Case Studies

 

  • Van Cleef & Arpels @20 Place Vendome – Exhibition of 70’s pieces
  • Boucheron & Kering
  • DeBeers
  • Ghurka
  • Vintage India Jewlery
  • Bulgari
  • TEFAF

“It’s not that surprising, but I think one of the most important things is desirability, not just in terms of millennials but for everyone,” Mr. Fraser said. “One of my greatest challenges when I first joined was that there was this history and tradition of the brand’s story that needs to be told, but sometimes what comes with that is ‘old and stodgy, that’s my grandfather’s drink.’

“Telling that story today is quite difficult but we really need to bring it to life,” he said.

  • Van Cleef & Arpels @20 Place Vendome – Exhibition of 70’s pieces

Heritage brands have been successful for decades or centuries because within the heritage is a history of innovation around a core group of principles. While touting history could suggest to younger consumers that a brand is “old and stodgy” or the brand of their grandparents, focusing on innovating with products that appeal to today’s consumers will let the puzzle pieces fall into place.

When telling a heritage story, brands must remember to keep the history on the present. The goal is not to sell consumers on a past success but rather on a tradition of quality still visible today.

For Van Cleef & Arpels, a museum exhibition must build a bridge between past and present.

“We go to a museum, we organize an exhibition, but the whole point is to prove craftsmanship is a living art and it doesn’t stay stuck in time,” said Alain Bernard, president and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels Americas. “Many people, many brands organize exhibitions in museums where they show pieces without any connection to what’s happening now.

“We need that heritage – the branches of a tree are never longer than the roots, so you need to have strong, deep, long roots before branching out – but the whole point of the exhibition is to show the evolution,” he said. “What we do today, what we do everyday, is inspired by what we have done before, and the exhibition shows that.”

  • Boucheron

“I give the past a creative twist to make it contemporary, which creates the emotion”.

The keeper of archives at Boucheron Place Vendome points out the bridge between past and present inspiring themselves by nature, architecture and couture.

Set up in 1921 by Louis Boucheron, the archives are an integral part of the maison, a source of pride in its past and an inspiration for new creations. Many pieces are rare – several for this display have been borrowed, for example from Japan’s Albion Art jewellery institute and from the personal collection of Alain Boucheron, great grandson of Frédéric. Although four or five pieces are bought for the historical collection every year, it’s becoming harder to acquire older items. The ‘glory years’ of Frédéric Boucheron, end of the second Empire to the early Third Republic years of 1870-1902, and his son Louis Boucheron, the Art nouveau and Art-Deco years of 1902-1940, are better represented. But “There’s increasing competition from museums – the Decorative Arts museum [in Paris] has a few pieces – and from collectors and antique dealers in the US and Japan, who buy at auction,” says Claudine Sablier.

  • De Beers

 

Diamonds might be forever, but their ownership is not. Death, divorce and financial distress can all part an owner from the precious stones. And if that happens, De Beers is now ready to step in.

“There are situations where people need to sell — and if they need cash they have not had many options,” said Tom Montgomery, De Beers’ senior vice-president for strategic initiatives.

“It becomes an issue because it might impact customers’ desire to purchase more diamonds in the future. We are trying to improve the customer experience — we want people to feel confident that the diamonds they have are a store of value.”

Buyers of old diamonds also tend to value stones without taking them from the jewellery in which they are set, which leads to lower prices to compensate for any hidden flaws in the gems.

Des Kilalea, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets in London, said De Beers, owned by Anglo American, believed the low second-hand prices hit the image of diamonds. “If this programme leads to better understanding of value and better resale prices, it will be helpful to prices of polished diamonds,” he said.

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  • Ghurka

There’s something romantic about travel. Perhaps that’s why, rather than resort to sweats and backpacks, many of the stylish set are known to up the ante on their outfits and accessories before jetting off. Indeed, an elegant suitcase or carryon can instantly make an economy seat feel like first class—a reputation that Ghurka, the luxury leather goods company, has achieved over the years. It should come as no surprise, then, that the brand would be synonymous with lux excursions, as it essentially originated from one.

After a bidding war with a gentleman whose family tanned the leather goods that were up for auction, Hodgson formed a friendship with the retired tanner, learned his technique, and eventually brought it to the United States. “A couple of years later, Marley launched Ghurka with seven styles inspired by that bag,” says Bristow.

 Now, 40 years later, Ghurka has expanded, offering a plethora of finely crafted accessories that fundamentally keeps to the same aesthetic. When most create “It” items and succumb to trends, Ghurka remains resilient, focusing on creating pieces that will stand the test of time.

Consistency is part and parcel for Ghurka, so when they introduced a fine jewelry collection this year, they made sure that it captured the brand’s elegant, sporting vibe. The nine, one-of-a-kind necklaces are done in a variety of precious and semi-precious stones, mother of pearl and 19th century gold fill. They are certainly charming and look as if they if they were found in estate sale, which is perhaps a testament to the brand’s origins. As Bristow explains: “These beautiful pieces are, like our bags, one hundred percent handcrafted using only authentic vintage Victorian fobs and pendants—no two pieces are alike.”

Overall, the fine jewelry collection is a perfect companion to Ghurka’s refined selection of carryalls and travel accouterments, and will surely make any flight—and any situation for that matter—feel that much more luxurious.

 

    • Vintage Indian Jewlery: 

 

“Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” made famous by Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Indian jewelry has been gaining traction in the United States, both at institutions and on the red carpet. The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York recently exhibited Treasures from India: Jewels from the Al-Thani Collection, which features sixty prized pieces from the private collection of Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani. Highlights included a number of sarpesh, or turban ornaments, originating from North and South India. Produced during the 19th century, the pieces are crafted with gold and set with diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and spinels, a deep blue and red colored gemstone that was long mistaken for rubies until the late 16th century.

