Jewelry industry

The jewelry industry has a serious inclusivity problem

Fashion

Why accessories struggle to catch up and which brands we like to buy for extended sizes.

Extended sizes – or the production of clothing that is not part of the standard straight sizing series – usually refers to clothing and, in some cases, to shoes. But while calls for luxury and luxury brands to produce collections in sizes that better represent the average American woman have been amplified in recent times, the conversation often fails over accessories. It almost becomes a ‘pick your fight’ type [of] discussion, ”a plus-size woman told Coveteur, noting that it’s hard to be grateful for progress while pressuring brands to have more inclusive sizes elsewhere in their lines.

“Brands are missing a huge customer base,” says Kristina zias, a model and blogger from Los Angeles. “I’ve built a whole jewelry collection and recently realized that I keep buying earrings and necklaces because I know they will fit. There have been so many times that I have been so excited about an item just to order and receive something that will never fit. Zias bought an ankle bracelet from a brand in June only to realize it was too small for her. “I was so disappointed,” she says. “The brand hasn’t offered any returns, and I’ve considered messaging them about the size issue for so long, and never have. You’re a little embarrassed, like it’s your fault.

Even brands that cater specifically to tall women like Torrid and Eloquii have collections of jewelry that are lacking: the latter only sells earrings and a paltry selection of necklaces in one size. More popular retailer Lane Bryant has a light stock of rings up to size 11 – and only one other adjustable item – while ASOS Curve is out of stock for most ring sizes over 10. retailers, many styles on offer aren’t on par with current trends, like chunky domed rings or vintage-inspired chains. “I have a hard time finding cute and trendy pieces in my size,” Zias says. “More often than not, brands that offer extended sizes aren’t the most stylish, or they only offer extended sizes for a few of their pieces. Alternatively, they are very inexpensive and tarnish a week later.

Then comes the age-old question: if there is a market for it, why aren’t brands taking advantage of it? Some say it’s expensive, but it’s not just a commodity game. Christina Senia, who launched his eponymous unisex jewelry brand with his sister Gina a little over a year ago, says it never occurred to him that launching up to a size 12.5 was drastic or more expensive than the typical launch plan .

“We had done a competitive market research when it came to pricing, but we never considered sizing,” says Senia, whose custom line includes stackable bands, often adorned with gemstones or Roman numerals, until ‘at a size of 12.5. “We then made most of the ring size stops at a size eight. It wasn’t until Hunter McGrady reached out to us to tell us that his followers were struggling to source rings in their respective sizes that we found out that it wasn’t the industry standard.

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“Unfortunately, inclusiveness and sustainability often hamper more profits.” —Sharena Chindavong

While one might assume that larger, well-funded brands would be the first to increase their size range, this isn’t always the case. The competing brands her team researched had often secured millions of dollars in venture capital, she told Coveteur, but almost all of them stop before including extended sizes. “For jewelry in particular, the cost of a mold is around $ 100,” she says. To complete their ranges up to a size 12 or 13, “it would cost around $ 800 in start-up costs” – which is not a prohibitive amount for most brands – plus the price to store a single item in. each size, Senia explains. “The benefits outweigh the costs. “

“This is less profitable ”, says Automatic gold founder Sharena Chindavong. Her brand, launched in 2016, offers one of the most comprehensive size ranges, with rings ranging from size 2 to size 16, as well as most necklaces, bracelets and anklets available in at least three sizes. . “But inclusiveness is very important to me, and I extend my values ​​to my brand,” she says. “It has never been a question for me, but unfortunately inclusiveness and sustainability often hinder further profits. “

Popular jewelry brand Mejuri, which has nearly a million Instagram followers, did not launch with an extended size, but now offers rings up to size 10 in most styles, as well as necklaces and bracelets ranging from 14 “22 “and six to eight inches, respectively.” We have taken the approach of expanding our most popular styles across categories, and we are actively working to expand the size range within each category, “Noura said. Sakkijha, CEO and co-founder of Mejuri. It was customer feedback that made the needle move. Likewise, brands like True, Catbird and Aurate have sizes that differ style by style. Inexplicably, some of the models from These latter rings are not returnable in sizes 9.5 and 10 only.

Launch of Stella Simona Haati Chai, a line of fine bespoke jewelry inspired by heritage, in 2011, before it became a mainstay of more than 103,000 Instagram feeds. She launched the sister line Amarilo, which is also self-funded, in tandem, originally as an Etsy store. Now the latter has a size of up to 15 in the rings and offers three to four sizes in most necklaces. As the daughter of immigrants from the East Indies, Simona says representation and diversity are paramount in making money for herself and her team of four, who are responsible for both companies.

“Although we didn’t launch with extended sizes… [designer] Ali [Heiss] handmade each piece of jewelry, it would adapt to any size request, ”she said. “It wasn’t until we started talking internally that we realized how important it was not only to accommodate, but to defend.”

The reason she thinks the industry hasn’t followed suit – or started that way when it has enough funding – is twofold. “To begin with, you should know that most of the jewelry industry, especially well-known brands, are not run by the end consumer. It’s a very male dominated industry that has operated as it has for a very long time. Additionally, much of the industry is white label, which means that a manufacturer makes pre-made products and brands and then sells those products under their name. The industry itself has standardized sizes which are incredibly exclusive. If you are a brand that buys and resells you cannot expand sizes that are not available.

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“It wasn’t until we started talking internally that we realized how important it was not only to accommodate, but to defend.” —Stella Simona

There is another piece of the puzzle that seems obvious but is often not said: “If the cost is not the obstacle, then the bias is,” says Senia, who notes that her brand sells so much. sizes nine and 10 than five, six. , and seven. “The easiest way to make sure that a demographic doesn’t represent a brand is to simply not offer a product that will fit.” “

After years of underserved, many women are turning to vintage stores, where men’s rings are often reused for a customer. “A lot of the bigger and bolder face styles, like seals, for example, were worn by men,” says Noah Lehava, founder of her vintage jewelry store. @ noahnoahnoah.shop, which operates exclusively on Instagram.

“One thing I find that makes people hesitate to buy vintage is that they find something they like, but it’s not their size.but it’s actually very easy and not that expensive to cut a ring at a local jeweler, ”she says. “Some styles, depending on how the stones are set or if there are intricate details on the shank, cannot be sized, but once you are comfortable with the idea of ​​taking your ring home a jeweler as you would take a pair of pants to be hemmed by a seamstress, your jewelry options open up.

Of course, there are brands that do it right from the start. Zias mentions Poirier Jewelry, which makes rings in sizes five through 13. Other brands with sizes included include Oremme, Wolf Circus, and Tarin Thomas, who just opened a store in New York’s West Village that offers a variety of sizes. “Plus, a lot of our styles are made to order in New York City, so we can adapt and help our customers find the perfect fit,” says founder Kylie Nakao. “They can pick up in store or have their selections shipped right to their door.”

While most brands recognize they still have a way to go, Simona says it’s important to talk to brands big and small to find out exactly where your money is going. “Ask for transparency, especially from brands with hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers.”

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Amarilo

Callie anklet$ 275To buy

Siskin Thomas

Samuel ring$ 288To buy

Senia

Apollo ringFrom $ 675To buy

Loren stewart

x A Little Bit Often Bianca Valle Necklace$ 395To buy

Elmm

Rolo I chain$ 565To buy

Mejuri

Dome ring$ 60To buy

Automatic gold

Butch Bracelet$ 329To buy



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