PARIS — It looks like Paris-based jewelry designer Lorenz Bäumer, long associated with Chanel, is switching luxury camps and joining Louis Vuitton.
According to industry sources, Bäumer, a Place Vendôme jeweler with an eponymous collection, has already started sketching designs for Vuitton, which unveiled its first complete collection of fine jewelry in July 2004.
Bäumer and Louis Vuitton declined all comment on Tuesday. It is understood Bäumer will no longer design for Chanel, and he will not be replaced.
Branded fine jewelry is a lucrative and fast-growing category, and Vuitton has been carving out more space for it in mammoth stores like the company’s new “Maison” on Canton Road in Hong Kong, which opened last month and boasts the largest watch and jewelry salon in its network.
Vuitton also recently tapped music impresario Pharrell Williams to codesign a collection, which was unveiled during couture week in Paris with prices running up to 420,000 euros, or about $620,760, for a necklace in white gold and diamonds.
Bäumer, a dapper man-about-town sporting custom-made suits with deep purple linings, creates about 200 signature jewelry creations a year with nature, architecture and poetry among his favorite themes.