Sales are booming at Oliver Proudlock’s male jewellery brand Serge DeNimes following a successful American launch.
Jewellery loving stars such as Harry Styles and Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton are inspiring a new generation of men to accessorise with rings, bracelets and chains.
Former 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.
Sales rose by 20% from £2 million in 2021 to £2.4 million in 2022.
Based on its consistent levels of growth over the last 12 years and the big push in the States, sales are projected to hit £4 million this year and more than £6 million in 2024.
Serge has benefited from the popularity of ‘kidult’ jewellery with style icons such as singer Styles celebrating nostalgia with beaded designs reminiscent of their childhood.
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 jewellery so beautifully and has made such a powerful fashion statement with his heavily ringed fingers and stylish accessorising with silver.
“Other stars such as Harry Styles, Shawn Mendes and Frankie Ocean wear their jewellery with pride and have inspired growing numbers of men to try new Serge pieces.
“Jewellery 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.”
Proudlock uses silver for all the Serge 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.
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.”
Old Etonian Proudlock first joined Made In Chelsea in the second series and stayed till the 9th season.
He has made occasional appearances since then while concentrating on his business career and role as a key fashion influencer.
He married his long-time girlfriend Emma Louise Connolly, 31, two years ago and their baby daughter Bonnie celebrated her first birthday this month.
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 jewellery.
“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 jewellery 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 maximise 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!”
* Serge DeNimes managing director Samuel Darcy talks about the success of the brand on the Lightning 50 E-Commerce Growth Hacking Podcast.