’Tis the Season: Holiday Trends to Put on Your List

Stocking stuffers: Six retailers share the must-have styles they’ll be buying for their shelves.

July 30, 2023  |  Smitha Sadanandan
July August Magzine Cover Story Stocking Stuffers 1280 USED 073023

Twist: Everything gold, wearable modern looks, and lots of charms

Paul Schneider, cofounder of Twist, is planning his store’s holiday buys right now, and those will primarily be gold. The retailer’s top designers haven’t changed much over the past several years; pieces by Cathy Waterman and Foundrae are on everyone’s radar, and some fun styling choices include modern, wearable pieces in gold and diamonds by Anita Ko and Viltier.

“We have worked with Anita Ko since she started, and it’s an important part of our business,” relates Schneider, whose company has boutiques in Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon. “Viltier from Paris is a new line, and we have been selling their earrings really well.”

Customers can stay tuned for shiny new offerings from Boochier and Sophie d’Agon, large gemmy rings from Retrouvai, and bright, colorful designs from Jamie Joseph, Anaconda, and Brooke Gregson. Colored-stone and gold pieces by Mallary Marks, Ten Thousand Things, Kothari, and Judy Geib have a devout following, as emeralds, sapphires and turquoise continue to cast their spell.

Charms are difficult to resist, and the more, the merrier. Clients love them strung in groups along necklaces, as well as on bracelets and earrings.

Twist always sells a wide range of styles from multiple designers, with prices starting at $500 and the sweet spot balanced between $3,000 and $6,000, according to Schneider. Self-purchasing has been “continually growing,” he adds, and the price range “has been inching higher every year.”

Hamilton Jewelers diamond stretch bracelet in 18-karat yellow gold. (Hamilton Jewelers)

Be On Park: Rivière necklaces, cocktail rings and vibrant drops

Emily Dowling Williams, owner of Be On Park in Winter Park, Florida, is focusing on strategic buying ahead of the busy holiday season, when clients have a perfect excuse to splurge on precious gifts. Self-purchasers hover around $2,500 to $5,000, while holiday gift-buyers usually spend between $10,000 and $20,000.

That said, “the sky’s the limit, depending on the customer,” according to Williams. Shopping during this time of year can be pretty dramatic: “We could have someone walk into our store and spend $150,000 on Christmas eve.”

Williams’s must-haves include classics — rivière necklaces, line bracelets and diamond studs — and bright drop earrings in pretty designs and a range of prices. Vibrant drops by Lauren K are a holiday staple here.

Some men happily shop for contemporary jewelry, taking cues from their wives. Others, however, mosey into the familiar territory of rivière necklaces and tennis bracelets. When buying for themselves, women often turn to uplifting pieces and new designers. “They think outside the box; they are a little bit more independent and a little bit trendier,” says Williams.

Be On Park is bringing in new looks from Paul Morelli and Jenna Blake in time for the holiday madness. The store will also be hosting trunk shows during the season, with Lauren K, Sethi Couture, and Penny Preville among the featured brands.

New York diamond jeweler Kwiat, unarguably the store’s “banner holiday designer,” has a great fashion line and a breadth of easy-to-wear pieces, with prices running from $1,500 to $200,000. Its signature Ashoka-cut diamonds, Starry Night series, and classics with a Kwiat twist get replenished at the store throughout the year.

Williams, who sports a ring on every finger, has amped up her store’s ring game for self-purchasers. “Perhaps it gives people permission to stack it up,” she muses — which is why Emily P. Wheeler’s bright cocktail rings fit nicely into this wheelhouse.

Few jewels have the impact of a great stack of bangles, especially the easy-to-wear hinged versions. Sparkly diamond, single-color or fancier ombre bangles are perfect for a great wrist party. Layering up bezel-set rivière necklaces, meanwhile, makes for a contemporary take on laid-back luxe. “A bezel-set necklace plays well with a fun [bead-strand] necklace,” Williams says.  

