PRE­CIOUS HER­ITAGE

Eva Hartling on Mai­son Birks’ hol­i­day col­lec­tion and the jew­eller’s de­but in the U.K.

S/ - - CONTENTS - BY SAHAR NOORAEI

As vice pres­i­dent of Birks Brand and chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer at Birks Group Inc., Eva Hartling is sur­rounded by ex­trav­a­gant jew­els around the clock. With Birks’ re­cent en­try into the U.K. and a mile­stone 150th an­niver­sary, Hartling is ush­er­ing in a new era for the renowned Cana­dian jew­eller. Here, the Mon­trealer shares her con­nec­tion to jew­ellery and what she loves most about the hol­i­day sea­son. Why do you think shop­ping for fine jew­ellery is such an in­ti­mate ex­pe­ri­ence for many women? “Whether it’s se­lected as a sta­tus sym­bol or a fash­ion state­ment, fine jew­ellery is an in­vest­ment. It will be some­thing we hang on to longer than a dress or a pair of shoes, so we choose it care­fully. Jew­ellery also has per­sonal mean­ing. It’s the cov­eted gold bracelet we bought af­ter our first big deal or pro­mo­tion at work, or the friend­ship neck­lace we bought on va­ca­tion with our best friend.” Do you have a favourite jew­ellery mem­ory? “When I was a lit­tle girl my god­fa­ther gave me my first piece of fine jew­ellery: a small ster­ling sil­ver bear pen­dant that came in a match­ing bear jew­ellery bell. I lost the pen­dant but hung on to the bell for a long time—it was so pre­cious to me. I also in­her­ited my grand­mother’s pearl neck­laces. To her, pearls were the ul­ti­mate clas­sic jew­ellery item worn on spe­cial oc­ca­sions, and they came in vin­tage Birks boxes when they were given to me! I still think of her when I wear them.” As a her­itage brand with a rich his­tory, Birks is still a go-to for many women. Why do you think that is? “Women who come to us now ap­pre­ci­ate the trust and rep­u­ta­tion that goes along with our his­tory, but come back for our new de­signs, which are more at­tuned to their life­style and taste to­day. We de­sign with self-pur­chas­ing women in mind. As women, we may still like to re­ceive jew­ellery as gifts from the sig­nif­i­cant peo­ple in our lives but, to­day, we cer­tainly make our fash­ion and lux­ury pur­chase de­ci­sions our­selves—we know what we want.” With the hol­i­day sea­son in full swing, what are you cov­et­ing from the Re­sort 2018 col­lec­tions? “I’ve been a huge fan of Gucci’s last few col­lec­tions, and the re­cent cruise line is no ex­cep­tion. I am lov­ing the colour­ful, bo­hemian silk shirts and dresses, and the abun­dance of mo­tifs and tex­tures. Of course, their use of pearls and bees makes them clear win­ners in my mind, as those are el­e­ments we love to play with at Birks.” Where do you like to travel dur­ing hol­i­days? “I’m dream­ing of Carta­gena, Colom­bia. The coun­try has un­der­gone such de­vel­op­ment over the past few years, and Carta­gena is a thriv­ing city with an amaz­ing food scene and cul­tural life. How­ever, this Christ­mas and New Year’s I’ll be head­ing to a closer sunny des­ti­na­tion— the is­land of Hol­box, near Tu­lum in Mex­ico. I’m look­ing for­ward to down­time, re­lax­ing by the ocean with a healthy fruit smoothie, and a yoga class ev­ery morn­ing.” What are some of your favourite Birks launches this sea­son? “The re­cent ex­ten­sion to our iconic Birks Rock & Pearl col­lec­tion is one I covet; orig­i­nally in sil­ver, the new de­signs have been turned into mini ver­sions of the orig­i­nals, and they now come in 18K yel­low gold. Our new 18K gold bars and medal­lions from the Plaisirs de Birks col­lec­tion al­low for en­grav­ing—the per­fect stock­ing stuffers for friends or fam­ily.” What’s next for Birks? “We are ex­cited about our Euro­pean de­but in the U.K. It’s truly the start of our whole­sale ven­ture out­side of North Amer­ica. 2018 is also a big year for us as we will be open­ing three ren­o­vated flag­ships in Mon­treal, Toronto, and Van­cou­ver. The store ex­pe­ri­ence will be com­pletely dif­fer­ent, which will make a state­ment about the new Birks brand, and our own col­lec­tions will be cen­tre stage. We’re also wel­com­ing fan­tas­tic brands, in­clud­ing French house Chaumet (which we just in­tro­duced ex­clu­sively to North Amer­ica), Van Cleef & Ar­pels, and an ar­ray of won­der­ful lux­ury time­piece brands we carry, from Rolex to Cartier.”

Clock­wise from left:

Les Plaisirs de Birks Yel­low Gold Disk Pen­dant; Casa Las Tor­tu­gas on Isla Hol­box, Mex­ico; Gucci re­sort 2018;

Birks Rock & Pearl Gold Stud Ear­rings.

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