Professional Jeweler Archive: The Colors of Fall 2000

September 2000

For Your Staff: Selling Color

The Colors of Fall 2000

Learn to advise customers how to choose colorful jewelry and watches that contrast with or complement the latest apparel colors

Even if you’ve never picked up a copy of Vogue or In Style, this article can help you appear savvy about the latest trends in fashionable colors.

The vibrant oranges, pinks and blues that were so popular this past spring continue to influence apparel for fall 2000, according to fashion-seers such as Harper’s Bazaar and Elle. Their influence is seen more in single pieces, such as blouses or jackets, rather than as a total look for busy women. These increasingly affluent self-purchasers continue to cling to their easy neutrals as basic wardrobe staples in suits, skirts and pants.

But the new interest in adding some color to wardrobes means customers could be tempted to add colorful jewelry as well. Selling color in jewelry may not be easy at first because of the ubiquitous and overwhelming influence of white metal and diamond advertising. Still, many sales associates find selling color is often more fun and can be more profitable because margins are higher. Besides, color gives you that “something new” to offer the customer who already has her basic white jewelry wardrobe.

Here are some tips for selecting colored gemstone jewelry to accent the three hottest colors this fall:

Selling to a Customer Who Wears Orange

Contrasts: Clear bright gems such as pink sapphire, pink tourmaline, blue sapphire, lapis, tanzanite, amethyst, tsavorite and peridot can all work well, says Cynthia Marcusson of Cynthia Renée Inc., Fallbrook, CA, a pioneer in encouraging jewelers to sell colored gemstone jewelry with passion and a fashion sense. Try them on an assertive orange as seen on the turtleneck featured in Elle (left).

Complements: “Subtly layer orange with flame-colored gems such as yellow sapphire, beryl or citrine,” she recommends. She also suggests harmonizing orange with intense orange garnet or fire opal. Marcusson cautions against using dusty, earthy or muted shades with orange because they “can drag down this clear, bright color story.”

These three gems contrast with or complement orange. The pink sapphire and blue zircon are courtesy of Omi Gems, Los Angeles, CA; (213) 622-4533. The yellow sapphire is courtesy of Radiance International, San Diego, CA; (858) 558-3329.

Selling to a Customer Who Wears Blue

Contrasts: Orange, yellow and pink are good contrasts to blue, and these combinations were shown often in fashion magazine pages for fall. Here, blue apparel from fall collections is shown at left while suitable contrasting watches assembled by Vogue are shown at right. Orange watch by Cartier, the pink watch by Bedat & Co. and the yellow watch by Delaneau.

Complements: Blue clothing can be paired also with gemstones of varying shades of blue. Combining multiple shades of the same color is also a hot fashion trend. Encourage your customer to buy a blue gemstone and try it with various pieces of blue apparel. It may not work with all shades, but it will be perfect with some.

Selling to a Customer Who Wears Pink

Contrasts: Strong bright gems look good against pink, says Marcusson. Shown here are the vivid blues of a Paraíba tourmaline and a turquoise necklace, along with a pink suit from Valentino’s fall collection. Marcusson recommends trying other blue gems with pink apparel, including blue sapphire, lapis or tanzanite. Also try the yellows of sapphire, beryl and citrine, and the greens of tsavorite and peridot.

Complements: Marcusson says pink clothing can be complemented by pink gems such as tourmaline, sapphire and spinel. But she cautions against using dusty, earthy or muted shades with hot pink; “they can look dull against its intense vibrancy.”

Paraíba tourmaline of exceptional color and clarity is courtesy of Manoel Bernardes Ltd., New York City; (212) 730-2339. Turquoise beads by Gleam Co. USA Inc., New York City; (212) 972-7031.

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications