Threads Ramps Up Fine Jewelry Business

LONDON — It’s been a strong year for fine jewelry — particularly for Threads, the social shopping platform that sells luxury via Instagram and WhatsApp and has a no-inventory business model.

The retailer’s model meant it could quickly adapt to the overnight lifestyle changes that came with the outbreak of COVID-19, and continue servicing its community from home. There might have been obvious shifts, like an increase in athleisure content and sales, but when it came to the fine jewelry category, appetite didn’t just stay consistent but grew stronger. Sales were up 80 percent compared to 2019, according to the company.

That’s why it’s now giving its jewelry business a bigger push with the launch of @ThreadsJewels, a dedicated Instagram account. The Threads audience will be able to consume — and shop from — more fine jewelry content, discover new names and exclusive capsules. In line with the platform, the content is all about upbeat, Instagram-friendly color, and features the latest names and insider looks into designers’ lives.

“How we inspire is through our social content and we did see a lot more people buying jewelry, asking questions and using our platform for brand discovery. So there’s an opportunity to spend more time on the jewelry category, especially these days when everyone is on social and mobile-first, ” said Samina Virk, the retailer’s global chief marketing officer.

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This is the latest account under the Threads umbrella, which also runs dedicated platforms for interiors and streetwear to complement its main @ThreadsStyling account, which features shoppable content across the ready-to-wear and accessories categories.

“We think of the idea of a new account when we get to a stage when our clients are asking for a lot more product and a lot more styling advice. The most obvious advantage is that we are able to show more — we have some amazing fine jewelry content on our main account, but we also have amazing accessories and ready-to-wear so there’s only a certain amount of shelf space it can get,” added Virk.

Content from the new @ThreadsJewels platform featuring Shay. Courtesy of Threads

For Sophie Quy, the business’ commercial director and former fine jewelry buyer, the category’s continued growth meant that there was space for a dedicated jewelry destination, addressing high-spending customers and jewelry fans alike, and championing the Threads brand partners, which range from little-known emerging names to heritage brands like Cartier, Pomellato and Boghossian.

Part of the appeal for these brands is seeing their products presented through the Threads lens, which includes more modern styling with high-ticket items often paired with more casual ready-to-wear, trendy bags or the latest “It” shoe by Amina Muaddi.

“The way we style product and showcase jewelry is so unique to the rest of the industry, and it’s a key sales point for us. We style those pieces in the way we know our clients would wear them, with the ready-to-wear they’re buying or with the latest must-have bag,” said Quy, pointing to an in-store shoot with Boghossian that showcased one-of-a-kind jewels with trendy hot pink blazers and other everyday pieces.

“We ended up selling about 90,000 pounds worth of jewelry off the back of that shoot. Jewelry brands have been early adopters in understanding the power of Threads and the way we can showcase their pieces. They can see that when the product is styled that way — even if that’s not how they would do it themselves in their campaigns — it speaks to customers,” added Quy, pointing to the more relaxed attitude that’s been sweeping through the jewelry sector.

Content from the new @ThreadsJewels platform Courtesy of Threads

“Jewelry is really fun now. We saw neons emerge a couple of seasons ago and that stayed around and pieces are styled more personally. Jewelry designers and customers now understand that everyone wears it in their own way and you can have fun with the category: You can wear it day-to-night, you can wear it with athleisure or a fancy gown. It really has become a much more universal category that people can buy into across all price points.”

The brands featured on the new Threads Jewels platform will range from the more fashion-forward fine jewelry labels — names like Eéra or Shay with entry-level price points and pieces that can be stacked and worn on an everyday basis — as well as high jewelry brands that offer one-of-a-kind items.

“Interest for those of high-value sales has really increased from the clients, that’s been a big growth area,” said Quy, adding Threads customers shop across the board and have as much appetite for investment pieces, as for more fashion-forward ones by up-and-coming labels.

In fact, new labels like Kamyen, Savollina, Vak and Sarah Ho drove 30 percent of total sales in 2020.

A series of exclusives is also in the works to celebrate the new platform’s launch, from labels like Melissa Kaye, Ananya, Emily P. Wheeler and Threads exclusive labels Kamyen and Sarah Ho.

In terms of the content that will feature on the new platform, video will play a key role, as will virtual conversations with the designers — which have proven to significantly increase engagement and increase sales. An Instagram Live with one of Threads’ new jewelry designers, Anastasia Kessaris, led to sales of over 160,000 pounds, said the company.

Content from the new @ThreadsJewels platform. Courtesy of Threads

“There’s an interactivity with video content. That covers Reels, IGTV and even just more video content, where you can really see the product shine. Fine jewelry is a complicated purchase and we want to present the product and inspire customers through their phones, so video really helps facilitate that,” said Virk, pointing to some of the platform’s first experiments with IGTV featuring a “founder to founder” conversation between jeweler Anita Ko and Threads founder Sophie Hill.

“Getting to know the person behind the jewelry and getting to understand their vision and their passion has really helped introduce clients to brands and encourage them to purchase more,” she added.


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