1 / Generation Next
We’re living in a millennial world. But how long until the following generation takes hold? America’s newest demographic, Gen Z, comes with its own set of peculiarities—and challenges. Although these youngsters—the oldest of the bunch are just 21—may not have spending power quite yet, they’re already wielding influence in the marketplace. (Case in point: jewelry brand Ippolita collaborating with Insta-queen Kendall Jenner, above.) Having never lived without the internet, they are social media addicts. To reach them, you’ll need to be one too. Just keep in mind Gen Z’s highly selective filters and supposed eight-second attention spans. See the world through their screen-obsessed eyes—and make it snappy. —Brittany Siminitz
2 / Strung out
New? Certainly not. But there’s something about the simplicity of a gemstone bead that keeps the ancient adornment firmly rooted in the collective jewelry subconscious. Dating back to prehistoric times, beads have served as both dramatic accessories and—rife with minute pattern work—storytelling tools. Interestingly, the updated bead jewelry that will come to the fore in 2018 is rather simple when compared with the intricate styles favored by pharaohs and Cherokee chiefs. Some designers, such as Irene Neuwirth, are striking a chord with minimal strands of opal, chrysoprase, or turquoise meant to be layered, while others—including Shamballa Jewels, Luis Morais, and Anthony Lent—are appealing to fashion-forward gents with elegant wrist wraps. Just bead it! —Randi Molofsky
3 / Retail 3.0
Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable buying high-end jewelry and timepieces online. And this new reality is poised to reshape the jewelry retail landscape. Buoyed by infusions of venture capital, monobrand retailers such as AUrate and Vrai & Oro are luring young consumers with trendy, tightly curated collections. Meanwhile, secondhand luxury e-tailers like The RealReal are growing their reach both online and via brick-and-mortar. Traditional retailers hoping to thrive in 2018 and beyond may want to look to Govberg Jewelers in Philadelphia, which is doing all of the above—apps, videos, social media, and good old-fashioned face-to-face. Quips CEO Danny Govberg : “We’re a 101-year-old startup.” —Emili Vesilind
Photo © Ippolita.