From jewellers to the Queen of England, to the purveyor of precious pieces to the rock and roll glitterati, British-born Garrard has become the brand of the zeitgeist. Traditional yet irreverent, stark and intense, their collections span the decades, the generations and the Continents. Luxos speaks to Garrard CEO Terri Eagle to find out more.
Garrard is the world’s oldest jewellery house, founded in 1722 by George Wickes, a master goldsmith who received his first royal commission just over a decade later. By the turn of the century, the company had passed into the hands of Robert Garrard and was known widely as the ‘it’ brand for royals and socialites. Those original designs, with their hallmark precision, still exist in some form, carved into the very fabric of their identity. Garrard are passionate about the heritage that continues to breathe life into their modern successes.
Here in the Middle East, they took their first tentative step into what is widely seen as a treasure trove for jewellers, when they launched as part of the Azal multi-brand store in 2004. Witnessing the great love that the Arabic populous have for jewellery they opened their first standalone flagship store in January of this year. It is a decadent, crimson boutique within the city’s opulent Dubai Mall that will display their finest collections including contemporary classics, Wings and Hummingbird designed by Georgina Skan.
President and CEO of Garrard, Terri Eagle, is championing this bold move as an exciting development. “Dubai is a burgeoning market and we at Garrard are confident of capturing a large share of this sophisticated international clientele.”
The new location has become home to several important stones and custom-designed oneof-a-kind bespoke pieces, perfectly attuned to the extravagant tastes of local customers. That said, the boutique is a haven to the ritual elements that are the cornerstone of Garrard’s global success. “As a company that seamlessly balances their rich heritage with compellingly modern pieces, the new Dubai store reflects this design philosophy to perfection,” says Terri.
Garrard have taken the inspiration for their new presence from the London flagship in Albemarle Street. “This latest store combines cutting edge design features with the traditions and idioms of its distinctly British heritage,” Terri explains. “Furnished with beautiful fabrics in the brand’s signature raspberry red, the entrance is marked by a floor to ceiling, red velvet curtain and the walls are finished in raspberry silk to offset the custom-designed display cabinets to enhance the natural beauty of the jewellery.” Garrard’s obvious star quality is evident from their many celebrity devotees, sparkling out from the pages of every fashion and gossip magazine. Their current vogue is partly attributed to the engagement of high profile creatives such as Jade Jagger, Marchesa’s Georgina Chapman who has designed an exclusive collection for Autumn 2009 and most recently, Hollywood jeweller Stephen Webster.
“I have always admired Stephen’s exquisite talent and passion for jewelry design and craftsmanship,” Terri explained of the jewellery industry’s man-of-the-moment. “The global expansion of his own brand has been tremendously successful and Garrard is thrilled to have such an achieved designer on board.”
Stephen has been no less enthusiastic about merging his talents with the legendary brand. “This is a unique opportunity for me to further develop my creative talent and contribute to the success of the world’s oldest luxury jewelry house,” said Webster. “I look forward to working with Garrard’s talented design team while bringing new inspiration to the iconic brand.”
Well, with that in mind, we can only wait with the requisite bated-breath for their first joint collection to hit Dubai’s new Garrard store. And if history is anything to go by, it will besold-out in seconds.
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