“Diversity and inclusion, which are the real grounds for creativity, must remain at the centre of what we do,” Marco Bizzarri, CEO of Gucci, is famously quoted as saying. In jewellery, as in fashion, cultural diversity, gender diversity and socio-economic diversity broaden and enrich the product range, providing a greater number of touch points with which the contemporary consumer is able to connect.
But while the concept of diversity is almost universally applauded in the jewellery trade, there are a battery of systemic obstacles that make it difficult for young designers to break into the business. The cost of raw materials, stringent credit criteria, risk-averse retailers and more all mean that the independent young jeweller may struggle to obtain a foothold, and the task is often even tougher if he or she is from a group that is not mainstream.
The promise that greater industry diversity offers jewellery design, the systemic difficulties faced by newcomers and the strategies required to remedy them will be discussed during the next Jewellery Industry Voices webinar. Entitled “Diversity & Design,” it will take place on Thursday, June 3, 2021, and will be available to watch online at any time for free via the CIBJO website or YouTube – as are all previous Jewellery Industry Voices webinars.
Last month’s webinar, A Question of Origin, looked at the challenges of gemstone origin, technologically and scientifically, but also in terms of marketing, sustainability and traceability. April’s webinar featured a discussion between four next generation jewellers and examined how new jewellers are less likely to be restrained by tradition or convention, injecting into the industry new ways of thinking — not only from a design perspective, but also from the viewpoint of how the trade interacts with its target audiences and addresses their needs and desires.
The series continues to be a fascinating examination of our global industry.