Caroline Scheufele, Co-President and Artistic Director of Chopard talks about the the partnership of the House of Chopard and the Cannes Film Festival that started 15 years ago. She explains some of the challenges Chopard has to face to keep on going successfully.
The jewellery industry is using and testing new material in jewellery such as rubber, titanium, steel, wood carbon fibers to name few, is the House of Chopard considering using them in haute jewellery in the future?
As a matter of fact at Chopard we have already included many new materials in our jewelry. For the Red Carpet collection in 2010 we had made a sapphire flower set of necklace and earrings using titanium. Our new Precious Temptations collection has been based on using many precious multicolored stones such as rubellites, amethysts, Paraiba tourmalines and topaz.
14 years ago Chopard became the Official Partner of the Cannes Film Festival and at another level you have a strong association with world-renowned supermodels and celebrities. How is this association paying dividends for the House of Chopard?
Chopard has been the official partner with the Cannes Film Festival since 1998. Since then, I redesigned the Palme d’Or and we manufacture it every year in our workshops. Each year, we hold a Chopard event called the Chopard Trophy in which we choose two young upcoming actor and actress who are awarded the Chopard Trophy. This year it was Ezra Miller and Shailene Woodley. The award was presented by Sean Penn on May 17th. Then we always host a traditional Chopard party, and we support the the AmFAR for many years….The atmosphere is simply dazzling and glamorous, in a sense that it creates a buzz attracting people from every stance of life in every corner of the world. This element in itself is the attention that Chopard receives naturally from being so linked to the film festival. The red Carpet in itself is an eye catcher for all especially when the fabulous Penelope Cruz, Eva Herzigova, Jane Fonda or Uma Thurman wears a Red Carpet collection piece, it creates a great focus of attention on our jewellery.
Chopard has unveiled an exceptional series of 25 unpublished photographs of Marilyn Monroe and a tribute jewellery creation, how does the star influence you?
Marilyn is an icon in her own exclusive way; she was the girl next door with exceptional beauty yet simplicity. She had the grace of a woman yet withholding the innocence of a young girl. She excelled at whatever she did, in a way that made her name hold till way after she passed away. The piece I created in her remembrance is one of classical elegance with a twist…it is made of beautiful diamonds, one of the favorite stones of Marilyn.
The House of Chopard is world renowned for its distinctive ‘jeweled watches’. How are you able to reconcile watches and jewellery into one unit and into one identity?
Whether a watch or a piece of jewelry, both require extreme detail and precision in their making. The watch has become in a way the symbol of one’s identity and character. Those who value watches and their complication understand the sophistication that goes into the creation of this piece, so why not embellish that piece even more with diamonds or other precious gems, such as we did with the Imperiale Tourbillon which was presented in Basel this year.
How much importance do you place in the Middle East for the brand?
Chopard has its own place in the Middle East as we have for a long time a faithful clientele in the Middle East. The Middle Eastern clientele is one that seeks exceptional quality, taste, and have the essence of the `savoir vivre` by enjoying the fine luxuries. Therefore we have a strong presence in The Middle East. Between the openings of the new boutique in Bahrain earlier this year and the relooking of our Dubai boutique in the Mall of Emirates, as well as the one in Kuwait, Chopard remains busy in the region.
Do you anticipate launching a new collection specific collection or designs dedicated to the Middle East?
Ideas are always flowing so everything is a possibility.
What is your take on independent; family-owned companies such as yours vis-à-vis the large luxury conglomerates?
Independence is key to our success. As a family we make our own decisions of expansion and growth. We take small steps according to the times we live in without having to respond to outside pressures. Our expansion rate grows slowly but surely according to our own targets.
You have steadfastly shielded your independence over the century and decades. Are you going to continue to maintain your independence and are you contemplating takeovers / acquisitions in the future?
Chopard hopefully will always maintain its independence for now.
In your opinion what are the current and future challenges that Chopard is /and will be facing?
The challenge one faces is to keep up with this young fast generation that requires acquiring the object instantly. Another challenge is to keep being creative, and maintaining our high level of quality of our products to propose always new interesting creations to our customers.