Men's jewelry could rightly be considered the problem child of the jewelry industry. While there were exceptions to the rule, the majority of men did not willingly wear or buy jewelry.
Apart from a ring, often a wedding band, men are traditionally more likely to go the watch route if they wish to accessorize.
A fashion set to last?
This was the norm for many decades. Here and there we have seen fads suggesting there may be untapped potential for jewellers. But it was fleeting. Now that could change. Over the past 2 years, some more important and sustainable fashions seem to suggest that we are experiencing a revolution in the field of men's jewelry.
Harry Styles, Timothée Chalamet, Justin Bieber, David Beckham, Jaden Smith, Dev Patel and even Brad Pitt, to name a few, are trend setters whose looks on the catwalk and red carpet have encouraged guys to buy men's jewelry in the last 24 months.
The notable increase in the number of male celebrities wearing everything from the perennially popular men's leather bracelet to dainty earrings has inspired many brands to recently launch their first men's jewelry collections , which quickly found takers.
Men's jewellery: even the big brands are exploiting this market
“Back home at Gecko, the menswear market continues to grow,” said Ruth Johnson, General Manager of the brand. For his part, the founder of Unique & Co, Daniel Ozel, added: “ Sales of our men's collection even increased last year, despite the Covid. »
But if Ozel could have thought that last year was good, 2021 is even more spectacular. On the occasion of Father's Day, the brand recorded a growth in turnover of 118% compared to 2020.
He adds: “The men's sector is clearly a growth market. Even big brands are using it now. »
Tiffany Men's Engagement Rings
The term "big brands" is not misused. Tiffany & Co has become one of many major jewelry players to launch its first-ever collection of men's engagement rings this year.
While it would be easy to say that proposing to men is a fringe phenomenon or a flash in the pan, the statistics say the opposite.
British bespoke jewelery brand Taylor & Hart has revealed research which shows that Google searches for men's engagement rings have increased by 69% compared to last year.
Furthermore, British men are the third most likely to receive such a proposal, either from their female partner or in an LGBTQ+ relationship.
Interest in men's engagement rings
Kate Earlam-Charnley, design director at Taylor & Hart, has revealed that she first worked on a ring for a woman wanting to propose to her boyfriend a few years ago. Since then, she has changed her outlook. “I really believe the industry should embrace this new normal,” she said in June.
Stephen Webster, founder and creative director of his eponymous brand, also noted the growing interest in men's engagement rings and acted on it. He has expanded his already rich range of men's jewelry.
"Recently, we've seen men's jewelry experiencing a renaissance," says Webster. “Never have men been more interested in a piece of jewelry that signifies being legally bound to a person. In our experience, this doesn't have to be a ring, it can be a pendant or a bracelet. We don't think the pause in weddings due to the pandemic has affected that. On the contrary, it has encouraged him, because men have had more time to think about what they want.»
Men are adopting an increasingly bold style
“Men have become braver in their style, which is reflected in the engagement rings we have created. From black diamonds to pivoting stones, the possibilities are endless. »
In the meantime, to return to more everyday pieces for men, the men's leather bracelet seems to maintain its status as a favorite accessory for these gentlemen.
Ozel says, “However, metal bracelets are among our bestsellers,” although “leather bracelets remain in high demand. »
Dutch brand iXXXi, which has just expanded into the UK, has its own iXXXi Men range which aims to elevate the leather strap to a new dimension with its " multiple leather bracelets”. "With this style, it gives the impression of wearing several leather bracelets in accumulation, while it is a unique piece.
Ozel expects the segment's growth of recent years to continue. "We are still at the beginning, the potential is still very important," he believes.
“Jewelry stores need to give it more attention and space in stores. It's a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition and it doesn't just target male customers, but also gets women in the door when looking to buy a gift for their partner. »
Discussing the future of men's jewelry and the industry, Ruth Johnson of Gecko says, “The men's jewelry market has enormous potential. With the trends continuing to strengthen and the endless possibilities for manufacturing durable parts, there is and always will be room for growth in the segment. Men's jewelry will probably never become a bigger market than women's, but we're sure that one day it could be of similar size. »
WOLF positions himself
Given the popularity of men's jewelry, many brands are taking their first steps into this market in order not to be left behind by the competition. Simon Wolf, managing director of jewelry and watch storage specialist WOLF, however, says his brand has been preparing for this change for a long time.
During a conversation with a professional jeweler, he revealed, “Men's jewelry has evolved lately thanks to influencers like Harry Styles. This is excellent news for us. We've been ready for this new era for some time with an unparalleled collection of pieces including watch boxes with drawers, jewelry trays and watch rolls with capsule. »
One question jewelers may ask, however, is whether male consumers will want to invest in a jewelry box as well as the jewelry itself. Wolf thinks so.
He said, “Our jewelry boxes and trays feature the LusterLoc feature that prevents jewelry from tarnishing for up to 35 years. Our watch box with drawer allows you to easily store watches and jewelry in one place. Our watch roller with capsule isn't just for watches. It is perfect for storing a necklace, a bracelet or a men's bangle. We are the jewelry organizer and storage solution, our products are impeccably crafted.»