2446 Jeweller _Feb 09_

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					                                                                                                  involved and passionate about their ‘baby’
                                                                                                  as they were 25 years ago.
                                                                                                     It is with this wealth of hands-on experi-
                                                                                                  ence that Kern and Dyrberg are taking
                                                                                                  the business forward, growing it further and
                                                                                                  reaching new markets. And fundamental to
                                                                                                  development is how Dyrberg/Kern works
                                                                                                  with its customers — a family that is ever
                                                                                                  widening and for the past five years has
                                                                                                  encompassed an increasing number of
                                                                                                  fine jewellery outlets as well as stores and
                                                                                                  fashion retailers.
                                                                                                     “Retail jewellers are absolutely essential
                                                                                                  to Dyrberg/Kern,” says UK sales director
                                                                                                  Dannie McDonald. “Our growth is about
                                                                                                  Dyrberg/Kern being recognised as a quality
                                                                                                  brand within the jewellery arena and any
                                                                                                  piece in the collection is as comfortable
                                                                                                  sitting on its own as alongside a fine piece
                                                                                                  of jewellery. We see ourselves as part of the
                                                                                                  new direction that the jewellery industry is
                                                                                                  experiencing now.”
                                                                                                     Kern agrees. “The more conservative
                                                                                                  jewellery retailers have figured out that they
                                                                                                  can take some of the turnover [on fashion
                                                                                                  jewellery] from the fashion clothing retailers,”
                                                                                                  he says. “It gets more traffic into their
                                                                                                  shop and customers will go back to them
                                                                                                  when they want finer pieces. In Scandinavia
                                                                                                  people have been selling like this for the
                                                                                                  past five years. Lifestyle is about mixing and
                                                                                                  matching fine and fashion — it’s great!”

The vision of
When, in 1985, two young fashion students at the Copenhagen
School of Design collaborated on an impromptu jewellery
collection to accessorise their final year fashion show, the pair
could scarcely have imagined that their ad hoc creations would
spawn an award-winning national, let alone international, brand.
                                                The company has a presence in more than              The extraordinary size and diversity of the
Y   et it is exactly from such inauspicious
    beginnings that Danish fashion jewellery
label Dyrberg/Kern grew. Those early pieces
                                                1,800 retailers in over 40 countries and
                                                from creating a line of 800 pieces over
                                                                                                  Dyrberg/Kern collection not only represents
                                                                                                  an abundance of creativity within the six-
of neckwear and bracelets found fans among      the past ten years, this year the figure will     strong design team headed by Dyrberg, but
their friends who demanded that they made       be closer to 1,400 SKUs. Given such               also the company’s commitment to providing
more… and more… until it became obvious         impressive figures, you’d be forgiven for         its customers with the best possible choice
that the couple’s future lay in jewellery       assuming that the owners — Henning Kern           of themes and looks each season. Given that
rather than clothing, the design direction in   and Gitte Dyrberg — were now taking a well-       women (and men) today buy jewellery to
which they’d planned to make their careers.     deserved backseat and relaxing on a               suit their varied and various lifestyles and
And so an empire was born.                      Caribbean island for the best part of the year.   moods as well as tastes in fashion, it’s been a
   Today that compact range of accessories      Not a bit of it. Dyrberg/Kern has grown           judicious move on the part of Dyrberg/Kern.
has expanded to include men’s jewellery,        organically, which has only been possible            While always linked to current trends
timepieces and — most recently — eyewear.       because the couple has remained as                globally, the Dyrberg/Kern look is built upon

