One of the most common questions asked of jewellery insiders is: are online shoppers willing to spend a significant amount of money on a jewel they have never held in their hand? The simple answer is yes, and the expanding collaboration between luxury jeweller David Morris and digital fashion marketplace Farfetch is yet more proof of growing confidence in shopping for jewels online.
Though some might still want to slip on a ring IRL before committing to it, or watch a gemstone change colour in daylight rather than evaluate it under harsh studio lights, there are shoppers out there willing to take a punt on fine jewellery online.
We have seen this with the rise of Threads Styling, which sells a huge amount of fine jewellery to its clients through WhatsApp – it has no stores and no website. The average spend on fine jewellery at Threads is between £2,000 and £5,000, according to fine jewellery and watches brands partnerships assistant Harriet Hedges.
David Morris 18ct white gold, diamond and Burmese ruby Rubia choker, price on application, available from David Morris
The latest digital shake up in fine jewellery comes courtesy of a collaboration between Bond Street jeweller David Morris and Farfetch. During Paris Couture Week in January, the jeweller used the platform to launch its new high jewellery collection, Renaissance. Usually, this presentation of six-figure jewels would take place at its Parisian boutique on Rue Saint-Honoré, just around the corner from the famous luxury jewel hub Place Vendôme, with private one-to-one appointments with press and clients.
To instead launch the high jewellery collection via an e-commerce platform was, according to the house, an industry first. Within David Morris Renaissance were 13 exceptional jewels. The jewellery house is famed for sourcing some of the rarest gemstones in the world, and this latest offering proffered enormous cuts of Australian black opal and Paraiba tourmaline set in cocktail rings.
One necklace – the Rubia choker – was set with more than 380cts of deep-red cabochon-cut Burmese rubies. Another, named the Azul Paraiba choker and set with the neon-blue gem of the same name along with lashings of diamonds, took a year to complete from gem sourcing to the final craftsmanship, which itself took 800 hours.
David Morris 18ct white gold, diamond and Paraiba tourmaline Azul choker, price on application, available from David Morris
“David Morris designs have always sought to push the boundaries,” says Jeremy Morris, chief executive and creative director at David Morris. “With the release of our new high jewellery pieces available through Farfetch – an industry first – we are showing that in order to continue our brand’s evolution and meet the demands of the modern consumer, it is vital to keep breaking boundaries at every level. Whether that be through design and atelier processes, or the ways on which our pieces are made available to the remarkable women around the world who collect our jewellery.”
Next month, David Morris will follow up this ground-breaking partnership with the launch of an exclusive collection of rose-cut diamond earrings on Farfetch that will be timed to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8th, 2021.
Rose-cut diamonds have been a signature motif of the jewellery house since it launched its first Rose Cut collection in the early 2000s, but this collection marks a first for the brand as it is the first time that David Morris has created a collection of solo earrings. The white gold and rose-cut diamond huggies, ear cuffs and ear climbers have been crafted in response to the growing trend for piercing, it said.
David Morris 18ct white gold and rose-cut diamond ear cuff, £4,800, available from Farfetch from March 8th
“This exciting new collaboration with Farfetch presented a fun opportunity to do something that was fine jewellery but also fashion,” says Morris, the creative force behind the David Morris Rose Cut collection. “This is the first time we have explored single earrings, so it is an entirely new way to wear David Morris jewellery, and – as with many of our creations – they are a fusion of casual and fine. The appeal of ear cuffs in particular is that an additional piercing isn’t necessary; they are so easy to just throw on, yet make a dramatic and individual statement.”