Unlike traditional fine jewellery, fashion jewellery describes pieces with plated metals and simulated stones (i.e. synthetic stones or cubic zirconia) – although pieces with semiprecious stones are still classified under this category (i.e. aquamarines or opals). As such materials are less durable, fashion jewellery is more prone to cracking and tarnishing, hence their lower price point and ease of replacement.
Why the sudden interest?
According to findings from another 2019 HKTDC survey, respondents believed the popularity of fashion-oriented jewellery to be tied to the boom of young consumers. A demographic that is both fashion-conscious and influenced by contemporary culture, many of these consumers are opting for accessories that complement their outfits and express their sense of style – in Asia, many of the biggest jewellery buyers are the rising number of women entering the workforce.
Where are the hot zones?
The Greater Bay Area is home to a strong demographic of rising spenders. 70% and 67% of respondents in Shenzhen and Dongguan, respectively, told HKTDC that they tended to buy luxury and affordable luxury brand watches and jewellery. “I find that when I wear affordable luxury brand garments [and accessories] while socialising with others, more people accept my opinions,” answered one respondent. “This makes me feel more confident and appreciated… I feel that I need to keep making efforts to move up to a higher level in order to match the status and image of wearing affordable luxury brands.”
Apart from China, the ASEAN region offers another promising lead. With an emerging middle class and over 40% of the regions’ population below 25 years old, many consumers within the area are becoming technologically sophisticated. From a McKinsey & Company 2020 fashion industry insight report, it highlights the boom of ecommerce and foreign fast fashion options – likely arising due to the intra-regional free trade agreements and ease of market entry versus stricter countries (like China) – creating a US$50 billion apparel sector across the region. As many fast fashion retailers and top regional ecommerce players (ie. Lazada and Shopee) also offer affordable fashion jewellery selections, we can assume consumers are also spending more on such accessories alongside garments and clothing.
Securing the lead
Brands need to ensure that they always have access to reputable suppliers and inventory alternatives should supply chain disruptions occur. HKTDC’s new helps buyers discover trending products and to also foster new connections.
Keeping atop of feedback is essential as well. An exhibitor of jewellery show, Ma Belle International Ltd. observed a unique trend amongst buyers –
“Following the successful debut of the IT Solutions for the Jewellery zone last year… we are surprised to see that many buyers are looking for IT solutions.” Indeed, a well-constructed website with ease of navigation, reliable e-commerce and point of sales functionality is key to securing a positive brand image – combine this with quality products and an active online presence (be it on social media or on industry specific channels), and you’ll have the components that keep consumers and business partners coming back.