Why Are Jewelry Companies Trying Their Hand at Fashion The Impression header image

Why Are Jewelry Companies Trying Their Hand at Fashion?

Why Are Jewelry Companies Trying Their Hand at Fashion?

By Anne McCarthy

In Marisa Meltzer’s 2023 New York Times bestseller, Glossy: Ambition, Beauty, and the Inside Story of Emily Weiss’s Glossier, the journalist details how makeup company Glossier became a disruptor in the beauty industry and branched out to other products, including fashion – like its popular sweatshirts. 

Companies like Glossier pivoting to include fashion in their product repertoire makes a lot of sense, particularly for companies and brands that already have a loyal fan base (as Glossier did when it expanded its reach). Fashion companies producing makeup and makeup companies dipping into fashion is standard; look no further than iconic fashion brands like Chanel, YSL, and Dior, which all boast formidable makeup lines. 

Lately, though, more and more jewelry companies are expanding their own reach to include fashion in their product line, too. This is somewhat new – and quite exciting. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Tiffany has moved into the fashion realm, with superstar singer Beyoncé as their launching pad. She wore a glittery minidress on her Renaissance World Tour. 
  • Chopard’s Caroline’s Couture debuted at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival to a big splash. (Supermodel Naomi Campbell modeling the line likely helped.) 
  • Cartier’s golden cape, worn by actress Zoe Saldaña during Oscars season this year, caught the eye of many. 
  • Jewelry companies – especially legacy brands like Chopard and Tiffany – can leverage their existing loyal and enthusiastic fan base to expand to other markets. Their built-in fan base helps the success of any potential fashion ventures. 

Tiffany & Co.’s Dazzling Minidress

When Charles Lewis Tiffany created Tiffany & Young in 1838 (which later became Tiffany & Co.), one imagines he could easily see his company selling dresses one day. After all, the mogul’s vision for the shop was that it was a “fancy goods” store. 

At her July concert in Toronto, Beyoncé debuted a gorgeous sparkly minidress made from “a multitude of diamond-studded strands,” reported The New York Times. Like everything Beyoncé touches, the minidress made a big splash. And most unexpectedly, it was designed by none other than Tiffany & Co. The dress was custom-made for the global superstar, and it was designed by famed Tiffany designer Elsa Peretti. (Peretti famously once said, “Jewelry is not fashion. It has to last.”) Tiffany & Co. created two other dresses for the singer for her Renaissance World Tour.  

Fashion companies regularly incorporate jewelry into their collections. But jewelry companies venturing into fashion is less common. Tiffany & Co. is one of the jewelry brands pulling off this transition effortlessly. 

Bulgari’s Rumored Clothing Line

Bulgari Silk Scarf

Italian luxury jewelry company Bulgari is known for its elegant jewels. Stunning watches, dazzling engagement rings, and high jewelry are all in the wheelhouse of Bulgari. It hasn’t dabbled much in the fashion space – beyond a silk scarf or two. 

However, it was reported by The Times earlier this year that Alessandro Michele (former creative director at Gucci) was rumored to be looking at taking on a new role at Bulgari. And there were whispers that he had visions of starting a fashion line for the famed jewelry house. 

Cartier’s Gold Chain Mail Capes

Jewelry company Cartier International SNC (or, simply, Cartier) was founded in Paris in 1847, and although it’s been around for over 175 years, the company is regularly reinventing itself. During Oscars season, actress Zoe Saldaña sported the gold Tressage cape, which is part of the Cartier Libre collection. 

The cape was a stunning feat of craftsmanship. The New York Times reports how it featured 67,000 hand-assembled chain mail links, 14 zippers, several onyx tassels, and 150 diamonds. The cape took two years to create and it was inspired by Cartier’s first female creative director, Jeanne Toussaint. Saldaña’s stylist, Petra Flannery, handpicked the item for the actress while Flannery was in Paris viewing couture shows in January.

Chopard’s Gorgeous Gowns

Jewelry company Chopard isn’t to be left out of the action. At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the company debuted Caroline’s Couture from Chopard co-president and artistic director, Caroline Scheufele. The line was created using ateliers in fashion capitals across the globe, from Milan to Paris. The collection was comprised of 50 gorgeous gowns, which were shown on supermodels Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen, and more. 

The French Riviera was the perfect setting for their elegant debut. Scheufele’s stated intent was that the gowns were primarily to highlight the jewelry. The gowns were intended to be the amuse-bouche before the entrée that is Chopard jewels. Scheufele’s relationship with the famous French film festival dates back to 1998 when she was responsible for a redesign of the Palme d’Or (the highest honor at the festival). Chopard also hosts an annual event at Cannes, where it displays its Red Carpet high jewelry collection. 

Scheufele didn’t want just any old launching pad for her collection. She wanted Cannes. The New York Times reports how she said of Caroline’s Couture premiere at Cannes – rather than at fashion week couture weeks – “It’s where these dresses belong.”