10 Finds From the Accessories Shows for SS19

By Lauren Parker

 

The SS19 January NY Women’s and Children’s Market recently wrapped up, taking the chill out of the air with colorful, playful Spring/Summer 2019 offerings. On the accessories front, the marketplace saw the much-welcome return of Accessorie Circuit, which came back after a year-long hiatus with an expanded presence of elevated contemporary and mission-based brands. AccessoriesTheShow reprised its fea*ture section of indie brands, and also featured first-timers to the show such as Cecelia Designs Jewelry, Opinion Privé, Ur-Candy, One Hundred Stars, Pink Revolver- MJD.

 

Here, some musings on the state of accessories:

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DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY

We live in stressful times, and designers seem to have made it their mission to lighten the mood and make us smile. And not just at the lower-end either. Affordable luxury brands are also delving into the happiness business too, for example, Beatriz Accessories’ hand-threaded clutches that retail from $250 to $300. “Beatriz clutches have always been so graphic and beautiful but now they have the added playful element with the emoji faces,” says Rita Overzat, Founder and President of RJM Showroom. “Plus, the brand continues to work with communities in the Philippines, inspired by the colorful waves of Philippine fabrics, so it gives back.”

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GIVING BACK IS THE NEW RECEIVING

It’s been so heartening to see brands increasingly giving back by helping entire communities thrive. This was the case with Soko Jewelry, which is based in San Francisco but entirely produced in Kenya out of brass, cow horn and bone. “The brand name Soko means “marketplace” in Swahili, and the Kenyan artisans take home 23% to 35% of each sale from the brand’s 450 retailers,” noted Sa’Diyya Dunkley, Senior Account Manager. The U.S. designers also work closely with the African artisans to make sure the styles are on-point for the Western market. We’d say they are succeeding!

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SHE SELLS SEA SHELLS BEYOND THE SEA SHORE

The beach is always a popular theme for Spring/Summer, but sea shells are getting the designer treatment this go-round. Popular on so many SS19 designer runways (i.e., Altuzarra, Etro, Missoni, Sportmax), the looks are going way beyond the shore. “We’ve been selling these to all sorts of fashion stores, not just beach or gift shops,” says designer Amy Venema of jewelry company AV Max. “I also added metal to some of the shells and cast others in metal completely. You need that metal to elevate it to a fashion item, otherwise you’re just competing on price for cheap looks.” The oval cowrie shell is the hot shape, as are the narrow spiral ones. Sequin-like puka beads are also being stacked side by side along necklace chains.

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A PICTURE IS STILL WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

Dainty, delicate jewelry is still strong, so brands need to be more creative with ideas on how to market it. Jewelry brand Be the Good continues to make big statements for little pieces with its themed photo cards. “They look great presented at retail in multiples, and they also encourage people to buy them that way,” says Creative Director/Founder Barb Gram. “We get women who will buy them for everyone on a girlfriend getaway or as friendship jewelry.”

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SOMETIMES LIFE GIVE YOU RAINBOWS…

In Spring’s uplifting approach to fashion, and what’s more smile-inducing than a rainbow? Brands such as Ah!Dorned by Tracey Lane Novick featured rainbow pieces amid solid items, offering retailers ideas for how to make statement-making pops on the sales floor. These rainbow styles were brand new, adorning first-time neoprene-and-nylon bags with interchangeable bungee cording straps. Totes were $88; cosmetic bags, $38.

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SPRINKLES MAKE IT ALL BETTER

Sprinkles have infiltrated your Instagram feed (from Museum of Ice Cream sprinkle pools to cupcake and doughnut desserts), so it was only a matter of time before they alighted on fashion. Fallon and Royce took its bold and snarky phrases to a whimsical place by swapping out the black letters for what evoked edible rainbow sprinkles. Even the F*CK OFF one (Oh stop! It featured a heart in place of the U), was a best seller because it just made everyone smile, noted the company.

TASSELS GET INCREASINGLY CREATIVE

 The bag charm may seem like nothing new, but that would be referring to “old, boring bag charms.” Smart brands are coming up with creative ways to keep charms and tassels alive and add pops to increasingly nude and neutral weaves and macramé. Shiraleah’s charms, which were sold at a Tassel Bar in the booth, can be wrapped around bags by the consumer in a variety of creative ways.

 

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FRINGE BENEFITS

Rock + Stone, a new boho handbag and hat line co-founded and designed by industry veteran jewelry designer Michelle Rozmarin Tamburro (she had designed for Lucky Jewelry, Fossil, Henri Bendel, among others), made a splash at the show featuring her unique take on Boho. While many pieces featured rock ‘n’ roll-inspired fringe, others had a more serene quality, accented by a signature feather. “There are all found feathers near my home in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, from dove to blue jays, which I cast in metal,” said Tamburro. The hats use actual feathers, including gold-dipped ones. Most of the bags are under $200.

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IT’S OK TO HAVE THE BLUES

Whether evoking gorgeous oceanic seas or ever-changing rich blue skies, gorgeous turquoise blues are right on trend … even when they’re not actually turquoise. Jewelry designer Robindira Unsworth showed her latest line of chrysocolla and raw aquamarine jewelry, all set in sterling silver and accented with diamonds. We may never go back to turquoise!

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A COIN FOR GOOD LUCK

Charm jewelry is on fire on the runways, with jingly coins taking the place of many more “quiet” and delicate jewelry. Jewelry line Ben-Amun by Isaac Manevitz just launched the Travel Coin Collection of European coin charm jewelry for Spring 2019. The gold-plated charms are cast from old European coins he collected before those countries went on the Euro. “Like the old charm bracelets from the ‘50s you’d get from countries you visited, these evoke a sense of travel and nostalgia every time you run your fingers over them,” says Manevitz.

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SEEING CLEARLY

The plastic trend continues, with colored inserts making sure to keep valuables hidden. Sondra Roberts made their pop with matching red handles and insert.

Noor Nanda