In 2010, the Mouawad Company was handed over to the fourth generation of Mouawads by Robert Mouawad who had inherited the company from his father and oversaw great expansion and growth. Robert’s sons, Pascal and Fred, marked the beginning of a new era for the brand, as the new guardians’ vision is to continue the rich heritage of Mouawad by maintaining the focus of haute joaillerie while also widening distribution through accessible price points in order to reach a broader customer base.
Arab News sat down with both Pascal and Fred Mouawad and talked about their future plans for the company.
“The Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse” was designed by Robert Mouawad, our father, and handcrafted by 10 highly skilled artisans working for a total of 8,800 hours. It is a unique masterpiece that incorporates 4,517 diamonds (105 yellow, 56 pink and 4,356 colorless), has a total weight of 381.92 carats and is worth $3.8 million. Guinness World Records certified it as the most expensive handbag in the world. The heart-shaped handbag takes its inspiration from one of the most epic tales of romance ever written — “One Thousand and One Nights” — and has been designed, with its lavish attention to detail and elaborate workmanship, to mesmerize and become a modern day legend.
When starting on a new Mouawad jewelry or watch collection, our design team always thinks about the persons who are going to wear the items. Our inspiration comes from various sources: From what our customers demand, to trends we see in the market and new ideas and themes we set a trend with. In the case of statement pieces, the creative process starts with the diamonds and colored gemstones that are going to be used in the jewelry. Then, we design and shape the jewelry to enhance the stones’ beauty.
Glamhouse is a separate entity from Mouawad. Glamhouse was founded by Pascal Mouawad and is a destination for fashion jewelry and accessories designed by celebrities, stylists and famous designers. Pascal, having lived in Los Angeles for almost two decades, has long cultivated strong connections with the glamorous world of Hollywood. For those artists who have joined the program, Glamhouse has given them the creative freedom to design fashion jewelry collections under their own label. The benefits for the talent are royalty payments from Glamhouse on sales and a platform from which they build their brand from the bottom up. Glamhouse, as a curator of brands, benefits from building these labels over time under a licensing arrangement.
Since we took the reins of the company in January 2010, we started introducing new boutique collections such as the Flower of Eternity, Lava, Le Coeur, Mouawad Charms, and most recently, the Diamonds Classic line. The items within these collections are made with the same level of craftsmanship as our statement masterpiece jewelry and are set with the same high-quality diamonds and color gemstones, but are offered at a more accessible price point, starting from as little as $1,000. Mouawad designers are constantly working at designing new jewelry and watches in the Boutique Collections price range. The Boutique Collections have a universally wide appeal look and enable us to reach more customers throughout our network of stores that is growing from year to year.
Both my brother and I, as fourth generation jewelers and gatekeepers of our brand, feel the fiduciary responsibility to maintain and grow the family business. We continuously think of ways to improve our operations and spend our days looking after our customers’ needs and ensuring that our team members execute the strategy we set in place. This means long hours attending meetings, answering e-mails, speaking on the telephone, reviewing reports, providing recommendations and conceiving action plans. This leaves very little room for our personal lives.
Being at the helm of a brand with such a strong and important history is at the same time both a great responsibility and opportunity. The main challenge for us is to bring the Mouawad name into the future, respecting and building on its heritage while striving to be innovative.
We had the privilege to receive the reins of the company from our father. We both have been involved in the family business since we were kids when we spent time in factories and watched our father buy diamonds and gemstones. After we graduated, we set up our own businesses, separate from the family, and it was only when our father retired in 2010, that we took on key roles. As co-guardians of the brand and members of the fourth generation to run a family business, we want to protect the Mouawad heritage and make the brand more international.
Mouawad is a brand globally renowned for its high quality, beautiful and innovative designs. We have plans to continue the legacy that the three previous generations so well built over time. We are working at expanding the presence of Mouawad in new territories through a wider network of company-owned stores and providing our existing and prospective new clients with a great customer buying experience. Currently, we are focusing on the Gulf where five new Mouawad boutiques will be opened in 2012: In Abu Dhabi, Doha, Kuwait, Jeddah and Riyadh. We see us passing the reigns of the company to the fifth generation with a company that has achieved higher heights in the jewelry luxury sector.