Gucci Goes for Gold (and Diamonds, Too)

PARIS — Gucci’s much-touted inclusivity will not be restricted to neighborhood: It extends to merchandise, too. There is little, it appears, that the model and its artistic director, Alessandro Michele, don’t see as potential elements of their magic magpie mash-up imaginative and prescient, from sneakers to china and, as of this previous week, haute jewellery, that top-end intersection of uncommon gems and elevated workmanship.

They can go low, they will go excessive, they will go in every single place.

The model has already moved into the neighborhood. During the couture, the twice yearly gathering of the rich to view the best and most costly clothes artistic minds could make, Gucci opened a boutique on the Place Vendôme, the 17th-century sq. in central Paris referred to as the middle of the excessive jewellery universe.

And it introduced a group referred to as Hortus Deliciarum, or Garden of Delights, greater than 200 items designed by Mr. Michele, in the identical flamboyant and considerably gender-fluid type that has grow to be his runway trademark. Most of the necklaces and bracelets are assertion dimension — no fragile chains or ethereal compositions for Mr. Michele — and use the lion, tiger and snake motifs rampant in the home’s costume and tremendous jewellery collections.

But it’s the rings that dominate: Chunky hunks of yellow, white or rose gold, some twisted into snake shapes with glittering gem eyes, others forming fairly costly finger splints and some with comparatively easy settings for monumental stones (there may be one nearly 35-carat pink tourmaline that may’t be a lot smaller than 1 / 4).

Why would Gucci even need a relationship with excessive jewellery? The Kering-owned style home has a sales goal of 10 billion euros or $11.3 billion, for this year and recorded sales of €2.3 billion in the first quarter, up 20 percent year-on-year. And it repeatedly has credited much of its growth to millennials attracted by Mr. Michele’s exuberant fashion and — in particular — his accessories.

Jewelry was one of the two top luxury growth categories — the other was shoes — with sales rising 7 percent last year in both markets.

Gucci has been edging toward high jewelry for some time. In late 2017 it presented what it called a “medium-high” version of its midrange fine jewelry collection, saying that a move upward was probable in its next offering. At the time, Maurizio Pisanu, then the house’s director of jewelry merchandising, said: “The new generation is going to want a more modern jeweler.”

Modern also was the look of The Ciels of Chaumet, an 88-piece collection evoking the shapes and colors of the sky, its elements and creatures, including highly stylized swallows that, in earrings of tsavorite garnets, yellow and green sapphires and diamonds, had a sharp two-dimensional look from the house’s traditional fil couteau, or knife-edge setting.

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