Since its U.S. launch, the jewelry brand Serge DeNimes, under the creative direction of former ‘Made In Chelsea’ star Proudlock, has experienced a significant growth, with its designs catching the attention of celebrities like Harry Styles and Lewis Hamilton. A testament to the brand’s growth includes the use of thoughtful retail technology, the shifting perception of men’s jewelry as a vital aspect of fashion, and the company’s ambitious plans for further global development.
Former UK Made In Chelsea star Proudlock is creative director and founder of the brand and oversees four new collections a year including the new Seven Wonders pieces. He has benefited from the popularity of ‘kidult’ jewelry with style icons such as singer Styles celebrating nostalgia with beaded designs reminiscent of their childhood.
Cultural Innovations in Jewelry
Proudlock, 34, who studied fine art at university and started Serge in 2011 before joining the E4 series, said: “We are very grateful to stars such as Lewis Hamilton who wears Serge jewelry so beautifully and has made such a powerful fashion statement with his heavily ringed fingers and stylish accessorizing with silver.
“Other stars such as Harry Styles, Shawn Mendes and Frankie Ocean wear their jewelry with pride and have inspired growing numbers of men to try new Serge pieces.“Male jewelry was once seen as an afterthought like a hat or watch but now it is making the whole outfit.
“Men are increasingly using accessories as a really powerful way to communicate and we are delighted to be at the forefront of that trend. That truly genderless feel in fashion – where partners can share what they like to wear – has been massive for us. We are not just a men’s brand and have increasing numbers of female customers. Men’s pinky rings are the same size as most women’s middle fingers.”
Why Silver For All Pieces?
He explained: “Phrases such as worth its weight in gold or silver have stood the test of time for a very good reason and quality runs through everything we do.
“We work incredibly hard to stay abreast of new trends and launch four new collections a year. We are so proud of the new Seven Wonders pieces which take a step back in time to reconnect with the ancient wonders that continue to shape contemporary art.”
Serge DeNimes staged a successful pop-up in New York two years ago and last October the brand launched its own US website and warehousing so it could ship directly to US customers.
It is now stocked in the US by retail giants such as Macey’s – Bloomingdale’s – and overall US sales have shot up.
“Growth in America has been astronomical,” said Proudlock. “There has been a huge push and we have new stockists on the East and West coasts as well as Canada.” The plan is to roll out further websites and warehousing in Australia, Asia and throughout Europe. Stockists are growing in the UK including Selfridge’s, Liberty and Urban Outfitters and, while the brand is wholly self-funded, it may seek investment in the future to drive this global expansion.
The Role of Technology
A key part of its success has been bringing in retail operating specialists Inventory Planner, whose software has improved Serge’s online performance and ensured it is not left with excess stock. Proudlock said: “We have found Inventory Planner has been really useful in helping us to manage our stock better. “Far more of what we are buying is sold and only limited numbers are going into sale. “It makes the brand more profitable and makes us much more sustainable because there is so little wastage.
“We use this software to be bigger globally. One of our biggest struggles before we started using Inventory Planner was keeping a close handle on stock throughout the seasons.
“We stock 480 products and the team were trying to keep abreast of them all line by line and we found we were gambling too much on what we thought would work, rather than using the sales data to drive our decisions.
“We went into sales too much and it was devaluing the brand. We have been able to avoid those mistakes with better stock control, and that is all down to Inventory Planner.
“It has helped us to be more smart with money and not have stock tied up needlessly.”
The Growth of Serge DeNimes
Serge has six members of staff and is based in Colchester in Essex. Serge DeNimes managing director Samuel Darcy explains more about the success of the brand on the Lightning 50 E-Commerce Growth Hacking Podcast – a business podcast from Brightpearl by Sage.
He told the L50 podcast: “I joined seven years ago when we were transitioning from apparel into men’s jewelry.” When we started there were not many competitors and now there are dozens which is a good judge of our success. “That shift to where an accessory such as jewelry can be the defining part of a man’s outfit – the statement item and inspired by the likes of Harry Styles and Pharrell Williams – has been massive for us.”
Darcy said that using Inventory Planner had been a big help to the business, adding: “It helps me to zero in on new ranges and understand better what we need to do to maximize sales.
“It has also been a life saver in allowing us to stop recording all our sales in spreadsheets. I don’t think I could sleep if I had to go back to those days.*
Hear more from Serge DeNimes managing director Samuel Darcy on Lightning 50 E-Commerce Growth Hacking Podcast – a business podcast from Brightpearl by Sage.