Kwiat Starry Night bracelets and necklaces with diamonds. (Kwiat)

Hamilton Jewelers: Elevated classics, stackables, and stretchable bangles

This holiday season, Hamilton Jewelers — with its flagship boutique in Princeton, New Jersey, and outposts in Florida — is seeking out best-selling silhouettes that are highly giftable. These include diamond tennis bracelets, studs and rivière necklaces, alongside such elevated gold classics as hoops, chunky chains, and bangles — all of which executive vice president Anne Russell saw in abundance at the latest Las Vegas jewelry shows.

“We also get to play around a bit more with colored gemstones, which is always fun for our clients when they are on the party circuit,” says Russell.

Another category that does well is diamond stretch bracelets. These come in myriad sizes and materials and are ideal for layering, she says. “We see this item flying out the door for both gift-giving and self-purchasers.”

The core focus is on everyday elegance across all categories, be they modern or traditional. On the high end, Russell usually sees an uptick in the company’s Private Reserve collection at this time of year, from rare Colombian emerald cocktail rings to megawatt diamond earrings.

Layering is the most nonchalant way to amplify such sparklers as the party season approaches. With the unwaning interest in multiple neckpieces and stackable rings, creations by David Yurman, Pomellato, Temple St. Clair, and Dinh Van never fail to find takers.

Boochier Coral Nostalgia Letter charm in 18-karat yellow gold. (Boochier)

CD Peacock: Sentimental pendants, wrist parties, and rainbow hues

At CD Peacock in Chicago, Illinois, the moment calls for individual style. There isn’t a dominant trend of layering or statement pieces like in seasons past, reports Chelsea Holtzman Lawrence, the jeweler’s vice president of marketing and communications; it’s all about “what makes our clients feel their best.”

The stacked wrist is back in a bold way with three, five or even seven bracelets. Customers are creating their own looks by combining different designs — such as a link chain with a bold gold cuff and a diamond tennis bracelet — or mixing metals and colorways in their stacks, Holtzman Lawrence says. Roberto Coin has some incredible link-style options to play with.

Traditional gems like sapphires and emeralds remain prevalent, but unexpected pops of color in the form of stones such as pink and yellow sapphires, opals, and tourmalines are also showing up everywhere.

CD Peacock finds clients choosing rainbow styles; a single piece that offers a range of color is money well spent. Length and movement are also important, and what better way to make a holiday statement than with a gorgeous diamond lariat or a pair of linear drops? “Anita Ko leads the way in this trend and once again incorporates gemstone touches with diamonds,” says Holtzman Lawrence.

Sentimental jewels are all the rage for gifting this year. The store prices classic pieces — birthstones, medallions, evocative motifs, and initial and engraved pendants — from about $500 to $2,500.

And it’s not just women who get shiny gifts. For men, chains and layered-wrist styles are still in vogue. Links in varied textures and forms — such as Cuban, Franco and wheat — continue to dominate the gift category and are available for under $3,000. These include handmade chains from Fope that come in 18-karat white, yellow or rose gold.

Beyond that, observes Holtzman Lawrence, “men are expressing their personal style by incorporating strands of pearls and diamonds into their everyday look.”

We continue to see a strong interest in yellow gold, although for the first time in years, there is an uptick in interest for white gold.

Reinhold: Whimsical, nature-inspired designs and large earrings

When in doubt, Yael Reinhold recommends seeking out colorful designs. You can never go wrong with a vibrant pick-me-up, she believes. Her family-run store in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is noted for designers at the forefront of the latest trends. 

“We continue to see a strong interest in yellow gold, although for the first time in years, there is an uptick in interest for white gold,” adds the Reinhold president. With clients buying “a lot of color” in the form of gemstones and enamel, she has observed a resurgence in versatile diamond jewelry that works for daytime or night. 

