International Jewellery London welcomed the jewellery industry in style last week to its new home at Olympia GRAND in London. With exhibitors reporting robust sales and visitor numbers positive, with early forecasts showing 4% up combined with a 15% increase in attendance from the Diamond Club – IJL not only reported quantity but quality from the show floor.
“Our new venue proved to be the perfect setting for IJL’s best show ever, with an increased number of senior key retailers and buyers attending, especially from Ireland and overseas. It provided a really stylish backdrop for the superb line-up of leading UK and international jewellers and designers to present their collections, many of whom have already signed up for 2015. As a barometer for the industry, the feedback was incredibly positive and upbeat, confirming that IJL now rivals its European counterparts,” says Sam Willoughby, Event Director.
The landmark British setting was praised by exhibitors and visitors alike as a world-class showcase for the 550 high profile designers and global brands present, some of which exhibit only in the UK at IJL. The venue, which offered stunning natural light and a sense of space, was the perfect launch-pad for many new collections and over 150 new companies from around the world – together with a wealth of exciting new show features and highlights. These included the first ever Late Night Shopping evening and Breast Cancer Care Charity Auction, the inspirational seminar programme, the latest trend intelligence and the glamorous runway shows.
As the industry’s UK flagship show with an exceptional quality and breadth of suppliers and top class buyers, exhibitors reported that this year’s IJL was their show to date – resulting in an unprecedented demand for space at IJL 2015.
“We have had a hugely successful show, with excellent business throughout the three days and the highest calibre of retailers and buyers that I can recall for a long time coming to see us – several of whom were outstanding. The jewellery industry is spoilt for choice and to attract the top tier, a show has to be good and IJL really got it right this year. The length of the show was perfect, as is the new venue. We are thoroughly satisfied,” commented John Coupland, Saunders Shepherd & Co Ltd.
This was echoed by John Cooney of IBB Dublin: “We were more than pleased with our IJL 2014 business at the new venue in London Olympia. It was the most successful ever UK trade show for our brand Mi Moneda. Our sales were the highest ever achieved since launch and we are excited by the new contacts made. It was a superbly run event and was attended by almost all the Top UK Jewellers. It was also great to see such a large Irish contingent after a few quiet years. We are looking forward to IJL 2015.”
Antwerp Diamonds also experienced a good show, with Dax Humberstone stating: “IJL is the only UK show we exhibit at and it should be an integral part of any jewellery company’s business plan. It has a much more professional approach and understanding of exhibitors’ needs and what attracts retailers and buyers, than its competitors. And we had excellent sales over the first two days.”
Kevin Gabriel, from another international brand, Danhov, reiterated: “IJL is the only show we come to in the UK. As we look to meet our business goals of expanding into the UK, the event really helps to increase awareness and meet retailers and buyers.”
Andrew Morton of WB The Creative Jewellery Group, commented: “IJL is always an important show for us and this year was a great success for Domino, Weston Beamor and Gecko, who all exhibit at the event. We were very pleased with the location of our stands and felt that the change of venue was a good move, breathing new life into the show and bringing a great feeling of enthusiasm from both exhibitors and retailers.”
Tammy Lam from Links of London, added: “IJL gives us great exposure for both Links of London and Folli Follie to the right kind of UK and international buyers. It’s good timing for our brands. The show also provides a brilliant overview of the industry in the UK with big brands alongside contemporary designers. The venue is excellent.”
Other international brands enjoyed their debut on the elegant, spacious Boulevard, such as Buchwald who have already signed up for IJL 2015. “We have met existing customers and created many new business opportunities – and our stand location was great!” stated Angela Buchwald, owner of the business.
Many major new collections were launched this year at the show – spear-headed by Endless’ global launch of their new Jennifer Lopez Collection of cult charm bracelets. Business was brisk, with Jesper Nielsen commenting: “We had a nice trade show in London and we’re very pleased with the way it went. For the first time, we presented our new Jennifer Lopez Collection by Endless Jewelry live, and I must say, I was very pleased about
the way it was received at IJL. We managed to go well beyond our sales targets with the Endless UK and Ireland team bringing in some 40 new customers, which is also due to the way the show was organised by IJL.”
The Best of Design
Not to be outdone, business was also brisk in the Design Gallery and Designer Brands areas on the first floor gallery, both of which provided a striking bird’s eye view of the show.
This was supported by Frank Rasmussen of C6 by Anne Cohen: “IJL is a fantastic experience in a great location with an excellent quality of international visitors”.
Philippa Glinn of Claudia Bradby Jewellery added: “IJL helps us keep our finger on the pulse of the jewellery industry. It is the best showcase and largest event specialising in jewellery set in a unique location.”
This was echoed by Linda Macdonald of Linda Macdonald Jewellery: “Olympia as a venue for IJL has been perfect – a stunning building with lots of good space and light – and the designer section on the gallery was well placed. The show was a success for us, gaining new accounts and catching up with many existing customers too. We felt the interest from overseas was good too, ranging from South Korea to Japan and Holland.”
Jorg Schlieffers from the newcomer, Saxons of Oxford, and winner of the Editor’s Choice Technical Excellence category, commented: “We came to IJL as it is the biggest and most recognisable industry event in the UK. We have received great exposure for the brand – not just at the show but through all the ongoing media support.”
