Jet Tale

Co-president and Head of Jewellery Design of Chopard Caroline Scheufele explains how a family business can play in the big league.萧邦联合总裁兼艺术总监卡罗琳 舍费尔剖析一个家族企业如何跻身成为世界一流品牌。珠宝权威

Jet Asia Pacific - - Contents - Writer: Joyce Yip

As the fifth highest-net-worth family business in the Swiss watch-making industry valued at Us$2.3billion, a lot of Chopard’s success stemmed from doodles and good chums. For instance, the first prototype of the brand’s now blooming high-jewellery arm came from sketches of the then 16-year-old Caroline Scheufele, Chopard’s current co-president, head of jewellery design and heir. Years later, scribbles born from what she described to be a “boring marketing meeting” resulted in the now popular Happy Hearts collection. Fast forward to 2011, an invitation from Livia Giuggioli – Colin Firth’s wife and founder of sustainability brand consultancy EcoAge – brought forth the idea of using ethically mined gold, making Chopard a leader in sustainable jewellery. It was the same year Firth won the Oscar’s Best Actor Award for his role in The King’s Speech.

Founded in 1860 by Louis-ulysse Chopard and sold to Scheufele’s father three generations later in 1963, Chopard is one of the few standalone watch and jewellery labels left in Switzerland. She and older brother Karl-friedriech now run the show, with Caroline heading up high jewellery and Karl the men’s watches. Since the siblings joined, they’ve expanded the brand to include 167 boutiques worldwide – with Hong Kong being the first overseas location; the sought-after high jewellery collection; as well as a number of global collaborations including the Cannes Film Festival, for which the Trophée Chopard was designed and, as of last year, the Rhianna Loves Chopard collection with the eponymous singer.

These stellar achievements prove that a family business like Chopard is up in the ranks with brands backed by the big conglomerates. Scheufele, in fact, attributes its success not in spite of its smaller operation, but because of it. “The big groups may not mean they’re more creative, but it definitely means they have more muscle and power. When it comes to, let’s say, finding prime locations in shopping malls, they have a head start because they can bring in four to five brands,” said the 56-year-old Scheufele. “But we have always had good relationships, especially when a family business means our clients will be dealing with a long, on-going line of CEOS rather than having someone coming and going every two to three years.” Though Scheufele’s innate creativity and passion for the arts ensured her candidacy for the job, she admits to growing up with subtle hints from her parents trying to lure her and Karl into the business. For instance, she’d spend after-school hours counting and weighing diamonds; and her piano performances at home would have an audience of none other than the head of Tiffany & Co. Aside from diversifying its portfolio with more affordable and relevant collections to convert Apple Watch-wearing millenials to Chopard, the Scheufeles’ grand goals of late have been working on a complete switch to using sustainably and ethically mined gold (Fairmined). Partnering with Alliance for Responsible Mining, the Fairmined project means the mining cooperatives receive training, new processing plants, social and environmental welfare support, proper labour conditions as well as market price for their gold. Final masterpieces are traceable to its origins; and to prove its dedication to protecting Mother Earth, Chopard absorbs the extra costs. To date, four-certified gold mines from Columbia and, as of last year, Peru, produce for Chopard an annual total of 400kg of the priceless metal, which is

responsible for all of L.U.C watches and 80 per cent of its highjewellery collections.

Chopard's environmental rainbow has expanded to include a different shade of gem every year at the Cannes Film Festival. Since 2013, Australian opal, Zambian emeralds, Batswana diamonds and tanzanite from its motherland have made their respective debuts as unique pieces gracing the necks, ears and wrists of Julianne Moore, Marion Cotillard and more in a series aptly dubbed “The Green Carpet Collection”.

“We converted to Fairmined starting from our highest-end collections, except for the Ice Cube collection designed for the millenials, because they’re the ones who are most invested in sustainability,” said Scheufele. “But for me, this was the natural next step. Luxury is not just about the brand. It’s about relating to it and falling in love with everything it stands for, the way everything was made, to be able to know where every little part came from.”

“Luxury is little piece of dream; and a dream shouldn’t spoil the earth. That’s luxury.”