Price points vary significantly by client, she reports. Nonetheless, “holiday purchases usually range between $2,500 and $50,000.” Maximalist earrings are a fashionable choice as the holiday season arrives. For party- and Instagram-friendly danglers or styles that fan out around the ear, think Carol Kauffmann, Cadar, and Tabayer.

Meanwhile, those seeking a touch of whimsy can pick up Bea Bongiasca’s squiggly enameled jewels or NeverNot’s oh-so-cute mini-suitcases. “We purchased the NeverNot suitcase pendants for the holidays, but the entire collection sold out in no time,” Reinhold says.

Yellow gold Roberto Coin necklaces from the recent Couture show are now on their way to the store. For a smattering of all things earthly, winged and marine, Reinhold is adding new pieces from Cadar, Carol Kauffmann, Harwell Godfrey, and Silvia Furmanovich. Bibi van der Velden’s gold alligators have also found a home for the holidays. Maxi bracelets from Pomellato’s Iconica collection and classic gemstone earrings by Jane Taylor will be part of the line-up as well, and no party is complete without a Yeprem ear cuff, Reinhold maintains.

Her team has handpicked one-of-a-kind jewelry for well-traveled clients, including the distinctive creations of Sevan Bıçakçı, which take inspiration from myth and the ancient world. Diamonds
will also shine and wink from delightful new works by Lizzie Mandler, Hoorsenbuhs, and Mason and Books.

Roberto Coin Love in Verona bracelets. (Roberto Coin)

Zachary’s Jewelers: Textured links, bezel settings and bold gold

For Constance Polamalu, chief operating officer at Zachary’s Jewelers, holiday trends veer toward strikingly individual designs and appealing collections. The new favorite at the Maryland-based store is the Jaipur series from Marco Bicego; the Jaipur Link line, with its gold and diamond chain styles, has been resonating strongly with customers who seek a carefree approach to jewelry.

The unmistakable shift toward “bolder gold looks over the last few years” is bound to make its presence felt this holiday season, says Polamalu, even though her store’s market “is typically more cautious in trend chasing.” Heavier necklaces and bracelets are turning into trend definers. If you’re looking to dial up the splendor, fancy-colored diamonds and pastel gems might just do the trick.

“Two-stone rings in all varieties are and will continue to be immensely popular,” she says. For clients who want something made to order, the store can turn to jewelry manufacturer Stuller or custom designer David Rovinsky for creative assistance. Zachary’s also does its own custom combinations for those keen on a particular color, cut or type of gem.

Phillips House Oval Angle Half Cuddle drop earrings. (Phillips House)

For holiday-ready styles, rings featuring double trillion-cut fancy-yellow diamonds, pink sapphires, and tourmalines would be fabulous choices. Station necklaces, bracelets and pendants echo the spirit of elegant festive accessory, and personalizing the jewels with engraved messages makes the gift all the
more endearing.

Observing a renewed interest in bezel settings, Polamalu has expanded the store’s offering with variations like the signature “cuddle” settings from Phillips House, in which a seamless row of stones has a partial bezel around the edges, rather than a full frame around each. Phillips House likes to mix cuts in its designs, employing pear, emerald, oval and round diamonds. If customers prefer an understated vibe in their bezel jewelry, they can play with shapes and widths.

Harwell Godfrey Honey Bee drop huggie diamond earrings in 18-karat yellow gold. (Harwell Godfrey)

This article is from the July-August 2023 issue of Rapaport Magazine. View other articles here.

Main image: From left: Phillips House Aura Band Half Cuddle ring in 14-karat yellow gold with diamonds; Anita Ko Loulou locket with a pear-shaped emerald and diamonds; Mason & Books Scottie pearl drop earrings in 14-karat gold with blue sapphires; Boochier Slinkee hoop earring in 18-karat gold (sold as a pair). (Phillips House; Anita Ko; Mason & Books; Boochier; Shutterstock)

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July August Magzine Cover Story Stocking Stuffers 1280 USED 073023 ’Tis the Season: Holiday Trends to Put on Your List

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