Is a fashion house truly a fashion house without a spin-off perfume? Or perhaps a pair of sunglasses or a keyring? These more competitively priced add-ons have a double purpose: firstly, to allow younger/poorer, wide-eyed fans of the brand to buy into it without the need to commit a crime; secondly to make some serious money. And now, many fashion brands are adding statement earrings to the roster of must-have accessible accessories.
In fact, the majority of big fashion brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton get most of their revenue from what might be considered add-on sales. While it is clothes into which the majority of creative and financial efforts are funneled, with painstakingly created garments unveiled at lavish runway shows, it is the bags, lipsticks and luggage tags that really pay the bills. These accessories can be created in house, or pushed out through third-party companies under licensing agreements.
Over the past couple of years, the fashion business has been getting fired up about a new accessory: the statement earring. Rarely do jewellery trends transcend to the catwalks, but take a look at any of the major shows from the past few seasons and you’ll be able to spot enormous clavicle-grazing ear adornments in myriad colours and styles (though a clear penchant for mismatched lobes has emerged).
With accessories so important to the bottom line of fashion businesses, these catwalk capers have been produced commercially, and now fans desperate to grab a slice of the glamour emitted by houses such as Alexander Wang, Saint Laurent or JW Anderson, can do so for a fraction of the price of a skirt or a shirt by buying the season’s It Earrings.
Much like It Bags of the past, these earrings should be instantly recognisable to those in the know, therefore allowing shoppers to justify the extortionate prices charged for costume jewellery, such as the £1,795 that Alexander McQueen will take from you for a pair of brass clip–ons decorated with crystals and faux pearls.
Welcome to the era of the It Earring.
Rarely do jewellery trends transcend to the catwalks, but take a look at any of the major shows from the past few seasons and you’ll be able to spot enormous, clavicle-grazing ear adornments in myriad colours and styles