As gold prices continue to rise, putting the squeeze on jewelry companies, Richemont-owned Cartier is digging in its heels and looking forward on a variety of fronts. Mercedes Abramo, president and chief executive officer of Cartier North America, touched down in Los Angeles on Wednesday to cohost an event with Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power aimed at raising the brand’s profile with younger customers. The “Visionaries” party honored under age 30 movers and shakers including anti-bullying activists Lauren Paul and Molly Thompson, Internet influencer Aimee Song, Barneys New York digital art director Erica Choi and celebrity stylist Jamie Schneider.
The centerpiece display showcased the latest additions to the Amulette de Cartier collection of interchangeable talisman pendant necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings launched last year. The new pieces, made from guilloché gold, snakewood and malachite, are meant to attract a younger buyer at an opening price point of under $2,000 retail.
But it’s not all for the ladies. Gentlemen have a new everyday luxury piece, the Drive de Cartier watch, which starts at $6,200. “We always try to anticipate the market needs, but we also want to surprise and delight, so it’s great when it happens to be a perfect pairing of price point and design,” said Abramo. The house plans an event during Pitti Uomo at Florence’s Palazzo Gondi June 14 to 16, when Raf Simons and Karl Lagerfeld will also stage events there. Before that, Abramo plans to host a client event in Beverly Hills to show the high jewelry collection.
Fall will bring retail openings and reopenings, including a new store in Palo Alto (the sixth in California), and renovations of the Wynn Las Vegas and King of Prussia boutiques. The piece de resistance will be the reopening of the New York “Mansion” at 52nd Street and Fifth Avenue, which will feature a new concept designed by Thierry Despont.