• At the CES Technology conference, Swarovski launched their new Swarovski Shine collection. For this specific collection, Swarovski partnered up with known wearable tech company Misfit. With this release, Swarovski combines two big accessory trends; the wearable tech trend and the longer established jewelry customization trend. The collection features an activity tracking crystal (that measures sleep quality, steps, calories burned etc.) and allows you to combine it with their jewelry. The jewelry, bracelets and necklaces, are reinterpretations of well known Swarovski bestsellers (Slake bracelet, Vio pendant) plus pieces specifically designed for the Shine collection. One of the nine compatible pieces would be a sleek sportsband for working out if bling isn’t exactly your thing. You’re then able to sync wirelessly and read your stats by placing your crystal on your smartphone with the accompanying app. Any time of the day a simple tap of the finger will reveal the time and the status of your currenct activity.

Shine differs from other activity trackers in the simple fact that it’s more jewelry design focused compared to other activity trackers. If you wouldn’t happen to know this specific brand of activity tracker, you would just assume it was a beautiful piece of jewelry. APAC product marketing senior vice president Joan Ng explained “Observing the high tech market, we felt the opportunity to inject an esthetic added-value that would turn useful products into on-trend accessories”. Another refreshing difference is the fact that it’s the first activity tracker that doesn’t come in the clichéd colors we associate with sportsbling. I’m a child from the eighties so I love my neons ;-) , but this is a truly refreshing change. But the biggest innovation has to be the solar powered technology behind the activity tracker. Quoting the Misfit blog the collection includes “Two new, fully waterproof wearables: 1) a clear Swarovski Shine with a brilliant crystal face and 2.) a violet Swarovski Shine which uses a patented “energy crystal” technology to power itself. This is the world’s first wireless activity and sleep monitor that utilizes an energy harvesting technology to enable it to never require charging or replacing of batteries. Simply expose the violet Swarovski Shine to light to keep it charged.”

My favorites are the the Cardoon wristband and the pendants. I haven’t personally tested the usability, but if the usability measures up with the design, I’m quite positive Swarovski and Misfit have a hit. In Europe we will have to wait a bit for Swarovski Shine to become available in stores, but in the USA and China it will be available in select stores in late march. It’s available for pre-order and shipping will proceed in march. Prices start at $99. Later this year, the violet solar powered crystal will be released. Don’t forget to check out the video!

  •  Danish jeweller Pandora continues to expand its jewelry chain in Germany by acquiring 78 store lease holds in favourable locations. Since 2011 they’ve been focusing their retail network in Germany more on its branded concept stores instead of selling via jewellery stores. Germany is one of Pandora’s core markets and with this strategic deal they consolidate their position in one of Europe’s biggest jewelry markets (valued at 3,9 billion Euros/4,3 billion US dollars).
  • Van Cleef & Arpels continues to explore the cosmos and released Sparkles of Luck. The microsite allows its visitors to send a new year’s wish written in the stars to their loved ones.  Not only does the site draw attention to the Poetic Astronomy watch collection, it also makes the smart marketing move to interact with its costumers on a personal level. In my opinion, Van Cleef & Arpels’ middle name is Poetic, and this microsite adds a wonderful whimsical and imaginative touch to their brand.
  • khai khai jewelryEvery Dutch person has a special place in its heart for kale but worldwide, kale couldn’t reserve a special place in many hearts. Kale used to be the basic bitch of vegetables but ever since the health food blogging community embraced the brassica cultivar, the superhealthy leafy green has had an image makeover.  If you still doubted its popularity, Beyoncé sealed the deal by wearing the popular Whole Foods Kale sweatshirt in her 7/11 video. It’s no longer a simple vegetable; it has become an icon, a hipster statement and a meme. Move over Dude, there’s a new cult hero in town.

Kale’s popularity inspired not only many kale adepts, some people even went as far as naming their child Kale. The name has actually risen in popularity since 2005. I’ve been munching on kale chips with a passion for quite some time now (some even call it Kale Krack), but I must admit, I can’t really imagine naming my kid Kale. Can you even imagine the same with other vegetables? “Oh Swiss Chard,  come here my daaahling” ;-) . Uh no!

Anyway, I digress, you no longer have to rely on Kale chips or kale sweatshirts to satisfy your kale needs, you can now wear a little kale around your neck. Khai Khai jewelry, a jewelry line founded by Haim Medine (the brother from arm party loving The Man Repeller), now offers this kale necklace. Also check out the Digitally Inspired collection, if you want to score some hash tag earrings. Because you know, you better come  prepared for the next meme dude!