Wednesday, 23 October 2013

New Manufacturer “Imanokov”

Okay, so it happens in our industry.  One manufacturer’s designs looks suspiciously like another’s.  There are certain designs, including the 17-stone cluster ring, the “stairway to heaven,”  the “Tiffany-style solitaire,” the current halo-settings, etc.  Who put-out the first 17-stone cluster?  Can anyone remember?  I recall being shocked in 1988 when Boas & Farro put out their little red catalog featuring all manor of diamond clusters, when I thought of them for original designs.  Who were the first to string various donut-shaped silver beads on a snake bracelet? Plagiarism is grounds for expulsion in Universities, but in the jewellery business seems to lead to significant financial rewards.  What’s wrong with our industry?!?

I guess like drug companies, the one who comes out with the product first, gets to enjoy the rewards of innovation before the copy-cats swoop-in and begin making generic versions.  In the pharmaceutical business, they get 10 years of patent protection before others can copy.  In the movie business, copyrights are good for 25 years, which is why Disney “remasters” their movies on each 25th anniversary.  This makes the old edition less desirable and restarts the 25 year clock of protection on the new one.

When I visit the “designer section” of JCK Las Vegas, I expect to see new innovative concepts.  Which ones might become trends, and which will fizzle into oblivion is the question of the day.  Maybe one hot new designer will inspire other designers to take a motif and shape it in a new direction.  That’s how we continue to come-up with new design variations after you think thousands of designers over hundreds of years have exhausted all possible variations.  “Duplicators” can see a design at JCK, walk down the aisle making a sketch, digitally send it to their goldsmiths, and before returning to their home office, could have a “new design” to offer their clients.

As a representative of a design firm that seeks to innovate, I can tell you that not all innovations are profitable.  It takes trying a number of new things to prove one highly favorable.  The overall business model requires loyal supporters to try some new and continue to buy the tried and true in order for innovators to survive.  I would humbly ask that you show respect to the innovators and give them every opportunity to supply you.  If the innovators get pushed out of business by the duplicators, then the duplicators will all have only each other to copy; and our design world will become a very bland place indeed.

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