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GJEPC Hosts Trend Forecasting Seminar With International Experts





(Press Release)

MUMBAI – The Gem & Jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) organized a two-day jewelry design forecasting seminar called “Design Inspirations,” held Feb. 9-10, with participation from international and national experts who examined trends across India, Europe and the U.S.

The aim of the seminar was to give insight about consumer behavior patterns, aspirations, desires, emotions and feelings and how to translate them into thematic concepts and visual direction. The mantra of the seminar was: ‘Create’ and ‘Communicate’ to stimulate a ‘Movement’ leading to a ‘Trendy Moment!’

Speakers at the seminar included Paola De Luca, Farah Ali Khan, Ishu Datwani, Gautam Banerjee, Pallavi Foley, Vaishali Banerjee, Reena Ahluwalia, Revathi Kant, Sachin Jain, Mithun Sacheti, Laksh Pahuja, Kapil Hetamsaria, Manreet Deol, Shimul Mehta Vyas and Anil Bharwani, among others. Design Inspirations 2016, the annual event of the GJEPC, focused on good design and trends, and offered a wide range of opinions and perspectives on various aspects of the theme.

In his welcome speech, Praveenshankar Pandya, chairman of the GJEPC, said: “Design Inspirations has brought together leading and aspiring designers, as well as students, all under one roof, providing an opportunity to understand and learn from each other about the latest and upcoming trends in the market. Our dream is to make India the ultimate sourcing destination of jewelry. Therefore, we need to move from our comfort zone of making designs for domestic market and also focus on creating designs for diverse geographies. India is proud of our iconic designer Ambaji Shinde who went global with Harry Winston, and we need many more such designers to emerge from our country.”


Shailesh Sangani, convener – promotions, marketing and business development, GJEPC, said: “Today, the industry is facing competition from other luxury products, and the challenge is to create innovative products for the millennial customers. The platform Design Inspirations aims to give our aspiring designers and students food-for-thought which would further help us to penetrate and design jewelry for the U.S., Europe and the Middle East countries as per the latest trends. We want to create a culture where learning is a constant exercise. By taking up new challenges and embracing design, our industry wants to further strengthen its credibility as a global, creative hub for jewelry”.

In her presentation, “Story of a Nugget,” Pallavi Dudeja Foley discussed the “timeless trendy” concept embracing adaptability, versatility, feasibility, ergonomics, evolutionary and disruption leading to unforgettable designs. Citing the example of Coco Chanel’s LBD (little black dress), she reiterated that the best way to forecast a fashion trend is to create it. Keynote speaker Shimul Mehta Vyas pointed out that today’s designs are being inspired by current social trends such as health and fitness consciousness, migration and social media.

Paola De Luca (The Futurist Ltd.) held a fascinating narration of the road from Design Strategy to Product Development, embellished with numerous real life examples from her own journey. The session covered multiple aspects of the process by which good jewelry is created such as designing, strategizing, developing collections, merchandising and trend forecasting. During her presentation, Paula talked about the role of the designer in grasping what the market and the consumer wanted, searching for inspirations across a wide canvas and freezing the stories and concepts for new collections. She stressed that designing is not about “developing products” but about “creating collections”, and added that every collection must have its own visual language. This could be used to bring consistency in design elements across product categories, she explained. A good collection must have a mix of product categories, and the same iconic design and visual elements can be used to create large and small pieces, high end and more affordable pieces and could even be translated using different metals and gemstones. She outlined the various trend directions specifically for North America and Europe, going into details for each region and showing how they could be translated into jewelry collections. She concluded with a glimpse about the possible trends that are shaping up for next year.

Interspersing videos with his extempore speech, Ishu Datwani (Founder, Anmol) elaborated about ‘jewelry for real women’ and how important relationships are in creating loyal customers for a store brand. He said that there is a deep connection between ‘Design’ and ‘Success’ resulting in ‘priceless heirlooms passed on from generation to generation’. Gautam Banerjee emphasized the need for unconventional and innovative approach for pure and authentic creations inspired by everyday elements of life and nature. He highlighted that inspiration can come from anywhere and anything.

