Two brands weigh in on the Asian woman’s preferences in fine jewellery
Jewellery is more than just an accessory for the Asian woman, it is part of her culture and a symbol of wealth and status
A land so diverse in culture, Asia, particularly Southeast Asia, is vast and populous with a fascinating social and lifestyle distinction. It’s not surprising, then, that understanding the Asian woman’s fashion and jewellery choices needs an in-depth research and constant analysis. Jewellery is more than just an accessory for her; it is part of her culture, a symbol of wealth and status that plays an important role in weddings, leading to a consumption that is much higher than those in the West. And with immerging power centres like China, Hong Kong, Japan, and India, the nouveau rich are well travelled and want the global luxury fashion available at their doorsteps.
Asia is one of the most lucrative markets that are extremely brand- and quality-conscious. With a horde of luxury brands opening stores in the last two decades, and Asia being their biggest consumer market, the region is now turning into one of the key influencers across the globe.
With increasing demands and complete sell-out of collections, brands are now looking to curate special collections for these markets. The Sotheby’s and Christies Hong Kong jewellery sales have some of the best record breakers ever. Most European jewellery brands like Cartier, Boucheron, Van Cleef & Arpels have shared history with Asia, and continue to create collections inspired and marketed especially in Asia.
Carlo Palmiero whose namesake brand Palmiero has a strong presence in the Far East makes sure they give special attention to this market. “It’s a market with a very high potential that needs to be followed. My son and I are in love with this region. This is why for more than 20 years, we have kept travelling here both for business and leisure.”
The Asian love affair with jewellery is not the one-sided kind. It is reciprocated very well, as Asia is also home to some of the finest jewellery artists and designers like Wallace Chan, Anna Hu, Farah Khan, Amrapali, and many more, who are likewise well-received internationally.
“Nowadays, Asian women really like designer pieces more than the classic. They prefer to have something exclusive, not easy to find everywhere”
– Carlo Palmiero, Founder and Designer of Palmiero Jewellery Design
In search of their individual identity, Asian women look out for unique ideas in every aspect of their life. “Nowadays Asian women really like designer pieces more than the classic. They prefer to have something exclusive, not easy to find everywhere. Uniqueness is the word and, therefore, customisation is hugely popular,” says Palmiero.
Exclusivity is the key as noticed by Christine Dengg, Freywille’s General Manager in Asia Pacific. “Increasingly, Asian clients long for unique jewellery that express their individuality, jewellery pieces that not only have high quality, but also befit their style and status. Apart from the design, they pay high attention to how and where the pieces are made. They have an appetite for statement jewellery that is uniquely made by experienced craftsman.”
Traditionally, yellow gold is preferred in most Asian countries, but, recently, rose gold has been taking over the Far East. Even for Freywille’s colourful enamel, where gold is visibly minimalistic, rose gold is preferred. “Yellow gold has been popular since many years. Recently, we have launched Claude Monet and Alphonse Much collections in rose gold, the result is amazingly well,” as noticed by Christine.
Asians love vibrant colours and, thus, colour in all forms especially gemstones and enamel work phenomenally here. For Palmiero, “Coloured sapphires especially if shaded as we do are very well appreciated, along with emeralds and diamonds as central stones.”
The global love for pastel has also invaded Asia, where the audience has started appreciating gemstones such as morganites, chalcedony, pale sapphires, mint green emeralds, rose quartz, and topaz in fine jewellery.
Necklaces and earrings are very popular in Asia. Layering necklaces works very well as one can choose to wear less or more. This concept also gives rise to the demand for multi-purpose jewellery that allows the wearer to dress up in various versions of the same jewel, giving value for money as well as multiple options for various looks and moods.
Three key elements that Freywille design team keeps in mind while designing for their Asian audience are elegance, versatility, and creating a matching set. “Women play a particularly important role in Asia. With their busy schedules and increasing responsibilities at work and with family, versatile jewellery design allows them to be practical, working with a few essential pieces that match with their outfits in different occasions” summarises Christine.