Anynonym X – ex Comite Colbert, currently at Collector Square
Place Vendome’s jewelry houses have been around for a while now. How do the houses still remain in trend?
They are old but they may not be dated. The client still comes to jewelry houses to still have the same perfect service they have every time a client comes into the store. When a client walks into Mellerio’s jewelry house, people love their welcoming salon, their Wonderfull jazz music and incredible presentation of the pieces. They may be appreciated by meeting the CEO himself.
How to Place Vendome’s jewelry houses keep recreating the magic throughout the years?
A house is there for that long for a reason. Their work is a work of art and certainly was before. Each piece was studied carefully to be sold that many items. People trusts are the will they try to achieve. Archiving their designs is best when you need them back for something. Designers can use them and get access to every client’s file. It is a way to gain inspiration and not do the same thing twice. To be special is their achievable.
In your opinion, what are the main values (material & immaterial) of a branded jewelry piece?
It is not anymore about the product, it is more than this: it is the experience the jewelry brings you. It is as if you had a toy for a long time, you have an attachment to it. Memories are brought up to it. Well, it is the same with jewelry but the only difference is that it took a while to choose this product and it “suppose to” never old. Also, the brand counts a lot nowadays. Due to their success or their heritage or even their branding, the customer chooses a brand versus another one and this is not only for jewelry. Brands compete with prices, branding, and storytelling. It tries to win customers over that and that increases the price or decreases it.
The label made in France has been known for its prime workmanship in jewelry for over a decade. How do you deal with the rise of made in Asia label?
We do work with Asia. We recently welcomed the house of Queelin and even it is owned by a European conglomerate, French its origin. This blend of cultures is successful and was successful when made in Italy came into competition with French-made. We partnered with them as they do better at something that we don’t. We shared their strengths and built successful brands each special. Van Cleef is a French brand but may have the best Swiss watchmakers or jade carving directly from China.
The Internet has been around for years now, and it is influencing how people purchase luxury pieces. Do luxury brands take the internet as a potential threat to the antique jewelry market or an opportunity?
The Internet is a good platform but may not just be the apocalypse. The Internet needs to be incorporated within the company but acknowledging that internet has limitations. The visit to a store is just incredibly better when you are actually in Place Vendome, not on Google maps. You ever preferred getting information from Wikipedia than just asking a staff professional from the jewelry house? I doubt it. The Internet is good to communicate, to sell maybe but never to get the experience out of a specific product. Can you hold a Gucci bag virtually, smell the pure leather, from a Hermes bag, smell a perfect Givenchy perfume?
Do most jewelers value after-sale services? If yes, how do they do?
Customers do want to change. But the question is that can they? Can customers come back to the jewelry house and get new jewelry out of your old “junk”. Well now, no, they can’t and that will slow down the cycle of a jewelry house. Customers won’t get the full experience, from 0 to 200%. Now, Cartier pioneers with cleaning the old jewelry but imagine if get a whole car polish on your jewelry. Would that be nice to change some things in your jewelry? Customize it to your wearings? Get a fresh start and get it back in trend? That is a lot of investment but would it be worth it?