Also featured in the Al-Thani collection exhibit are examples of Indian jewelry’s influence on the West. Not only in style, although the exotic, spontaneous effect of Indian jewelry has inspired countless Western designers. Jewelry also played a role in navigating the tempestuous waters of world politics.

One does not have to travel to India to find a well-crafted vintage piece. Jewelry auctions, like those at Auctionata, offer one-of-a-kind finds at accessible prices.

“The quality of gold and precious gems, the cut of stones, and technique of stone setting, the enamel work, are all significant in determining the quality of a piece of Indian jewelry,”

In the 1950s, Bulgari debuted its colored gems revolution, energizing its creations with the jubilant shades of Italy that show a passion for life in audacious juxtapositions of various stones.

Bulgari, the master of colored gemstones and voluptuous proportions, calls its new high jewelry collection “The Magnificent Inspirations”, symbolic of its deep and lifelong love for Italy, as witnessed in its never-ending attempts to connect its work with its Roman and Italian roots. Divided into three distinct chapters – Italian Extravaganza, Mediterranean Eden and Roman Heritage – this new collection sparkles with Roman elegance and Italian glamor, translated into the Maison’s signature style of multihued gemstone combinations, geometrical shapes, daring volumes, mix of precious, semi-precious and hard stones, strong character, sensuality and suppleness, which reflect the country’s colors, light, boldness and romanticism.

Bulgari’s Jewelry Creative Director Lucia Silvestri has designed her creations to be highly tactile and engage all five senses at once, encouraging the Bulgari woman to play with her jewels as they are soft to touch and to listen to the sound that they make as the large gems knock against each other.

  • TEFAF

The European Fine Art Fair, held in Maastricht, Netherlands is starting welcoming few jewelry brands that has long history in jewelry making and satisfying clients with their sparkles.

Among them, the father and son team of Ward and Nico Landrigan, who successfully revived the Verdura brand and is now doing the same for Belperron, is a first-time exhibitor at TEFAF, bringing new jewels recreated from original drawings and original vintage jewelry highlighting each house’s signature design.

Alexandre Reza is among the luckiest French jeweler showcasing new pieces revivals from old archives.

Hemmerle is previewing The [AL] Project; a new series of 15 jewels (earrings and a brooch) exploring the unique properties of aluminum through innovative design and fine craftsmanship.

The self-taught German goldsmith, Otto Jakob will be bringing a number of his unique Renaissance-inspired pieces made of rare and natural materials.

Van Cleef & Arpels and Chopard are among the famous brands bringing to life new collection of their fine jewelry collection.

The British firm Hancocks will bring 88 pieces to the fair, including the “highly collectible” diamond ribbon necklace, circa 1960, by French jeweller Pierre Sterlé.

The French antique jewelry specialist, Véronique Bamps, will have a display of her own group of highly collectible jewels for the event.

References

EMILY FARRA, APRIL 15, 2016 5:13 PM. Diamonds in the Rough: 3 Sources for Sustainable, Responsibly Made Jewelry. [online ] Available at: http://www.vogue.com/article/sustainable-jewelry-designers-bario-neal-vrai-oro-selin-kent. [Accessed 08-02-2017].

Caroline Tell, April 14, 2008. In Trying Times, Costume Jewelry Back in Vogue. [online ] Available at: http://wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-features/in-trying-times-costume-jewelry-back-in-vogue-457972/. [Accessed 08-02-2017].

De Beers Group, 2016 DIAMOND INDUSTRY OUTLOOK. [online ] Available at: http://www.debeersgroup.com/en/reports/insight/insight-reports/insight-report-2016/outlook.html#Trends. [Accessed 08-02-2017].

Olivia Clarke, August 04, 2016. FIND THE MEGATREND: 2017 JEWELLERY FORECAST. [online ] Available at: http://www.jewellermagazine.com/Article.aspx?id=6885&h=Find-the-megatrend-2017-jewellery-forecast. [Accessed 08-02-2017].

James Wilson, March 20 2016. De Beers goes into second-hand diamond market. [online ] Available at: https://www.ft.com/content/ef89b6a8-ed02-11e5-888e-2eadd5fbc4a4. [Accessed 08-02-2017].

Barry Samaha, MAR 25, 2015 @ 09:34 AM. Ghurka Launches A Vintage Jewelry Collection. [online ] Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/barrysamaha/2015/03/25/ghurka-launches-their-vintage-jewelry-collection/#35189d161ad7. [Accessed 08-02-2017].

http://29vendome.com/fr/Van-Cleef-Arpels-et-les-annees-1970-Une-exposition-au-20-place-Vendome-a-Paris-jusqu-au-1er-mars-2017-No_193.htm

FORREST CARDAMENIS, April 1, 2016. Heritage brands must amplify tradition of innovation to reach today’s consumer. [online ] Available at: https://www.luxurydaily.com/heritage-brands-must-amplify-tradition-of-innovation-to-reach-todays-consumer/. [Accessed 08-02-2017].

https://www.forbes.com/sites/barrysamaha/2015/03/25/ghurka-launches-their-vintage-jewelry-collection/#59f7f486403b

https://www.forbes.com/sites/katherinepalmiter/2015/03/05/vintage-indian-jewelry-red-carpet-style/#78c82ecd5504

https://www.forbes.com/sites/yjeanmundelsalle/2016/11/07/inspired-by-its-homeland-bulgaris-latest-high-jewelry-collection-sparkles-with-roman-elegance/#712694fd49d6

https://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonydemarco/2016/03/07/tefaf-art-fair-to-include-contemporary-and-vintage-high-jewelry/#74d6a1283bc6

http://www.kering.com/en/magazine/inspiring-records

http://www.kering.com/en/magazine/brilliant-biennale

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