A jump from corporate law to fine-jewelry design might not seem like the most obvious career move. But when Carole Midy explains her trajectory, it makes perfect sense. As a lawyer, Midy’s work with auctioneers had led her to fall in love with old-fashioned craftsmanship, like French cabinetmaking and Italian pietra dura inlaid stonework. This passion made her decide to abandon the law, initially studying fine art in the evenings and then training for four years to earn the French appellation of master jeweler.
In 2007, the Paris-based Midy created her own company and, in 2008, hired a former Boucheron craftsman to head her workshop. She now leads a team of four and aims at doubling sales each year for the foreseeable future. “In the beginning, one necklace allowed us to make another, and then three, and then five,” she says. Midy’s handcrafted collection of unique, signed pieces went on sale at the Paris department store Le Bon Marché in October, and the line will be launched in two boutiques stateside before the end of the month.
Recycled white, gray and yellow gold, silver and precious and semiprecious stones come together in pieces, like a ring featuring a carved amethyst frog, surrounded by other gems and sitting on a lily pad, part of a fantastical animal-inspired group. Simpler, more traditional-looking pieces on closer inspection stand out for the contrasting colors and quality of the stones used, and for the intricacy of the metalwork involved.
Midy’s line features five main themes for women — Samarkand, Taboo, Les Vanités (which includes skulls), Muppet Show and Flower Power — and there’s also a men’s collection, dubbed Boy. Average prices range from 2,000 to 5,000 euros, or $2,750 to $6,870 at current exchange rates. Each theme has a distinct inspiration, but a common, strong personality stamps all of them. “I try to bring out the energy of the stones,” Midy explained. “These jewels must live and accompany their wearer.”
Demand for Midy’s collection is growing, but she says she will resist the pull of mass production in order to maintain exclusivity and notes that she selects retailers that understand her ethos. With Le Bon Marché, for example, she plans to organize a conference series on themes such as the symbolism of stones.
Last holiday season, Midy designed an exclusive collection of 25 caskets and bottles for By Kilian fragrances decorated with semiprecious stones set in silver. (That firm has just launched a new handbag line.) She has also designed two necklaces for the luxury e-tailer Couturelab.com.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion