Join us for our weekly BAJ:Insight on the latest industry trends by Rachael Taylor, a freelance journalist who writes about jewellery for a number of titles, including The Financial Times, The Jewellery Editor and Retail Jeweller. In her 10 years reporting on the industry, she has travelled the globe to visit key industry fairs, descended a Fairtrade gold mine on top of a Peruvian mountain, toured silver jewellery factories in Thailand, and regularly has access to the most sparkling jewels and people in the business.
When I was little, I wasn’t all that interested in dressing up as a princess. Vampires and pirates were more my thing. However, if I did decide to emanate a royal daughter, a tiara and ring were almost certainly essential items of kit, and preferably a large collier of some kind. Everyone knows that princesses love jewellery. And it would seem that our fervour for playing princess dress-up does not abate with age.
There has been a slew of collaborations between jewellers and Disney of late. Alex Monroe captured the frenzied tea party of Beauty and the Beast with gold vermeil Chip cups and citrine-studded Cogsworth clocks. Pandora, too, made reference to this film in its new collection of Disney charms, which also included Cinderella carriages, Mickey and Minnie, iconic princess dresses and crowns, as well as a dedicated Frozen collection (natch).
Beauty And The Beast by Alex Monroe
Then, of course, there is the official Disney jewellery brand, distributed in the UK by a company that recently changed its name from Disney Couture to Couture Kingdom. It says its target customers are aged between 18 and 35 years old – a smidge older than the films’ target audiences, I suspect. Its newest releases include a line called Disney Princesses and a collection of Disney jewels in precious metals.
Alex Monroe x Beauty And The Beast Collection
Jewellery retailers are also capitalising on the commercial clout of Disney. H Samuel released a collection of precious jewellery inspired by Disney princess. Jewels in the Disney Enchanted range – inspired by Elsa, Snow White and their ilk – will cost as much as £1,299, so definitely not targeted at young girls.
H. Samuel – Enchanted Disney
Competitor F Hinds jumped on the princess mania by sending out a press release that claimed to value the engagement rings worn by Disney princesses. Top of the list was Belle, who the store imagined to have a platinum engagement ring set with a 4ct yellow diamond surrounded by a halo of flawless diamonds. This is estimated, by F Hinds, to have set Beast back US$131,740 – that’s nearly 100,000 of our British pounds. I’ve no idea why they decided to get all American with the pricing; perhaps Walt was expected to be footing the bill rather than Beast.
Enchanted Disney Collection by H.Samuel’s
What is driving all these Disney jewellery ranges is what drives any other trend – demand. The interesting question is why do fully grown women still want to dress up as Disney princesses, and pay substantial amounts of money for jewellery that allows them to do so? Perhaps it’s a form of escapism from the world we live in that’s so utterly full of bad news. Or perhaps, we’ve all just grown up and realised that we don’t need to wait for Prince Charming to buy us the jewels we dreamed of in our youth – we can fund them ourselves. Now that really is a fairytale ending.