LONDON – Jewelry is booming, and there’s never been a better time to launch a standalone magazine dedicated to the brands that design, manufacture and market it, according to Ian Thorley, publisher of Something About Rocks, which lands on newsstands Thursday.
Thorley, who launched men’s magazine Jack nearly two decades ago and later established Something About Media, a London-based creative content agency specializing in fashion, luxury, lifestyle and big brands public, said the focus was on a variety of price points, from fine jewelry to more fashionable brands like Alighieri.
“It’s all above the main street. As long as it’s designed and it’s cool, we can feature it,” Thorley said in an interview. He described the magazine, which will be published twice a year and priced at £10, as “a fashion take on jewellery, and something the market now wants”.
He described this market, and Rocks readers, as “younger consumers, men and women, in their thirties, who are interested in jewelry.”
He pointed out that this was not a glossy magazine-style supplement, but a stand-alone publication for a category he believes deserves much more attention. “This is an exciting time for jewelers and for jewelry. This is their time,” he said.
The jewelry industry has exploded over the past decade, with sites such as Net-a-porter, Mytheresa and Matchesfashion expanding their jewelry offerings, at all price points. At the same time, high-end independent designers, such as Solange Azagury-Partridge, Stephen Webster and Shaun Leane, are talking — and selling — directly to customers on social media.
The rise of lab-grown diamonds and gold plating techniques (both of which lower overall costs); an improved jewelry offering from fashion brands ranging from Oscar de la Renta to Gucci and Balenciaga, and the proliferation of accessible priced brands such as Missoma, Monica Vinader and Astley-Clarke, have fueled demand and opened up prices to entry level.
Resale platforms are also flourishing with Tiffany & Co., Chanel, Dior and other designer jewelry among the bestsellers on sites like Cudoni and Vestiaire Collective.
The 100-page first print edition follows the launch of the Rocks’ website last year, and Thorley said the magazine “allows us to be more visually interesting.” Its goal with both is 360-degree market coverage.
The consumer-facing website is free and updated daily with news and celebrity-focused content, while the print issue deepens with longer format shoots and stories.
Thorley said online momentum has grown since last year’s launch and his company will “be starting to explore film and social media” in the coming months. Content for the website and print magazine is created by part-time staff and freelancers.
The first issue has six covers, including one with Rose Williams, the star of “Sanditon” and “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris,” and another with R&B artist JoJo.
There’s a shoot with Olympic gold medal-winning boxer Galal Yafai, who’s decked out in Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry; the Goossens belonging to Chanel and Ara Vartanian. Another shoot features Zion Sapong and Devenity and features jewelry from Carbon & Hyde, Katkim and Poche.
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Compagnie Financière Richemont put their muscles behind the project, advertising their high-end brands including Louis Vuitton Haute Joaillerie, Bulgari, Cartier and Tag Heuer in the print pages.
Asked about the major groups’ enthusiasm for the project, Thorley said LVMH and Richemont have been following Rocks since its digital launch last year “and they wanted to work with us, they wanted to be involved”.
Thorley said more than 100 brands are featured in the first issue, including smaller independent brands from around the world such as Viltier, Shay, Cece Jewelery and Pasquale Bruni.
There are also watches – from brands such as Dior, Chopard, Cartier and Omega – and Thorley said he will continue to feature them as long as they are “designed”, rather than purely practical.
The print edition of Rocks will be distributed internationally, by subscription, on newsstands, in luxury hotels and via airlines.