Jewellery has always been a lucrative business, and its not surprising that the popularity of jewellery courses is at an all time high. The appeal of becoming a jewellery designer isnt just the opportunity to do something creative and practical, but the fact good designers can launch their own brand and business and become their own boss.
And according to leading jewellery designer Stephen Webster, mens jewellery is the future. Webster said the market was exploding at his lecture at the International Jewellery London exhibition in Earls Court. The talk was entitled, The Evolution of Men and Their Jewellery, and explored the idea that male grooming, and with it mens jewellery, was increasingly an essential part of mens daily lives. In the past, mens jewellery was very limited to signet or wedding rings. But now men are now more image conscious than ever before, which is resulting in a boom in the male jewellery market.
Webster said that men arent as forward as women when it comes to choosing jewellery but once a man is bejewelled theres no looking back…they can go from zero to jewellery enthusiast in no time. The bling effect has already been seen in male pop stars, rappers and footballers but now the average man on the street is becoming more open to the idea of jewellery. And the market may not be as diverse as the female jewellery market, but designers say there is still two kinds of demand big, bold, macho statement pieces and subtler, finer, toned down pieces.
Industry experts say there are a growing percentage of men who care about how they look and are interested in buying jewellery. The mens accessory market is showing steady growth, from 409m in 2005 to 485m in 2009. Accessories have boomed since the recession as more consumers look to affordable ways to treat themselves. Already leading stores on the high street are stocking male accessories alongside their clothing ranges. And men are more engaged in the world of retail thanks in part to the increased accessibility of shopping for men online.
For jewellery designers, the tips are to stick to masculine themes for male jewellery, sticking to manly themes and images. But theres no doubt that mens jewellery is a burgeoning market, with some young jewellery designers such as Tomasz Donocik doing only mens ranges.