By  on March 3, 2006

PARIS — Dominique Watine-Arnault, the president of the Fred jewelry house and sister of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chairman and chief executive Bernard Arnault, died here on Monday.

A Fred spokeswoman said Thursday the cause of death was disease, but was not more specific. Watine-Arnault was 56.

She joined Fred after it was purchased by LVMH in 1996 first as artistic director. She later became president, as well.

During her tenure, she brought a greater fashion to the house, founded in 1936 and a favorite of the likes of Marlene Dietrich and Barbara Hutton. Among her creations were mobile-like earrings with geometric shapes and gold cuffs that resembled scales.

Revamping the house's image also led her to tap architect Peter Marino to redo the stores and hire photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino to revamp the ads.

Rings remained the house's mainstay, and Watine-Arnault introduced bolder models, while also broadening the watch category. A succession plan at the house has not been announced, the spokeswoman said.

Prior to Fred, Watine-Arnault worked for years as an arts and jewelry auctioneer.

She is survived by two children. She will be interred in a private ceremony at the Saint-Germain-des-Pres church here on Saturday, the spokeswoman said.

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