Cover Hélène Poulit-Duquesne, CEO of Boucheron

The CEO of Boucheron on the future of the high jewellery house, embracing chaos and finding new opportunities

How has the past year been for Boucheron?

We’ve had to rethink pretty much everything. Since the beginning of 2020, we’ve adapted to a new way of doing business. Before the pandemic, luxury businesses were highly concentrated on tourism.

What lessons have you learnt in the last year?

Adapting to new circumstances has made us very agile and creative, and we invented new ways of doing business that will still be relevant even when the pandemic is over. We become stronger in difficult times and it’s very important to be able to see the positive side of things.

Are we changing the way we buy jewellery?

People haven’t had as many chances to wear jewellery, because we’ve all been staying in, but we’ll never throw away jewellery because it’ll always be valuable. Jewellery is a good investment and that’s the reason why this product category is resilient during a crisis.

What jewellery should we be buying?

We’re pushing the everyday pieces—there’s a demand for them, and they are a key part of our collections. The first thing I briefed the team was to develop colourful, small pieces that you can stack—jewellery that is cheerful and playful.

Tell us more about the high jewellery collection, Histoire de Style, Art Déco.

Boucheron is associated with art nouveau rather than art deco. But in our patrimony, our best archival works are done in an art deco style. I wanted to show that we are also very strong in art deco. In fact, Boucheron was prized above many other jewellery brands in the art deco era and won many awards for pieces it showcased in the 1925 Paris World’s Fair.

The collection is largely monochrome with pops of green: why?

It is representative of the art deco style. We could have featured other types of coloured stones but our creative director, Claire Choisne, decided to use a largely black and white colour palette, with strong architectural lines and just a touch of colour, which is brought in using emeralds.

Finally, what do you hope to achieve this year?

We won’t change our goals and vision because of the pandemic, but we must adapt the ways in which we hope to achieve them.

See also: Boucheron's Creative Director Claire Choisne On Making High Jewellery Accessible For Everyone

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