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Guys must be getting tougher When it comes to dressing up with sterling silver jewelry and watches, men are no longer afraid, say suppliers. The results are rising sales and a new market for jewelry retailers.
The market for men's sterling silver jewelry and watches is a niche worth scratching. It's a small segment, but it's growing quickly. In fact, most silver jewelry producers report annual double-digit growth in recent years. They expect that to continue for the foreseeable future and are expanding their offerings in men's accessories and watches.
"Year by year, in the past few years, men have been opening up to jewelry, accessories, and watches," says Robert Elizondo, founder and head of Eclissi Sterling Silver. "When any segment of population discovers something new like they have this, you should go for it. This is a growth area."
Veteran designer Kerry MacBride, for example, has seen his men's jewelry business grow at least 50% annually over the past few years. Alejandro Toussier, whose men's jewelry accounts for 15% of his business, sees upcoming annual gains of at least 10%, while fellow designer David Yurman has seen his men's business grow to 10% of total sales, or some $20 million annually. "We're one of the largest brands for ladies in the world, but our men's silver jewelry business is growing faster," Yurman says. "Last year it grew 120%, and we expect to grow another 100% in the next iwo years." Even at John Hardy, where men's jewelry accounts for only about 4% of business, growth has averaged more than 60% annually over the past couple of years, according to Laura Brown, vice president of sales and marketing.
The market's potential is so strong that some designers, including MacBride and Linda Hesh, have switched to designing exclusively for men. Hardy's …