Fawaz Gruosi: Interview With The CEO of de Grisogono
Posted on 11 December 2013
Daring, Dynamic, Dramatic
If you impose rules and constrictions on me I won’t be able to create.
Ever since Fawaz Gruosi founded his small, exclusive jewelry house in 1993, he has pushed boundaries, broken rules, taken risks, driving design and making scintillating waves in the rarefied world of precious jewelry. Today, his Geneva based jewelry house de Grisogono, has a devoted international clientele that embraces nobility and celebrity. 17 boutiques around the globe, and a reputation as one of the most dynamic, trailblazing creative forces in con- temporary jewelry.
It takes courage and determination to fulfill your dream. Do you think that at this point in your life you are where you want to be?
Most people would be content with where they are now. But you cannot stop there. You have got to really think about progress and where you want to be, what else you could do. After black diamonds, I came up with icy diamonds. The term “icy diamond” never existed before me. It’s a white diamond, not transparent.
How do you make gold look black?
There are several procedures to achieve that. You can see it especially with watches. In 2000 I started to do watches. I wanted to do black watches and at the time, there was no such thing. There was no black jewelry at all. And now you see all the major brands have black jewelry pieces. It’s an innovation in material design. We never do quantity; we do quality.
Are all of your jewelry pieces handcrafted?
Yes. In atelier in Paris and Geneva. 19 years ago I started with a small atelier in Paris. Four to five people maximum to work with us ex- clusively. Our staff in Geneva often frequents those shops to do quality control.The atelier in Geneva is responsible for the most complicated pieces in the collection.
Do you consider yourself an artist?
People say that but I don’t consider myself an artist at all. That’s what apparently I am. I never felt like an artist, but if you impose rules and constrictions on me I won’t be able to create.
People in the industry call you aggressive. Aggressive in your strategies and the way you’ve turned this brand into something phe- nomenal, leaving a big mark in the jewelry industry.
You have to be. I’ve started with no money and now 20 years later I have 20 shops around
the world. de Grisogono wasn’t like any other company. We had no means and investments. We just had to keep on going and going. Breaking the norms. Sometimes people ask me how I did it. Frankly, I don’t know. I followed my instincts and did what was right for the company. I had to go in the opposite direction of the industry, with the glamour and design. Otherwise de Grisogono wouldn’t be here.
Market-wise, where lies your focus? You just opened here in Miami but where else?
The focus lies in in China, India, and South America. Mainly Brazil. India is a very strange market. They sell gold by weight there not by an individual piece. Watches are much easier to sell in India.
Which is the most successful boutique you have?
The strongest market we have is in Europe. We started in Europe and it has remained strong ever since.
What do you think of e-commerce for jew- elry? Opposed to set-up boutiques?
For our company, I don’t think it’s the right way to go.With jewelry,you have got to be able to see it, touch it, wear it. Moreover, we don’t produce enough pieces. Internet commerce would work best for brands that mass produce