Like Scalzo, Mirell believes fashion brands can help provide a more well-rounded selection and appeal to a demographic looking for higher-quality contemporary pieces. For traditional retailers, however, this is a category they often overlook because it’s unfamiliar, both in technology and material.
So how do you get a traditional jeweller who is accustomed to buying gold to branch out into alternative metals?
“You try to get them to understand that all contemporary metals aren’t alike and all manufacturers aren’t alike. Just like silver and gold, they need to treat it like a category. It’s really tough, but the ones that do that are making good turnover.”
Despite the fact it recently announced it was reviewing its diamond business and possibly selling its mines, including Canada’s Diavik, Rio Tinto introduced ‘Diamonds with a Story,’ a new marketing campaign aimed at going beyond the four Cs and providing consumers with the human, geological, and cultural histories behind diamonds.
“Everyone wants to tell a story and everyone wants to hear a story. That’s how people connect,” says Jean-Marc Lieberherr, Rio Tinto Diamonds’ general manager for sales and marketing. “Diamonds are a story of life; they’re a story of eternity. They are a fascinating story and we just don’t tell it as an industry.”
Lieberherr says the overall story of Canadian diamonds is one of human persistence, both in finding the initial mines and building them. “Operating in the Northwest Territories is an amazing engineering feat,” he says. “In Diavik’s case, when you look at the dyke, by any standard, it’s about performance. For instance, in the summer, the dyke is refrigerated so that there is no difference in temperature and it doesn’t crack due to [extreme temperature variations].”
Business was brisk at Watches by JCK, a reflection of the strength of this sector. Bering, a first-time exhibitor at the show, celebrated its 200th retailer in Canada, a milestone that comes six months after the launch of the Arctic-inspired brand.