Sign up for our newsletter |

Home Page


Leather Forecast
Fashion Forward

THE TREND: Since caveman days, animal hide and metal have been used for adornment. So a marriage of the two oldest materials is a natural. Leather of all kinds is being combined with metals of all kinds to produce some dramatic--and wearable--jewelry designs. Most often seen in cuffs, bracelets, and bangles, leather is an understandable medium that is suddenly thrust into a position of being precious. Of course, that's not news to lovers of handbags and other status leather goods which have been so coveted by consumers the last few years.

WHY IT'S HAPPENING: With luxury leather goods continuing to perform well at retail, it's not surprising that leather, from calfskin and lambskin to exotics such as stingray and crocodile, is now being combined with diamonds, gold, and other precious materials. Obviously, leather is more affordable and available, but the real advantage is in comfort and wearability. Leather becomes more supple and softer over time. Originally leather denoted a more casual approach to jewelry, but now skins are showing up in dressier, more elegant styles. Leather jewelry has often been associated with rock and roll and biker looks, but this latest generation of designs is much more glam.

WHO HAS IT: Most men's or unisex jewelry lines have some leather and precious metal styles. But more women's designers, both here and abroad, are using various types of leather in their collections. Among these are: Sevan, Mizuki, Carolina, Kamofie, Dara Dubinet, Armenta, John Hardy, David Yurman, Calgaro, De Beers, Rebecca, Nanis, Tous, Cathy Waterman, Simon Alcantara, Elle Jewelry, Bliss, Hermes, Gucci, Zina, and Simmons Jewelry.

HOW TO SELL IT: In casual opening price point or men's and unisex jewelry, leather has become a staple, often combined with sterling silver or even steel. It is a must-have in basic brown and black. But to take full advantage of this trend, also look for leather used in new and inventive ways--a stingray cuff with diamonds or sumptuous embellishments once associated only with a gold cuff. Leather is most versatile in the bracelet category where styles permit a large, bold look at an attractive price point. These are pieces to highlight in assortments, creating opportunity to engage consumers in the latest precious jewelry store offering: fine leathers.

SEVAN AT VIEWPOINT SHOWROOMS' leather cuff bracelet with 24k yellow and rose gold, sterling silver, rose cut diamonds and rubies, suggested retail $36,976; and 24k gold and sterling silver padlock with rose cut diamonds and rubies, suggested retail $6,894, (800) 237-9477,

FROM LEFT: REBECCA'S stingray leather and bronze rings and cuff, suggested retail $355 to $565, (310) 319-9600,
SARA BLAINE'S sterling silver bracelet and ring with snakeskin and smoky quartz accents, suggested retail $175 to $215, (770) 650-0999,

FROM TOP: DANA-DAVID'S stingray leather cuff with 18k gold and diamond graffiti scribble, suggested retail $3,070, (800) 837-1570,
ZINA DESIGNS' braided leather bracelets with sterling silver stations and end caps, suggested retail $175 to $290, (310) 286-2212,

FROM LEFT: NANIS' three black leather bracelets with 18k gold and diamond details, suggested retail $220 to $1,285, (305) 534-7669,
TOUS' brown leather cord bracelet with silver rings and brown leather braided bracelet with sterling silver, suggested retail $90 to $126, (212) 219-1444,

FROM LEFT: MIZUKI'S 14k gold and black diamond starburst and crescent moon medallions on leather laces, suggested retail $2,330 to $2,395, (212) 941-0332,
CAROLINA STUDIO'S triple wrap leather bracelets with 14k gold carved centerpieces with diamonds and pearl closures, suggested retail $595 to $620, (212) 861-0616,

FROM TOP: "A CUCKOO MOMENT" AT KWM EXCLUSIVES' two stingray bangles with sterling silver and citrine caps and plain silver caps, suggested retail $110 to $235, (305) 534-0000,
JOHN HARDY'S four "Naga" sterling silver bracelets with colored leather, suggested retail $450 each, (212) 219-4288,

FROM LEFT: ELLE JEWELRY'S embossed leather cuff with detachable sterling silver charms, suggested retail cuff $80, charms $30 to $80, (888) 507-3553,
TOUS' multicolored leather strap bracelet with sterling silver ball beads, suggested retail $174, (212) 219-1444,

FROM TOP: ARMENTA'S leather cuff bracelet with 18k gold cross and nail head details, black diamond accents and blue tourmaline center, suggested retail $2,890, (713) 523-0631,
KAMOFIE DESIGNS' 14k gold floral centerpiece on distressed leather, suggested retail $575, and double wrap leather bracelet with 14k gold and pavé diamond centerpiece, suggested retail $1,380, (866) KAMOFIE,