40 The Jeweller February 2009
                                                  A    D    V    E   R    T    O    R    I   A    L

a strong Danish design heritage. “It’s about
lifestyle, aesthetics, craftsmanship, function-
ality and keeping things beautiful and simple,”
explains Kern. “Our line is about great design
and quality at accessible prices — it’s the
new niche in the market.”
   To address what Kern calls “the grey zone”
between fashion and fine jewellery, the
Dyrberg/Kern collection has raised its game
in terms of quality in recent seasons. “We
describe it as ‘bridge jewellery’, as we added    be grateful for a little guidance, as it really is   styles, according to aesthetic preferences.
more natural stones, mixed and matched            an Aladdin’s cave of sparkle and colour. To          Both in-store or on body!
with Swarovski crystals, leather, plated metal,   help the buying process, the design team                 Described rather neatly as “jewellery that
mother-of-pearl and acetates,” he says.           share their inspirations for the different           tells the time”, Dyrberg/Kern’s timepiece
                                                  themes with customers — it’s a thoughtful            collection underlines the fact that a watch
                                                  touch that provides an added tool when               these days is not solely a way of making
                                                  selling on to the consumer. “It gives retailers      sure that an appointment isn’t missed.
                                                  a story and gets everyone involved and               It’s also an accessory — an external means
                                                  feeling the same passion,” says McDonald.            of expressing one’s personality. Which
                                                     For spring/summer 2009, Dyrberg/Kern’s            means for many people, owning a wardrobe
                                                  central theme is Kaleidoscope. To quote the          of watches is not uncommon.
                                                  introductory text in the company’s seasonal              In keeping with and designed to comple-
                                                  magazine The Mirror: “twist it and you will          ment the jewellery range, the watches —
                                                  see a sensational symmetry of reflections…           which were introduced in 2002 — have been
                                                  a mesmerising mix of textures, tones and             created with precision, attention to detail
                                                  styles…” Under that umbrella of possibilities        and with looks that will last a lifetime, whether
                                                  sit three separate but complementary                 fun and funky, sparkly and sophisticated or
                                                  collections: the ethnic-meets-boho with a            classic with a twist. The same might be said
                                                  sophisticated twist Caravane; the sharp              of the eyewear range which has more than
                                                  lines, open frames and oversized jewel cuts          a hint of sexy, 1970s glamour about it —
                                                  of Outline and the ‘70s glamour of Highlights        whether for him or her.
                                                  with its blend of Hollywood pool parties and
                                                  contemporary Danish concept art structures.
   The extensive, comprehensive collection        While clearly true to global fashion trends,
allows retailers to put together a range that     the Dyrberg/Kern handwriting and its artistic
expresses their business and their market.        design concept is unmistakable.
“They can always find the strong seasonal            Taken as a whole, the new collection is a
themes, but they can also buy eclectically —      celebration of colour, texture, natural stones,
which is how their customers often buy,”          large crystals and alternative materials like
explains McDonald. “A retailer will know his      leather, macramé, acetates and beadwork.
customers’ tastes, so he can choose pieces        Stones such as turquoise, pink jade, orange
accordingly. And it’s our job to know the         agate, tiger’s eye and onyx add radiance
needs and tastes of our customers. We spend       and lustre to pendants, bracelets and
a lot of time with them when they’re buying       chokers. Each piece has its own identity and
and get a feel for it after a season or two.”     will sit happily on its own — sometimes
   A first time visitor to the Dyrberg/Kern       bold, sometimes low key — or form part of
showroom in North London might very well          an exuberant mix of clashing or co-ordinating

                                                                                                         So what of the future? “It’s a difficult time
                                                                                                       at the moment so we feel it is better to
                                                                                                       consolidate, to work on the lines we have
                                                                                                       now,” says Kern. “But when the time is right
                                                                                                       we want to expand into other collections.
                                                                                                       In the meantime our intention is simply to
                                                                                                       continue to create a brand that is leading
                                                                                                       within our concept. And we want to reach out
                                                                                                       to a wider and wider audience and to work
                                                                                                       together with partners who share our vision.”

                                                                                                       Contact the Customer Care Team on 0800
                                                                                                       1693647 or visit:

                                                                                                                            The Voice of the Industry 41

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