious gems more precious by making them more beautiful in a piece of jewelry.

Diamonds and jewelry are symbolic products that are designed to communicate more than what they are. An engagement ring is more than metal and gem, it is a personalized gift of everlasting love. Design personalizes the precious material and lays the foundation for emotional appeal. It creates beauty in a way that enhances desire. Most importantly, design connects the product with the people, stimulating the senses, imagination and emotional appeal.

The foundation of design is creativity. Not just product creativity but people creativity. Understanding what people want or will want in the future. The playground is the material but the game is the customer. People vote for good design with their money, choosing what they buy and from whom.

Design is also a foundation of branding. Successful designers inspire collectors who pay premium prices for their products. Design is often new but not always. Sometimes it’s deep. Cartier requires its new designers to study the company’s design history so new designs carry a certain distinctive Cartier look and feel.

The marriage of design and material creates new opportunities for the next generation of jewelers, many of whom are designers selling direct to consumers. New products with new designs offered for sale over new distribution channels to new consumers are and will be a growing segment of our market. Demand for something different and unique is gaining traction as generations of millennials and Zs seek something special.

The jewelry trade must support designers and their creativity as we learn to focus on creating consumer desire. We must use design to connect with consumers and retain the excitement of jewelry in a new age.


Article from the Rapaport Magazine - August 2022. To subscribe click here.

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