Since 2015, Hong Kong-based luxury retailer Lane Crawford has been instrumental in fostering creative Chinese talents and bringing them to a wider international audience through their Global Creative Call Out platform. Over the years, the initiative has helped launch the careers of over 70 young brands in cities like Los Angeles and Chengdu.
This year, as part of the Global Creative Call Out 2020, marketing organization Platinum Guild International (PGI®) China partnered with Lane Crawford to support exciting new talents at a time of global uncertainty. An engaging new judging format saw winners selected in the jewelry category which featured emerging designers from around the world.
Finalists were announced during a media event in Chengdu attended by the Consumer Marketing Director of PGI® China, Calvin Yeap, alongside industry KOLs such as Li Qi (@我就是李奇呀), Miss Olivia (@奥莉小姐Olivia), Makina Yang(@Makina_杨), as well as local fashionistas. The winning entries interpreted the “True to self” theme which celebrated the tenacity of youthful creativity and explored the unlimited possibilities of creativity in jewelry design and craftsmanship.
PGI® China as a creative incubator
Platinum Guild International (PGI®) was created in 1975 and develops the global platinum jewelry market as a new demand source for the material. Alongside, it has been committed to cultivating emerging creative youth talents and creating contemporary platinum jewelry designs. In 2000, China became the biggest market for platinum jewelry in the world. In that market specifically, PGI® China works to cultivate and guide consumers’ passion for platinum jewelry by promoting the local industry.
“Being true to yourself means having the tenacity to stay on your path.”
Calvin Yeap, Consumer Marketing Director of PGI® China told Jing Daily, “Creativity is something that young consumers desire, but it can be a difficult path to follow career-wise. It is a choice that requires complete self-belief. Being true to oneself means having the tenacity to stay on your path. This is a great fit to platinum’s brand proposition.”
The state of the platinum jewelry market in China
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, PGI® conducted a survey that indicated that a greater proportion of Chinese consumers would maintain or even increase their spending on jewelry post-pandemic. PGI® China tracking showed that retail sales for platinum jewelry have soared in 2020; Q3 registered a 13 percent year on year growth versus 25 percent decline for gold.
Post-pandemic, platinum is benefiting from the increased relevance of its positioning as the metal of meaning. This is driven by a couple of key changes: for one, there is now a greater appreciation of the meaning behind products and therefore greater consideration for jewelry – which has always been associated with relationships. Secondly, the survey found that there has been an increased emphasis on looking good following the outbreak, which has coincided with the resumption of social activities.
Through an omnichannel strategy which PGI® China defines as engaging consumers beyond product offering and advertising, PGI® China engages with its consumers (from bridal through to the post 95 demographic) through relevant collaborations and causes. This has enabled PGI® China to forge authentic connections with dynamic young consumers in search of meaningful jewelry platinum pieces.
Part of this strategy was reflected in the Global Creative Call Out’s judging process: For the first time, consumers were invited to participate and vote alongside professional judges. In this way, they had a hand in bringing to market platinum jewelry pieces that embody their true selves. Additionally, this offered unique consumer insights to PGI® China on trending consumer tastes and styles.
The Global Creative Call Out’s jewelry category finalists
The three finalists – Christian Stockert, Kung Ka Ki, and Pei-Nap Mok showcased their design philosophy through short films which portrayed their interpretations of the “True to self” theme. Christian Stockert conveying fluidity and individuality; Kung Ka Ki, infused the “eternal and unchanging” properties of platinum with memories.
“As more and more young consumers ask for bespoke design service, I think it’s important to let consumers decide their own piece of jewelry.”
But it was Pei-Nap Mok’s Spectrum collection that took the winning prize. Mok matched jewelry with a variety of colorful materials while his concept allowed wearers to mix and match different components, allowing for maximal versatility through customization. “As more and more young consumers ask for bespoke design service, I think it’s important to let consumers decide their own piece of jewelry,” Pei-Nap Mok explained.
“The idea of the collection was to let consumers mix and match different components together and create their personalized jewelry… To find the best piece to represent themselves,” Mok added.
The way forward for platinum
According to PGI® China, this partnership with Lane Crawford will continue – encouraging news to buoy creativity in the platinum industry. Xu Jia, Store Manager of Lane Crawford Chengdu IFS, cited the ability of the platform to capture the creative talents of the future as its main selling-point. “Through these initiatives, we hope to continue to discover and cultivate even more future creative stars.”
Given the steady recovery of the industry despite the current global climate, PGI® China is optimistic for the future growth of the sector and sees great scope for the role of the organization within this. PGI® China’s Yeap emphasized that in the context of the global pandemic, platinum is benefitting from increased relevance due to its positioning as a metal of meaning: “I think we can play a small part in the new normal because platinum has always been positioned as a unique material that people buy because it can represent many meaningful things in life such as love and being true to self.”