Storied Couture Jeweler Gripoix to Expand

Couture jewelry firm Gripoix will launch line and open its first store on London’s Mount Street.

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PARIS — Gripoix, the French pâte de verre (poured-glass) couture jewelry specialist famous for collaborations with Chanel stretching back to the Twenties, is striking out with a debut signature collection and a first store planned to open in late September on London’s Mount Street.

This story first appeared in the July 21, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

A book about the house, which was founded in 1869 and also has worked with the likes of Balenciaga, Givenchy, Dior, Lanvin and Balmain, will be released in tandem with the store opening.

Marie Keslassy, a vintage jewelry collector who acquired the storied firm in 2006 after it had gone bankrupt, is behind the brand’s new artistic direction following a brief stint with designer Gilles Dufour.

“Until now, Gripoix has been known as an [artisan] that serviced couture houses. The idea is to bring the name into the [public arena],” said Keslassy, who has conceived five groups for her first collection, each based on interpretations of archival designs. These will form the brand’s classic offer, with mini collections to be introduced every six months, she said.

Using matte, semimatte and transparent glass with vintage-style gold and silver-plated chains, highlights from the range, which is handmade in Paris, include jeweled belts; a gold Byzantine-style cuff with purple, emerald and raspberry glass stones, and decorative gold and glass hair combs. Certain pieces carry a signature fine chain ending in the letter G.

Retail prices for the collection, which will be distributed in department stores and high-end boutiques such as Colette in Paris, go from $280 for a floral toe ring to $7,000 for an elaborate floral necklace.

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