In a presentation laced with humor, Mithun Sacheti (Co-founder and CEO, CaratLane) spoke design being all about disruption and discovery. He spoke about the need for creating customized collections (very different from those sold at traditional outlets) for the fast-growing breed of online buyers. While talking about marketing online effectively, Kapil Hetamsatia (CEO, Velvet Case) spoke about the need to develop buyer persona, research, interviews and find out commonality in trends. He also reiterated the need to measure effectively and efficiently. He coined the trend of ‘Co-opetion: A word which is a combination of Co-operation & Competition.

Revathi Kant (AVP, Tanishq) spoke about how the Tanishq Design Studio has focused on differentiated standardized products catering to different niche consumer groups and how they have set industry and branding benchmarks in the indigenous industry. Encapsulating her findings into 12 broad trends, she also spoke about the importance of translating customer feedback into exquisite design collections.


Vaishali Banerjee (Country Manager, Platinum Guild of India) spoke about insight-driven marketing appealing to basic truths about human behavior. She also spoke about how newer materials such as platinum are gaining credence amongst the younger Indians in the active age group and how designers needs to understand modern lifestyles and form a strong heart-to-heart connect. Sachin Jain (President, Forevermark) held the audience spellbound with his presentation that was an ideal blend of attractive graphics, slick videos and a compelling narrative. He eulogized the ability to have a universal experience and emotional connect with your consumer as one of the hallmarks of a successful global brand, while the ability to customize and fine tune this to each specific market and cultural category was crucial to sustained growth and a lasting impact.

I don’t love to design but I live to design – with these words, Farah Khan Ali spoke about the elements that constitutes a designer jewelry brand, and the entire gamut of aspects related to it – from the creation of its identity, to its characteristics, its language, how to build it, brand loyalty and so on. You will know a designer brand’s identity from the niche it caters to! She spoke about leveraging Bollywood stars to promote jewelry designs and how to connect to international customers by using global design motifs for inspiration; as well as social digital media for branding and promotions.

Manreet Deol (Co-founder & Creative Director, Manifest Design) spoke about how creating your own trends is a personal expression & a personal view point. Manreet outlined the process by which her pieces of “everyday wearable art” are conceptualized and crafted. She added that a designer has to be constantly be open to new influences that lead to ideas and new techniques such as sandcasting. Laksh Pahuja discussed ways and means of “Building Iconic Pieces” where the piece truly reflects the individual, place or event that inspired it.

Reena Ahluwalia (Canadian jewelry designer) equated “Inspiration” with a state of mind and a process of collecting ideas and putting it together. “It is everywhere around us, we have to learn to see it,” she said while referring to attributes such as Openness, Curiosity, Collaboration, Outside-In thinking and Movement.

With his assertion, “If the consumer has not bought nobody has sold,” Shivaram (Founder, Retail Gurukul) pointed out that designers cannot be aloof from the needs of a business. Giving the example of ‘green lipstick’, he highlighted that designers need to know when design ends and merchandising starts. “You must know what consumer expectations are and develop lines that will be accepted by the market,” he said.

Celebrity stylist Anaita Shroff Adajania (Fashion Director, Vogue) spoke about diversity change resulting from a mix-match of fashion elements like putting together the various pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to create a look. She spoke about Jadau jewelry being very popular followed by cut-stones. Brides getting married in different seasons prefer designs inspired by seasons, she added.


Rudrajit Bose (Managing Partner, Atelier Anonyme) put forth a researched presentation dense with data titled Evolving Trend Ecosystem – A Bird’s Eye View of the Curve”. He said that the gems and jewelry industry faced the threat of “value migration” away from it to other industries like electronics, travel etc. He urged the industry to expend larger budgets on research and product development. He concluded by quoting Mahatma Gandhi to say: “The Future does depend on what we do right now.” Anil Bharwani (Partner, Seth Sundardas & Sons) said that he works directly with the kaarigars to give shape to ensure that every single piece is a collection in itself.

In his summary of the proceedings, Colin Shah of the GJEPC’s PMBD Sub-Committee which spearheaded the event announced that the Council now plans to take this initiative further and will be releasing a Trends book for the Indian market at the IIJS this year while also formalizing a Trends Cell for the industry.



When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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