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De Grisogono Signs with Saks

Fine jeweler de Grisogono has given Saks Fifth Avenue its ring.

Fine jeweler de Grisogono has given Saks Fifth Avenue its ring.

Later this month, Saks’ store in Naples, Fla., will become only the second specialty department store in the U.S. to carry the line, after Bergdorf Goodman.

“After a courtship of four years, we wanted to get engaged and finally we got married,” said Giovanni Mattera, vice president of de Grisogono. “Saks didn’t know exactly where to put us in the U.S., and that took time to figure out. They wanted us to be in New York, but we are in Bergdorf, and being exclusive is very important to us.”

Saks settled on Naples and could expand the jewelry brand to four additional stores soon, said Mattera, who declined to identify which stores. “Demographically, a lot of our customers are in Naples, and wealth-wise Palm Beach and Naples are very affluent. Plus, after New York, Naples is Saks’ biggest-selling store.”

Saks is carrying watches and boutique jewelry, which retails starting at $15,000. The first delivery includes 40 pieces, and De Grisogono is planning a trunk show at the Naples Saks for the beginning of 2008 to offer its full collection.

Fourteen years ago, Fawaz Gruosi founded the Geneva-based fine jewelry company, which has created a niche using unique materials like black diamonds and stingray (galuchet). The line is carried in some 30 U.S. doors, and the firm does about $150 million in world-wide sales.

“Saks is one of the major department stores in the States, and we have to be there,” said Gruosi.

This story first appeared in the September 17, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.