The Boomerang of the Fashion World

Ashley Corley explains the universal and timeless appeal of pearls

My two-year anniversary just passed, and to mark the special occasion, I gave my wife her first strand of pearls. What made the gift so unique and special was that using Stuller’s service, I was able to pick out not only the perfect strand for her unique taste, but also the clasp and box. Of course she was thrilled with the finished piece, but more touched by the thought and personalization that went into it. And she’s not alone in her love of pearls – or of all things customized. In fact, she’s right on-trend.

June’s gemstone is pearl, and to help us celebrate the month, I sat down with Stuller’s resident pearl expert, Ashley Corley, to give us the low-down about what she calls the “boomerang” of the fashion industry.

Alex: Why do you think pearls are coming back strong into the industry?

Ashley: There’s been resurgence, culturally, among the younger generation longing for a style reminiscent of a more elegant time. Think about the gilded ’40s or the classic American style of Jacqueline Kennedy in the ’60s. In everything from architecture to fashion, we are seeing influences from these time periods. Pearls have always made a statement about class and sophistication.

Alex: What specifically have you seen around that tells you this?

Ashley: Have you seen any awards shows lately? The stars have been making some pretty big statements lately when it comes to pearls. Forget just wearing pearls as jewelry; designers have been making entire dresses out of pearls. At this year’s Oscars Lupita Nyong’s gown was adorned in over 6,000 of these gems.

Alex: Besides strands and studs (and dresses), are people wearing pearls in less traditional ways, too?

Ashley: Absolutely! From high fashion to everyday, pearls are displayed in numerous fashionable ways. Some of my favorites that we offer are half-drilled South Sea pearls with a simple bail that hangs on a black leather cord.

Since the price of gold is still comparatively high, juxtaposition of this expensive pearl with an non-traditional texture creates a lasting impression on the owner – and her pocketbook.

Alex: Okay, well, now that we know pearls are on-trend and extremely wearable, what’s so significant about Stuller’s offering?

Ashley: I love Stuller’s selection because of the range and type of pearls we have to offer. With over 600 SKUs and with sizes 1mm to 18mm, we’re sure to have what you need.  Plus, knowing that we offer A quality and up gives our jewelers all sorts of options to offer their customers.

Consider, too, that:

  1. Stuller offers all types of pearls: Akoya, freshwater, mabé, South Sea, Tahitian, even imitation.
  2. Shop by ShapeTo assist you in the jewelry-making process, we do offer half drilled and full-drilled pearls.
  1. Our South-Sea strands are the industry’s highest-quality pearls, which we carry in a variety of styles.Pearl Strands

 

 

Alex: What’s the most important thing a jeweler can do to help with the sale of pearls?

Ashley: Far and away the best approach to selling, especially to Millennials, is to educate consumers. One start, of course, is to read Elizabeth Raffel’s “Sell with a Story” series on gemstones. But we have numerous resources available where our customers can learn even more. Our Pearl Center has everything you need to know about different kinds of pearls and findings suitable for them. This is a great page that helps you navigate through the site and choose the perfect pearl jewelry.

Alex: Ashley, thank you for your time today. I want our customers to know what a great resource you are to them. Can they call you with questions about pearls?

Ashley: Of course! That’s why I’m here.

Now let’s hear from you. What are the ways you’ve seen pearls in fashion? Have you shopped our pearl selection? What are some of your favorite pieces or pearls? Are pearls popular in your area? What are your pearl best sellers? How do you educate your customers about pearls? Share your experiences in the comments section.

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