Paris Haute Couture: The Crucial Role of Jewelry

Over the past seasons, fine jewelry and high-end costume jewelry have taken a crucial place in Paris' Haute Couture calendar. Understanding this new trend, as well as the need to reinvent the way jewelry is exhibited and sold, Muriel Piaser, a Paris-based buying consultant, will unveil the second edition of Precious Room on July 3rd at the Palais Vivienne, where 30 meticulously selected jewelry brands will showcase their latest collections. Her new "trunk show" is de facto dedicated to established and emerging jewelry designers who grew tired of the classic trade show concept and are willing to commit to a more personalized and experience-focused exhibition concept. We met Muriel to discuss the challenges that high-end costume jewelry designers have to face today and how they can be solved.   

Muriel Piaser. Photo: Courtesy of PR.

Why did you decide to found "Precious Room by Muriel Piaser" and this focus on jewelry only, after all the experience you accumulated in ready-to-wear and accessories?

Muriel Piaser: After 15 years working in fashion and accessories trade-shows in Paris, but also in New York and Tokyo, I launched THE BOX in 2006 in Paris, a trade-show dedicated to jewelry and fashion accessories. I discovered fine jewelry talents that are now international references. I had anticipated that both high-end costume jewelry and fine jewelry would bring real added value to distribution, especially within multi-brand and concept stores. Beyond the fact that I am passionate about jewelry, I also understood that this market is very dynamic and has a future because it carries strong identities and values. It was natural for me to launch Precious Room in January 2019 after a thorough analysis of the market and the needs of end consumers.

What makes Precious Room different, compared to other showrooms or even trade-shows specialized in accessories and jewelry? 

Precious Room is a new concept, based on the vision of a "trunk show" that breaks with the traditional codes of showrooms and trade-shows, and is set in an exceptional place like the Palais Vivienne in Paris. I launched it on purpose during the Paris Haute Couture week to benefit from Paris' international luxury reputation, but more importantly because this timeframe is in line with the pre-collection buying season, during which 70% of the budgets are booked by the buyers. Precious Room can, therefore, be used as a promotional window for brands that want to make themselves known and a preview for established brands that want to anticipate orders. 

The second edition of the Precious Room presentation in Paris. Photo: Courtesy of PR.

What feedback did you receive from both, the participating designer and the buyers, after the inaugural edition of Precious Room? 

The 1st edition was a success recognized by brands, buyers, and various fashion players. It was a real challenge, but we've made it! The intimacy of the event, the "concept store" and "trunk show" related exhibition concept, and the proximity with the designers all proved to be positive concepts both in terms of business and networking.

According to you, what are the challenges for an independent jewelry brand today, if it wants to be successful, not only in Paris but on an international level?  

The challenge for a jewelry brand in its business development and notoriety lies in a variety of aspects, including positioning, the need to assert an identity, the price range, as well as digital marketing and communication strategies. Today, more than ever, a designer needs to exceed in all of these sectors if he or she wants to survive in a saturated and competitive market, where rules are broken continuously, and new opportunities are being created.

How have jewelry buying habits evolved, ever since social media channels (Instagram, for instance) and e-commerce websites have changed our perception and way to consume fashion and accessories? 

Beyond the crucial importance of having a good product with a price range adapted to the industry's expectations, experience and emotion are the key elements to success. Social media has accelerated the promotion and marketing process but does not in any way detract from the fact that jewelry collections still need to be displayed in prestigious showrooms and events. The human being has become even more central to business and purchasing decisions! That's why exceptional experiences need to be created – which is what I aim to do with my trunk show concept. 

The second edition of the Precious Room presentation in Paris. Photo: Courtesy of PR.

Would you consider going international with Precious Room? For example, having other international editions in "jewelry-friendly cities," such as Dubai, Los Angeles, Basel…

Yes, indeed, my ambition is to introduce "Precious Room" in internationally renowned concept stores or trade-shows by offering them added value with my trunk show format. The concept itself has already been extended beyond the physical event, via the website