作为瑞士制表业第五高净值的家族企业,萧邦市值高达23亿美元。而涂鸦和良朋好友,是其成功的一大重要因素。

例如,品牌目前流行的高级珠宝系列的第一个原型,源自萧邦现任联合总裁、艺术总监兼企业继承人卡罗琳·舍费尔在16岁时绘画的草图。多年后,在一个她形容为“无聊的营销会议”上的随手涂鸦,成为目前大受欢迎的Happy Hearts系列。转眼至2011年,在英国知名演员科林·费尔斯的妻子、兼可持续发展品牌顾问公司Eco- Age的创始人丽维亚·弗斯邀请下,品牌奠定了使用符合伦理道德准则的“公平采矿”认证黄金的想法,使萧邦成为可持续发展珠宝手表的先锋。同年,科林·费尔斯凭籍饰演《国王的演讲》一角,荣获奥斯卡最佳男主角殊荣。

萧邦品牌由路易·于利斯·萧邦于1860年创立,经历三代之后,于1963年将业务出售给卡罗琳的父亲。萧邦现时是瑞士硕果仅存的独立钟表和珠宝品牌之一。卡罗琳和哥哥卡尔·弗雷德里克现已接手生意,卡罗琳负责高级珠宝业务,卡尔则负责男士腕表。两兄妹加入之后,携手将品牌发扬光大,目前已经在全球开设167家精品店,香港是其首个进驻的海外市场;并且拥有备受追捧的高级珠宝系列;此外又开展多个全球合作项目,包括为戛纳电影节设立了“萧邦最具潜质演员奖”,并于去年与美国女歌手蕾哈娜联名设计Rhianna Loves Chopard系列。

这些杰出的成就,证明像萧邦这样的家族企业也可以出人头地,与大集团旗下的品牌一较高下。实际上,卡罗琳指其企业规模虽小,但反而是其成功的关键。

56岁的卡罗琳说道:“大集团不代表他们更有创造力,但他们当然拥有更多的资源和影响力。比如说要在购物商场寻找黄金铺位,他们会享有先决优势,因为他们可以为商场带来四到五个品牌。”

“但我们公司上下一直保持深厚的关系,尤其因为是家族企业的关系,首席执行官一职代代相传,不会每两三年就改朝换代。”

虽然卡罗琳的创造天赋和对艺术的热情,让她成为理想 的继任人选,但她承认,她的父母从小就一直有意无意地的试图引导她和卡尔加入企业,例如,她的课余活动是计算和称重钻石;而她在家里的钢琴表演,听众居然包括蒂凡尼的主管。

除了推出更多实惠和相关的多元化作品系列,吸引喜欢苹果手表的千禧世代成为萧邦的粉丝外,品牌最近的雄图大计,是彻底改用可持续发展和符合伦理道德准则的“公平采矿”认证黄金。

萧邦与南美非政府组织责任采矿联盟携手,为人工采矿合作商提供人员培训、设立新加工工厂、支持对社会和环境有益的建设、确保适当的劳动条件和以市场价格购买他们的黄金。最终成品可追溯原材料和开采地,并证明其所用黄金来源于负责任的矿源,而萧邦会承担额外的成本。

截至去年为止,哥伦比亚和秘鲁有四个获认证的金矿,每年为萧邦生产共400公斤的“公平采矿”认证黄金,用来制作所有L.U.C系列腕表,和80%的高级珠宝系列。

萧邦不断拓展其环保作品,从2013年起,于每年的戛纳电影节上,推出用不同宝石打造而成的新珠宝。来自可持续发展矿场的澳大利亚蛋白石、赞比亚祖母绿、博茨瓦纳钻石、和坦桑石逐一登场,制作成各款独特的精品,称为Green Carpet绿地毯高级珠宝系列,配戴在朱丽安·摩尔、玛丽昂·歌迪亚等人的脖子、耳朵和手腕上更显璀璨耀目。

卡罗琳表示:“我们是从最高端系列开始逐渐转用‘公平采矿’认证黄金,而为千禧一代而设计的Ice Cube系列是一个例外,因为他们是最支持可持续发展的一群。但对我来说,这是自然而然的下一步。奢侈品不仅在于品牌,而是在于与它产生共鸣并爱上它所代表的一切,以及在于其产品的生产方式,并要能够知道产品每一小部分的来源。”

“奢侈品是一个小小的梦想,而梦想是不应该破坏地球的。这才是真正的奢侈品。”

Caroline Scheufele 卡罗琳·舍费尔

Making of Green Carpet Collection earrings 打造绿地毯高级珠宝系列

Marion Cottilard wearing Fairmined earrings玛丽昂·歌迪亚配戴“公平采矿”认证黄金打造的耳环

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