Fall, the season for international jewelry and watch trade fairs, is here once more. The International Jewelry Shows in New York and Mumbai, along with the restructured Frankfurt lifestyle trade fair Tendence and the small but interesting events in Hamburg, Karlsruhe, and Leipzig, Germany, are behind us – and exhibitors, jewelers, gallery owners, journalists, and the public are now preparing themselves for exciting trips to Vicenza, Hong Kong, Madrid, and Valencia. Before the year is out, each will host a trade fair or show that documents the enormous potential of the jewelry sector. At the same time, an attentive observer will note country-specific differences in form or in the way of working with materials as well as the effects on designers of global influences. All in all, nearly every visit to a trade fair verges on complete sensory overload and for the most part, the short time allows for only a small fraction of the richness of ideas seen to remain in one’s memory.
All the more pleasing is the trend that ever increasing numbers of people in some way connected to the innovative jewelry sector are putting a network-like communication and a bustling exchange of ideas with each other ahead of the competitive thinking that was typical earlier. Various trade fairs have decided in the recent past that they will not only show products, but beyond that, they offer special shows, seminars, and discussions with and for industry insiders from throughout the world and on topics of international interest from the areas of design, marketing, sales, production, and communication.
International schools and educational institutions exchange faculty members for workshops, or invite designers, instructors, or heads of businesses to give lectures, and students participate in projects and competitions that transcend country borders. Gallery owners also take part in this global network, by passing on their often painstakingly assembled exhibitions to colleagues both within and outside their own countries, thereby making them accessible to a considerably larger audience.
Last but not least, international industry magazines such as art + design contribute to connecting the world through jewelry design. Our magazine places its emphasis on the mutual benefits that readers throughout the world may derive from their readings and the knowledge they gain from them. What trends are developing in jewelry and watch design, with an eye to artistic tendencies of the period and the region? Which producers will I meet at which trade fair? What companies work with freelance designers? Who needs what material? What is the situation with education and the professional chances of jewelry and watch designers worldwide? Who is exhibiting whose work, and who won what prize? Answering these questions contributes to promoting artistic dialogue and the economic situation of designers, and to furthering understanding worldwide.