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PIAGET EYES JEWELRY GROWTH: Piaget chief executive officer Philippe Leopold-Metzger is a multitasker. Determined to grow the brand beyond its bread and butter of gold watches, he views fine jewelry as a huge opportunity, particularly in the U.S. Regarding the opening of the brand’s Rodeo Drive flagship last month, he said, “You can kill two birds with one stone. We are going to talk to hedonists, we’re going to talk to American stars, and then we’re going to talk to all tourists coming to California.”

So far, the starlets have been dripping in Piaget diamonds. Jessica Chastain, Dianna Agron, Natalie Dormer and Elisabeth Rohm were among those who wore the house’s Extremely Piaget collection to the opening bash (some of the 125 pieces are now on a tour of the U.S., while 60 were made exclusively for the Beverly Hills market); Kate Bosworth chose a suite for the recent Hammer Gala in Westwood, Calif.; and Olivia Munn and American Ballet Theatre principal Misty Copeland wore Piaget Rose and Piaget Limelight Couture Précieuse to the ABT gala in New York.

Regarding the Swiss watch and jeweler’s ambitions for North American expansion, Leopold-Metzger said,  “Today, we are much stronger in watches than in jewelry so we see an opportunity to expand in jewelry and expand business outside Asia. And guess what? America is fitting the bill, because America is still, I think, the largest high jewelry market in the world and it’s a great market full-stop.” He added that compared to other Richemont-owned brands, Piaget is “slightly under-represented in North America, so we know that there is a potential.”

The executive said Piaget was focusing on locations in California, Florida, Greater New York, Boston and states like Texas. The brand has revamped its New York store and plans to open a store in Miami’s Design District in December. It also has locations in Las Vegas and South Coast Plaza among its 98 stores worldwide. “On the jewelry side, we want to identify 10 high jewelry stores including New York and Beverly Hills, and we only want to distribute in our own retail stores, which we already do in Asia and Japan.”

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