Published, Verve Magazine, October 2016
‘I think in volumes, I imagine in colours, I design in lights.’
Fawaz Gruosi, the founder of the de Grisogono (1993) brand of jewellery and watches, is a garrulous personality, known for his ‘disruptive creations’. In a market filled with traditional jewellery, he took risks with bold designs, different materials and radical stones, like black diamonds. An exceptionally active man, he’s probably taken a total of three months off in 21 years! He explains why India wasn’t primed for conceptual jewellery and his love affair with the country….
What’s the India chapter all about in the De Grisogono tale?
I have had a bad experience with India. We opened an amazing shop six or seven years ago at Emporio in New Delhi. We were number 3 or 4 after Cartier and Chanel, the shop cost us a fortune. We did not have a problem selling watches; the jewellery was another story. The women wanted to know how much gold there was in each piece. The problem was that they didn’t understand the price of creativity, design and uniqueness!
After two years, our costs of maintaining the storefront was so high that we withdrew. But now, the brand is more known, there is likely to be a better attitude.
What defines the De Grisogono woman?
She is not defined by where she is from, physical attributes, or if she has an angelic face…. I think the beauty in the woman comes from her character. When a woman is sure of wearing something unusual, she wears it like she does not even remember that she has it on.
How do you dream up these unconventional designs?
I am not someone who sits at a desk waiting for inspiration. I could design sitting here talking to you; it might just click in my head. And, I can imagine immediately a pair of earrings. Normally, my pocket is full of papers.
When I buy stones or I decide to do something very complicated, I never think about how much it will cost or how it will be priced. My creativity is linked to my heart. I just want the piece to be beautiful. Perfection doesn’t exist, but we try hard to find it…and to do what other people cannot do!
What does it take to create a luxury brand today?
Let your creativity flow and don’t be scared. If you have an idea, and you believe in it, go for it. Sometimes it will happen, sometimes it won’t. Success without a bit of risk is not realistic, unless you are part of a big group.
Have you been to India?
Several times. I have been to Mumbai and Delhi. I love India very much. I attended an amazing wedding about a year ago. I was also in love with an Indian girl and the long-distance relationship between New York and Geneva lasted a couple of years.