Nicola Ford started Haute Headquarters two years ago after noticing an unserved need in the jewelry market.
"I realized there's really a demand costume jewelry that isn't junky stuff from Chinatown," says the Houston-based Brit.
She gathered independent lines like Kenneth Jay Lane, Elizabeth Cole, Marcia Moran and other high-quality costume jewelry brands that didn't have a significant online presence for Haute Headquarters, and found success almost immediately after Kyle Richards wore a pair of Kenneth Jay Lane emerald earrings found on the site on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Ford's next step is her own line, which she is in the process of designing—"it's a little bit boho, very delicate, young, and fresh," says Ford. For fall, though, she's excited about some of the new looks and shapes that both designers and customers are falling in love with, as well as some of summer styles that have shown staying power.
1. Ear cuffs aren't going anywhere
No longer limited to the lobes, earrings started climbing all over ears earlier this year, leading to a world of new shapes and styles that shows no sign of losing popularity.
"Ear climbers and ear jackets we thought were going to phase out, but they are still popular for fall. They have outlasted the midi ring, which surprised me," says Ford.
2. Hard rocks still rule
"We're not seeing a lot of agate anymore but druzy always sells well at the holidays and Marcia Moran is the queen of druzy—it sells like wildfire, customers love it because it has that sparkle. There was a lot of lapis [lazuli] last year and a little this year, with more focus on labradorite and moonstone," says Ford.
3. Calling all collars
Fall's turn towards retro fashion includes jewelry too, in the form of structured bib or collar necklaces. "We're seeing a lot of collar necklaces—gold metal collars, a lot of them jeweled," says Ford.
4. Organic elements and shapes
"I'm seeing a lot of influence from nature—leaves and moon shapes, bamboo texture, natural elements and animal inspiration, especially lions, snakes, dragons, and elephants," says Ford.
5. Rope them in
For a necklace that captures more of a boho vibe, Ford says everyone will be falling in love with the lariat this fall. "Every single one of our designers is doing a lariat, it will be very popular for the Christmas holiday," says Ford.