Monaco will never be at a loss for soigné denizens as long as the heirs of the late Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III are around to keep the principality awash in designer fashion and high jewelry.
But Monaco has another side — relaxed, bohemian and free-spirited. It’s that mood that APM Monaco is trying to capture with its design-oriented silver collection that will be showcased at the company’s SoHo flagship bowing in late July.
The brand, founded in 1982 by Ariane Prette, made its first mark creating traditional gold, diamond and precious stone pieces for other jewelry houses. After 30 years of producing fine jewelry, Ariane’s son Philippe, who manages the business, shifted gears and launched the silver range, designed by his wife Kika.
The creative director introduces a new collection each week and produces 12 look books a year including ranges such as Valentine, consisting of delicate necklaces, bracelets and earrings dotted with colorful stones; Meteorites’ cuffs, earrings and rings with glittering stars, and Croisette, minimalist pieces covered with pavé Zirconia.
“Being able to have creative power enables us to stay ahead of trends and answer customers’ needs,” said Guillaume Lavigne, executive director, North America. “The brand and concept are influenced by Monaco and the joie de vivre of the South of France. It flirts with modernity and tradition and is inspired by Kika’s experiences and personality.”
According to Lavigne, the designs and price points — $60 to several thousand dollars, with an average of $130 — have resonated with shoppers. “Consumers associate the brand with luxury products because APM Monaco made its reputation with fine jewelry,” Lavigne said. “It’s also because of the experience customers have at APM boutiques. Clients are able to afford beautiful designs made with quality materials, but it’s not just about the price point.”
The collection is made from 925 silver, 18-karat gold and natural pearls, among other materials. “Everything is handmade,” Lavigne said. “We have our own manufacturer. We’re succeeding by being consistent.”
APM Monaco has 100 units worldwide, including 16 points of sale in France; three in the U.K., and one each in Monaco, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and Italy. About 75 units are spread across China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau and Australia.
APM’s first U.S. store recently bowed at Brickell City Centre in Miami. The company plans to open 40 stores this year, including seven in North America in “luxury shopping destinations” such as Copley Place in Boston; the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, and Bloor Street in Toronto. “We’re also looking in Hawaii, San Francisco’s Union Square and several streets in Vancouver. Our sales are very comparable to the highest luxury brands,” Lavigne said, without disclosing figures.
In New York, Lavigne intends to let the SoHo unit at 155 Spring Street simmer “for a few months before deciding how many stores we want in the second wave. We can definitely do more than one store in New York,” Lavigne said, adding that he’s interested in Hudson Yards, among other Manhattan locations.
Stephen Stephanou and Thibaud Veil, principals of Crown Realty Services, are working on APM Monaco’s national expansion.
APM Monaco is pushing on the wholesale side as well. DFS will soon launch the brand. “We’re talking to a department store we want to work with,” Lavigne said. “We should be moving forward.” The negotiations reportedly are with Nordstrom, but Lavigne declined to identify the store.