For more than 120 years, the world’s leading jewelers have courted the 0.01 percent with dazzling creations from luxury boutiques lining Paris’s Place Vendôme, largely unchanged for generations in terms of tenants and construction. Until now.

The high jewelry business — one-of-a-kind pieces priced from $50,000 to several million dollars and often handcrafted in Vendôme ateliers to showcase precious stones and advanced artisanal techniques — has been turned on its head by a generational shift in its traditional clientele.

Houses have been scrambling to appeal to the 21st century consumer: younger, digitally savvy shoppers, predominantly from Asia and the Middle East, most of whom have very different demands and expectations from their predecessors about what, where and why they acquire some of the most expensive luxury products that money can buy.

That is not easy, given that collections can be years in the planning, hunting for the right gems and then executing the painstaking production. But pivoting is proving critical for many larger houses, given that haute joaillerie exists as a kind of counterweight to their heavy dependence on entry level sales.

A look from across the New York Times at the forces that shape the dress codes we share, with Vanessa Friedman as your personal shopper.

“Exposure to the high jewelry market remains key because it gives brands credibility to sell ‘bread and butter’ products in the price range of $2,000 to $10,000, which is the jewelry market sweet spot,” said Luca Solca, a luxury analyst at Bernstein.

“Ultimately, a presence on the Place Vendôme gives you a ‘credibility anchor’ to then sell a greater range of products to the broader public.”

Read more about a potential multifacted future for the High Jewelry market on the New York Time website  HERE

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