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NEW YORK — Lalique will on Tuesday unveil its second fine jewelry collection and release a limited-edition clock in partnership with Parmigiani Fleurier.
“The story is the continuation of the first one, but it’s totally different because last year was Lalique’s rebirth [of fine jewelry]. This year it’s our flight with the element air. This is a love story,” the brand’s jewelry head designer, Quentin Obadia, said, seated in the company’s new Interiors showroom on Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron District here. He explained that the inspiration for the nearly 100-piece Soulmates collection came from the story of Ethos and the Greek goddess Psyche, who was half woman and half butterfly.
Lalique last spring launched the first collection in a four-part series based on Nature’s four elements: fire, earth, air and water. The initial offerings, “The Sacred Fire Odyssey,” were based on fire. Maz Zouhairi, president and chief executive officer of Lalique North America, revealed that collections based on “earth” and “water” will come out in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
Pieces from Soulmates range in price from $1,200 to $75,600, but the majority of the product retails from about $8,700 to $42,000, according to Zouhairi. A delicate white gold and diamond Eros’ Arrow ring is the entry point at $1,200, while a rose gold Egyptian Serpent ring with yellow sapphires, diamonds, yellow gold and eight lacquer serpents encircling the center stone, a 4.95-carat brilliant-cut mandarin garnet, costs $75,000. A butterfly brooch-pendant necklace in rose gold with 62 pink sapphires, 23 brilliant-cut diamonds, a triangle-cut orange sapphire and a detachable pompom is $50,400, and a white gold ring paved with 64 blue sapphires, 64 aquamarines, eight brilliant-cut diamonds and a sapphire central stone is $11,760.
In addition to the brand’s freestanding flagships in New York, London, Paris, Beverly Hills, Russia and Dubai, the line will be carried at Harrods in London in June, at Lane Crawford in September and in select Neiman Marcus doors in the U.S. for the first time.
“This is a lifestyle brand, and the pillar of jewelry is a significant part because of the fact that it appeals to a different range of customers, [as well as] a younger consumer base,” Zouhairi said, citing the glass and precious gemstone jewelry that René Lalique began designing in the 1880s. Currently the business is almost evenly split among Europe (25 percent) and the brand’s native France, with the U.S. and Asia (the fastest-growing market) at 20 percent each.
He revealed that locations are being scouted in Paris for a stand-alone fine jewelry boutique slated to open in late 2013 or early next year.
Also on display Tuesday will be pieces from the “Clock 15 Days” collection — where only 15 clocks were produced in clear, blue and red crystal. These will cost $98,000 each, and a one-of-a-kind black crystal version will retail for $196,000. Because of the handiwork involved in creating each clock, introduced by Parmigiani Fleurier in 2012, only eight to 10 can be made each year.