A Return to the Classics

By Jeffrey Rackover

It is indubitable that everyone has felt the effects of this economic crisis, some more than others. There have been multiple reports about how even the wealthiest among us are curtailing their spending sprees, cutting back on extravagances, and generally opting for a more demure lifestyle. This fresh consumer-awareness trend has produced an entirely new breed of buyer. Shoppers still lust after designer pieces and gemstones, but there is a new criterion for value, and thus we’ve seen many ostentatious individuals metamorphose into modest ones. This change is visible in current fashion trends—to be too opulent is considered in poor taste. With this newfangled perspective, I predict the en vogue look of 2009 will be one of classic, understated elegance.

This year’s choices will pay homage to minimalism. Women will go for chic and sophisticated as they strive to channel Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, the antitheses of gaud and glitz. In the diamond industry, my latest sales have reflected this shift. Clients I have worked with for years have changed their typical request of “How much, and how big can I get?” to “I want something that I will always have, always love, and always want to wear.” Just as every woman needs a little black dress, she also needs classic diamond pieces, and despite the state of the economy, there is never a bad time to invest in those, as long as it is done smartly.

In this market, jewelry needs to be versatile. For earrings, I recommend diamond studs and hoops, as these styles can take any woman from day to night. The same can be said for bracelets and bangles, which can be worn stacked for a funky, trendier look, or alone for a more classic statement. (For those who follow the Hollywood trends, many of my clients will be walking the red carpet throughout the awards season with diamond cuffs and bracelets for their statement pieces.) With a demure embellishment or detailing, these classic hoops, studs, and bracelets become completely unique and personal while remaining timeless.

I think that this desire for the classic will carry through Valentines Day, but after February 14, there will be a major shift to color that will continue through the spring and summer. While the colored gemstones and yellow and pink diamonds were hot last year, the 2009 incarnations will follow the trend of simple cuts and designs. The goal now is to be discreet—anything too flashy just feels wrong.

It’s an exciting time to take advantage of the classic trend and buy pieces that are chic today and therefore always will be. I look forward to dressing my clients—both the stars that walk the red carpet and my favorite loyal patrons— with the best trend we’ve seen in quite a while: class.

Until next time,

Jeffrey Rackover
589 5th Ave.
New York, NY 10017