In a series of exclusive interviews dedicated to high-jewellery, CPP-LUXURY.COM has spoken to some of the high profile luxury jewellers, independent / privately owned, as well as several owned by luxury conglomerates.
David Morris is a British luxury jeweller famed for designing, crafting and selling fine jewellery and watches. It was founded in 1962 by David Morris and remains family owned. Throughout its 50-year history David Morris has produced a number of notable works, including the Miss World crown, jewellery for the James Bond film franchise and various pieces commissioned by royal families.
How did your company perform in 2018 and what are your expectations for 2019? (no financials)
Last year we enjoyed a new trend: a high increase in sales of “everyday” fine jewellery, at entry-price points. This was partly due to the launch of our new and more accessible Berry collection. It is aimed at millennial clients making their first entry to the brand, and seeking accessible fine jewellery with qualities normally only found in High Jewellery.
And it also speaks to fashion-minded clients of all generations, who like to wear their jewellery in a multitude of combinations. Indeed, each Berry design has been created to be mixed and matched, stacked and styled in any way that the wearer desires. 2019 continues on the same trend thus far, and we started the year with the introduction of Forest Berry, an extension to this very successful collection. High Jewellery remains the majority of our business, however we will continue to launch further, accessible fine jewellery collections in response to the demand.
Do you anticipate any impact from the Brexit?
We are one of the last few jewellery Houses on Bond Street to still have our own in-house atelier; some of our artisans have been working with David Morris for over 30 years. Since we still design and create our jewellery in our own atelier, we are not so concerned by the impact Brexit will have on other brands who, for example, produce their jewellery in Paris. London is our historic home since 1962, but as a brand we are as international as our clients, with boutiques around the world. Even if some clients choose to leave the UK because of Brexit, they will continue to collect David Morris jewellery from our other boutiques. We also recently launched e-commerce, and can deliver anywhere in the world.
How has your approach towards product development changed (if in any way) in the recent years? Are there any specific trends you could highlight?
Jewellery that is modifiable in multiple ways is one of the biggest trends of recent years. No matter what generation, all clients want the jewellery to be transformable, for it to be wearable one way to the office during the day, another manner for dinner – and then the full version for a Black Tie event. We recently designed an exquisite pair of earrings featuring pear-cut 20ct white diamonds, surrounded by removable frames of scattered pink diamonds. They were revealed at the Qatar Show in February. Many of our High Jewellery pieces can be transformed up to three different ways.
To what extent consumers are still regarding jewellery as an investment?
Jewellery is definitely more fashionable and in demand than ever. It is also increasingly seen as an investment. Mother Nature produced all the diamonds the planet would ever have, 3.4 billion years ago. Today, man has mined almost all the diamonds created, hence why their value has risen faster than gold. It is very simple, the rarer the stone, the greater the investment value. Rarity of size and colour are also important factors. At David Morris, we work with all colours of rare diamonds, however we are also known for designing jewellery with other, highly scarce and natural coloured stones such as Paraiba and Padparadscha.
We recently unveiled an exceptional pair of opal earrings, named “Neptune” for their remarkable colour, during our Haute Couture week presentation in Paris. These earrings featured 86cts of iridescent black opals from Australia, with extraordinary shimmers that gleam like lightning bolts. Opals are not the rarest stone, however to be able to source them in such a large carat weight, in such a rare colour and with such spectacular iridescence, was a real accomplishment – and exemplary of the renowned David Morris savoir-faire.
What is your approach towards e-commerce?
We launched e-commerce at the end of last year on both the David Morris website and the Harrods website, where we have a boutique in the Fine Jewellery Room. We also made our Instagram shoppable as we were receiving so many requests through this channel. E-commerce should be embraced, it is just another means of connecting with clients and fellow jewellery lovers all over the world. For example, we do not currently have a store in the US or in Asia, however we receive orders and enquiries from these markets via the website.
How has been social media improving and/or challenging your business?
Social media has brought many benefits to the business, including increased brand awareness, website and store traffic and most importantly, sales. Used correctly, it is a fantastic tool to connect and communicate with clients internationally – and especially in markets where we don’t yet have boutiques. The only downside is that it makes it easier for our competitors to copy our designs!
Which are your biggest international markets? Do you plan to expand in any specific country/region?
Our primary markets are the UK, France, Russia and the Middle East. We plan to develop our e-commerce offerings further, prior to considering expanding into new markets.
What is the returning customer profile of David Morris?
The David Morris client is international, elegant, has a recognisable allure and style that like our designs, is effortless, contemporary yet timeless. Our clients’ tastes are extremely refined, they seek out jewellery designs that are unique and will set them apart.
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