(Press Release) MUMBAI — In its golden jubilee year, the Gems & jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) presented the “Design Inspirations 2017: Designing for the Millennials” seminar Feb. 9-10. Design Inspirations is an initiative to educate jewelers, designers and students about the upcoming trends in the gems and jewelry sector in India, Europe and the U.S. It seeks to give in-depth insights into consumer (especially millennial) behavior patterns, aspirations, desires, emotions, and feelings, and how to translate them into thematic concepts and visual directions.
The dignitaries for the inaugural session included, among others, Raj Kamal, director, Ministry of Commerce, Government of India; Praveenshankar Pandya, chairman, GJEPC; Shailesh Sangani (convener, promotions, marketing and business development, GJEPC; Colin Shah, member promotions, marketing and business development, GJEPC and director, Kama Schachter jewelry; Nirupa Bhatt, managing director, GIA India and Middle East; Paola De Luca, The Futurist Ltd.; Shimul Mehta Vyas, NID; Biren Vaidya, MD, Rose Group; Shuchi Pandya, Pipabella; and Reena Ahluwalia.
Addressing the inaugural session, Pandya said, “Design Inspirations seminar seeks to establish the importance of a strong design base in a rapidly evolving world order. India’s jewelry exports account for only 20 percent of the global business and most of this constitutes manufacturing to designs provided by international retailers; not much of bridal. India has rich archives of traditional jewelry designs and now we need to blend the modern with the traditional. In sync with the Prime Minister’s vision of replicating India’s diamond business in the jewelry business, we are opening Indian Institutes of Gem & jewelry in Varanasi, Mangalore (Karnataka) and Punjab amongst others. This will help nurture unique jewelry manufacturing art and craft such as Pina Mina Art of Varanasi or Tibetan art of Nepal, etc. We also intend to create jewelry parks with modern machines to help create modern 3D designs.”
Explaining the theme, Shah added, “Designing for Millennials is the theme of Design Inspirations 2017 and we are hoping that each of you gets inspired with new ideas and a paradigm shift in thought-process. The array of eminent speakers will open minds and expand them to think in new ways. Design Inspirations will also serve as the base for India’s own Trend Book for year 2017.”
Vyas said, “Today’s millennials are globally connected and are adept in a technologically enabled mobile society. They are used to disruption and creation of a new paradigm shift. Today marks the fourth Industrial Revolution which marks the fusion of the physical, digital and virtual worlds. Today’s millennials, who are professionally inclined, are spoilt for choice. jewelry is a good communicator. The new age consumer is individualistic and unafraid to disagree or experiment. They have innate inborn confidence. They are characterised by Value Shift, Luxury Redefined, Product Offerings, Attitudinal Changes and Value Changes.” She added, “Millennials have moved from traditional mindsets – from securing future to living in the moment; mindless to mindful consumption; from following to shunning stereotypes; from mass to classy affordable bespoke; and materialistic to non-materialistic sustainable ways. Research plays a very important role in defining trends. There is a change in the way in which they experience the perceived value. The intangibles are all about storytelling, value association, symbolism, etc.; while the tangibles are all about shape, form, ergonomics, material, colors and comfort. The new influences include 3D forms with sculptural influences. They find beauty even in imperfections. The new global order is all about fashion forward, cultural rootedness/ heterogenity and collaboration.”
Ahluwalia said, “Today’s jewelry design is all about visual symbolism and memorable thoughts. Millennials love rare pieces such as green diamond adorned jewelry or love-locked pieces. In America, customers love smaller diamonds and enamelled pieces. Millennials are all about self-expression & values; and meaningful, minimalism adornments, which leave a lasting emotional impact. Millennials don’t want jewelry to define them but they want to define jewelry. “
Vaidya said, “Brands have to break free from getting stuck to older generations and learn from Burberry example. Today is the time of the Me Me Me Generation, NetFlix & Chill as eulogized in Time magazine. We have to personalise for the new millennials. We have to unthink and unlearn so as to give enhanced customer experiences.”
De Luca said, “This is the era of the millennials. Markets are facing new challenges battling online and offline realities, psychological and demographic clusters, global and local. Retail chains are slow and large corporations are not flexible to shift strategies rapidly and seems confused on why consumers are not walking into the stores.” Talking about the global politics and Trump effect, Paola said, “Political issues creates tensions, turmoil in the economic sentiments and exports go down. Consumers are ahead of what politics and the market offer.”