In Kuwait to introduce Korloff’s Montmartre Collection, the talk met with the brand’s CEO, Bassam Azakir. Read more as he reflects on the maison’s history and gives us hints of what’s to come.
Charmed by its tale and incredible beauty, French entrepreneur and diamond trader Daniel Paillasseur bought the magical “Black Korloff” in 1978, cut it into a massive 88-carat brilliant jewel, and decided to name his company after it. A company that would not only trade diamonds, but also craft them into the most exciting and desirable jewelry.
What a wonderful 40-years it has been. So many milestones, so many icons created for all eternity… already.
What does Korloff represent as it heads into its fifth decade? Where does it stand in today’s world? With twenty years pedigree within the company, who better to ask than Korloff’s CEO, Bassam Azakir.
What’s the essence of Korloff in today’s world?
We are in a magnanimous age of transformation, a whole new platform; the brand has been prevailing and creating popular trends in the jewelry business for over 20 years. So far, Korloff’s styles and designs serve women of the age 35 and above, however, we are thrilled to notice that in the last 5 years, there is a steadily growing new generation that consumes and craves unique jewelry. In the coming 2 years, we will be altering the brand’s platform, from boutiques to collections to digital-boutiques, communication and visual merchandising. The entire brand signature will go through an ‘evolution’ to attract millennials and generation z and serve their interests. My mission is to re-transform the origin and roots of the brand.
Tell us the story of how the Montmartre collection was inspired.
Montmartre is the privileged Parisian signature of retro cool hilltops, filled with cafes, painters, artists, and, of course, a magnificent view! The history of Montmartre itself is splendid and colorful. The collection has been built into a family of Parisian collections, ‘Les Parisiennes’. We have executed a few such collections, such as the ‘Versailles’, the ‘Champs Elysees’, and now the ‘Montmartre’. We still have two more collections to be implemented over the next two years, to complete the family of six different divisions.
How does this collection reflect Korloff’s modernization over time?
This is part of the new platform that we talked about earlier. This signifies the changes, renovations, and makeovers that have been going on and are happening over the next 24 months; this being the first new collection, that was launched last year, and this is the first official launch of this collection in the Middle East. A part of its significance and the brand’s new concept is that our new collections will now be retailing in the range of 400 to 4000 KD. We have never had collections within these price ranges before.
What are the unique attributes of Montmartre amongst Korloff’s other collections?
It’s definitely more youthful, trendy and desirable. We are serving a clientele within an age group from 20-30; we usually serve clienteles aging 35 and above.
This audience cares more about the style than the functionality of the watch. We want to offer their “statement piece”.
Which piece, from Montmartre, is your favorite, and why?
The blue one from this collection is definitely my favorite. At a specific location in Montmartre, there is a massive painting of the leader that was born there, near the area where his house was. The painting boasts a stunning sky-blue color, and our design was inspired by that specific painting.
Who do you see wearing these watches?
Young, vibrant, trendy, socialite women between the ages 20-30. Interestingly, Kuwait has an artistically high, nevertheless, strong style competitive dynamics; clients are incredibly diversified, well-traveled, well-informed and they are most definitely well-connected. To convince them, we have to undoubtedly be alert and wake up early! We are lucky to already have our first 5000 clients, and we can’t wait to bring that number up.