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‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ they say but we think it’s the story of the past. Today, it is not uncommon to see men loving and cherishing diamonds. Giving it a masculine touch and application, men now are using diamond-studded phones, belts, iPads and much more. Women too are moving on from just diamond jewellery and opting for diamond-studded bags, shoes, etc. Priyanka Desai talks to some industry insiders and finds out how this trend can be useful to the industry and what impetus does it need to catch on.
By: Diamond World News Service
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Jan 1 2013 1:26PM
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Reference: 7512  

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No one can defy the fact that diamonds are the most lush and opulent products of luxury. Since time immemorial, the rich and elite have enhanced their vanity and social status by adorning diamonds. Jewellery is the most common use of diamonds. Beautiful, precious and exorbitant diamond jewellery marks any special occasion as the most striking one but with the changing times, ever evolving technology and increased purchasing power it is not uncommon to see diamond-studded products such as cell phones, bags, cars, home décor products that are making waves and raising eye brows in the elite circuit. Enhancing products and epitomising beauty, this trend is also very useful in terms of accentuating the use of diamonds in other spheres. With the carbon beauty being available in various sizes, carats and grades, it is not always possible to use the low grade and small-sized diamonds in jewellery making, thus this trend of studded objects, becomes a knight in the sparkling armour.

Realising the exponential growth in this trend and with the hope to raise its awareness in all sections of the society, jewellery designers too, have extended their expertise from jewellery to various other products to explore the immaculate style statement that the carbon beauty can make. Ginza Tanaka, a Japanese jewellery brand created an exquisite diamond bag that scorched the global runways. Mont Blanc, the producer of the most cherished and expensive writing instruments has brought about a new revolution by introducing the elite fountain pen, set with over 4,600 clear-cut white diamonds on an 18 carat gold barrel tipped with a cap which has seven exclusive diamonds studded to it. British designer Debbie Wingham very recently designed one of the most expensive dresses in the world. The dress covered in two-carat black diamonds, weighs in at 13kg and is valued at £3.5million. Topping the charts was Hollywood celebrity Kelly Osbourne who got a $250,000 manicure for the Emmy Awards night. Her shimmering diamond-studded nail tips created quite a stir. These are just some of the examples of diamond studded everyday products that have made the headlines. We spoke to some industry bigwigs who too agree that apart from jewellery and investments, diamonds are the new everyday product enhancers.

LakshPahuja, renowned jewellery designer from India has become a name to reckon with, owing to his innovative designs that take art of jewellery to unimagined heights. He has set a new benchmark in the industry when it comes to edgy and contemporary designs. We asked him if he believes if this trend is here to stay and pat comes the reply, “Many gadgets such as iPhones, pen drives, etc. have been enhanced with the use of diamonds. But, in India we do not have the technology or the open mindedness or such design aesthetic. There are some manufacturers who are experimenting with it but the finish is not up to the mark. The finish is of the utmost importance here as that’s what lends the gadget or any other product such as bags or belts, its individual personality.”

But, does he think it can be a huge trend in India is our next question, “It sure is but it is restricted only to celebrities and not to the segment where the real wealth is such as industrialists and big businessmen. I believe Indians do not give much importance to ‘design’. They may be very good at aping the west but are not ready to pay the price for art and beauty. They are unwilling to experiment.”

Talking about his own creations, which have proved to be a page-turner in the jewellery design realm of India, he says, “I created an iconic piece known as the Titanic which is diamond-studded. It can be worn as a shoulder accessory or most of the times it can be used as an exquisite home décor product. People in India are ready to spend millions on the interiors of their showrooms, homes or offices but will be unwilling to invest in a piece such as the Titanic which can be worn and treasured, simultaneously. It definitely adds value to the interior design, but they will not spend on it.” The Titanic is just one of the iconic designs that this magician has brought about, the others such as the Dragon Headgear which triples up as a table showpiece and also as a cigarette lighter are classic example of jewellery turned everyday products. Defying the norms of jewellery and setting new examples of innovation, Laksh Pahuja’s designs are not just to be worn but also to be flaunted as a décor element and enhance the home ambience to the zenith.

Trying to delve into this prolific trend deeper, we spoke to Hemant Shah, Partner, Priority Jewels. “I am of the belief that one must give new and fresh options to consumers all the time. We have been too focused on selling traditional jewellery and that too without creating excitement and offering any dynamically new designs. So any other product that will create excitement and desire for diamonds is always a good idea.”

But, is it always that these different products have higher sales volumes, we wondered. “One must remember though, that it is not the ‘different’ product that will always sell but it sure will make the consumer remember about diamonds and get you footfalls in your store,” is his quick response.

When quizzed if he thinks it is a big trend internationally, he declines. “No, I do not think this a very big trend anywhere right now. Being extremely niche products, the demand for them is amongst a very small target audience... but is a talking topic and drives foot falls.” Suggesting ways to promote this trend he says, “If some celebrity were to use diamond-studded products or if they feature them in a movie, it has the potential to become big. Then, promote, publicise, and constantly innovate.” Talking about advertising and promotion of this trend as a category, he too concurs with Pahuja’s viewpoint of lack of innovation amongst Indians. “It is sad and unfortunate but even agencies who advertise for generic products or gifting products do not use such innovative products in their advertising, they too want to advertise safe. It is such a blue state of affairs for the industry that no one wants to innovate, but yet expect the consumer to want your product.”

Probing into the desolate mindset with lack of innovation amongst Indians, we asked Shah if he thinks this mindset could change? “Unfortunately, we do not have many in our industry who have the patience to wait three to five years for such products to be promoted and wait for them to catch on. We have many who have the financial resources needed for it but we are traders at heart and perpetually want instant returns. We are not wealth creators and do not have the patience for value to be created. We only want cash,” is his straightforward reply.

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