And the last word goes to Matt Houghton of Via Seres: “We launched Via Seres as a new business at IJL 2013, so IJL 2014 rounded off our first year in business. The new venue provided a great layout, light and space. Via Seres had a show target of five new retailers, in reality the show provided eight new retailers, with more likely to be added soon. Perhaps the best indicator of our satisfaction with the show is that we have named one of our new glass colour ways ‘Olympia Blue’. We can say without hesitation ‘We’ll be back!”
Best for Bridal
With IJL providing the ultimate showcase for bridal jewellery in the UK, designers with new bridal collections found interest was high. And not just from buyers, but also important journalists from consumer publications including You and Your Wedding.
Cindy Dennis Mangan, jewellery designer and owner of Dennis & Lavery Platinum, said: “My new bridal collections have been extremely well received. The heritage of IJL as the premier jewellery event gives it a great platform – and puts me together with my suppliers, peers and future business partners. IJL moves your business forward by six months in three days!”
Applause from the Industry and Media
Visitors to the show were impressed by the upbeat atmosphere and feel of the show, with it’s clever layout and stunning stand designs and features – all complemented by the glamorous Champagne Bar and ‘Gentleman’s Club’ feel of the Diamond Club and Press Office.
Gaynor Turner of Macintyres of Edinburgh commented: “IJL is held at a good time of year and is positioned perfectly for Christmas buying. It attracts the best of all the UK and overseas manufacturers and designers in one place. It is a great way to see a lot of people in a short time!”
“I was looking forward to ILJ at Olympia. It’s an extraordinary piece of elegant Victorian architecture boasting a vast span roof of glass which perfectly suits the evocative glamour of the jewellery industry. I walked in and was immediately blown away by the spaciousness and style of the show’s lay-out – different areas, neatly arranged to give individuality to the multiplicity of exhibitors. The aisles were invitingly wide and easy to navigate. I was relieved to see how easy it was to access the upper gallery and reassured that the designers there were given the prominence they deserve. Overall, for me, the show was 100 times better than when at Earl’s Court,” added Vanessa Burkitt, Managing Director of Catherine Jones of Cambridge.
Adelle Thompson from Beaverbrooks, added: “IJL is an ideal opportunity to see many suppliers in a short period of time and it also helps us plan product development and our strategy for 2015. As well as acquire a few tasty morsels for Christmas 2014!”
IJL 2014 also attracted a host of powerful UK and international editors from magazines such as Elle, Red Online, Hello and Glamour to national newspapers like the Telegraph, Sunday Times, FT and the Daily Mail – not to mention, top bloggers and news broadcasters.
The new Late Night Shopping Event on the first day of the show proved to be a considerable draw for visitors and was teeming with style-savvy jewellery buyers and retailers enjoying the entertainment. One of the highlights of the event was the Charity Auction, with the industry generously supporting the Breast Cancer Care cause and raising over £3000. The star lot of a hand-crafted charm bracelet, designed by Sarah Jordan and cast by Birmingham’s Hockley Mint,with individual charms created by high-profile designers, was successfully bid for by Julia Clarke of Hester Clarke.
Sarah Ho of Sarah Ho London commented: “The new-look show is terrific, more sophisticated and had a really good feel about it. The new features were a real highlight. The VIP evening encouraged visitors to wander around, look at stands and chat without feeling pressurised. It added atmosphere to the end of the day.”
The daily Runway Shows showcased the four key trends for S/S 2015 as identified by Trend partners Adorn Insight – Eden, Fusion, Shape It and Timewarp. The innovative design talent really sparkled on the catwalk and provided buyers with an invaluable insight into the new collections being launched at the show for the coming seasons.
Fashion expert, Hilary Alexander, commented: “This year’s catwalk show at IJL worked really well. It was cleverly choreographed and styled to show the jewellery to best advantage.”
IJL has set the bar as the show to see the ‘Ones to Watch’ with the Bright Young Gems and KickStart initiatives. The five Bright Young Gems were revealed on the first day as Joanna Bury from Truro & Penwith College, Kiki Tang from The Cass, Youjin Nam from the Royal College of Art, Hyuen-hee Jessie Seo and Fortuna Weeks both from Central St Martins. Fortuna Weeks was chosen as The Retailer’s Choice by Bec Astley Clarke, Founder and Executive Chairman of Astley Clarke.
The KickStart designers, hand-selected by the IJL team and the British Jeweller’s Association, proved themselves as ten ‘Best of British’ young jewellers, including the People’s Choice winner, Kristjan Eyjolfsson who was also awarded the Adorn Insight Award as the one outstanding KickStarter.
80 industry experts featured in the three-day seminar programme which, for the first time, was complemented by a series of one-to-one Advice Clinics. Inspirational speakers included James Amos from Boodles, Jo Fairley, co-founder of Green & Blacks, Jesper Nielsen from Endless Jewelry and Amber Atherton from My Flash Trash.
Both visitors and exhibitors reaped the benefit of industry experts. The UKTI Breakfast seminar for exhibitors featured top exporting tips from exhibitors; Buckley Jewellery, Domino Jewellery and The Jewellery Box. Visitors also picked up important design and commercial tips, thanks to the Editor’s Choice Awards selected by Claire Adler, Jewellery and Luxury Consultant, who met the five lucky Editor’s Choice winners at the show – all who enjoyed a productive show.
David Maine of Chrysalis (winner of the Commercial Vision category) commented: “IJL meets our business needs perfectly. IJL is the only event where we see all our target customers – and being selected as an Editor’s Choice winner was the icing on the cake, as it gave us lots of extra valuable exposure. We’ve had a really good show with some excellent leads.”