Fabergé is synonymous with its enamelled imperial eggs. Founded in 1842, the first imperial Fabergé egg was commissioned by Tsar Alexander III for his wife in 1885. Jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé went on to create 50 egg-shaped Easter gifts for the tsar’s family and 42 of these eggs, continue to be spread across the world today in museums or private collections.
The brand has seen several highs and lows and received a new life when Gemfields acquired it in 2012. While the Fabergé egg is an integral part of the brand’s royal legacy and design portfolio, the brand has expanded into timepieces and gem-laden baubles, some which are studded with responsibly sourced gemstones from Gemfield’s own mines.
With the tag line, A Life in Colour, the artistic collections are heavily inundated with gems and enamelling.
The brand has been slowly increasing its presence by partnering with reputed jewellers around the world – including Diacolor in India (only timepieces, currently) in 2019.
Fabergé’s CEO Antony Lindsay talks about the growing demand for gemstone jewellery, online sales and innovative jewellery collections that are in the pipeline.
How does Fabergé balance its rich legacy in the modern world?
By taking inspiration from our rich, illustrious past and applying it today in a modern, contemporary way. In keeping with Fabergé tradition, we also continue to explore vibrant colour palettes of enamel and push the boundaries of artistry and craftsmanship, making the most of each gemstone’ unique characteristics.
As per the Knight Frank luxury Investments Index of 2019, coloured gemstones have significantly outperformed the rest of the jewellery industry over the past 10 years. Keeping Fabergé’s past year sales in mind, has this been validated?
Absolutely! We’ve seen a tremendous increase in demand and appreciation for coloured gemstones over the last few years. We’ve also witnessed an increased demand for responsibly sourced gemstones.
Apart from rubies and emeralds, is there any other precious gemstone that is gaining traction right now?
Well, of course, sapphires, but colour, in general, is so on-trend at present and in turn, we are also seeing an increase in demand for lesser-known gemstones such as garnets, spinels, tourmalines… the list is as long as it is colourful.
Which segment garners more sales for Fabergé: jewellery or timepieces?
Jewellery is our largest area of the business. However, 2021 will see the launch of our new timepiece novelties, which we are really excited about.
Personalisation and customisation is a huge trend. Could you tell us a little more about this segment for Fabergé?
We offer a dedicated bespoke service, which means it is possible to create anything your heart desires. In true Fabergé spirit, there really is no limit to what we can do.
We have seen an increasing desire where clients want to give their special pieces a longer life and move away from the ‘disposable culture’. Our clients frequently like to invest in pieces, which hold emotional value, becoming future heirlooms.
Apart from two boutiques, Fabergé has expanded over the last few years through the shop-in-shop route. Could you tell us a little more about this strategy?
Fabergé is proud to partner with some of the finest multi-brand retailers around the world who have the acumen and first-class standards that one would expect from a Fabergé authorised retail partner. These very select retailers are instrumental to Fabergé’s continued success and allow us to cater to a wider, global audience of discerning clients.
Fabergé has partnered with Diacolor to retail its timepieces in India. Could you tell us a little more about Fabergé’s plans for India?
Diacolor certainly tick all the aforementioned boxes, and in addition we share a common passion and value, which is our love for Gemfields responsibly sourced gemstones.
When can we expect Fabergé jewellery to be launched in India?
As soon as possible! We had planned on launching earlier in the year (pre-COVID-19) and so we will continue to monitor the situation and hope to be in a position to schedule a new official, launch date very soon.
Which are the top three consuming markets for Fabergé?
At present, our key markets are Europe, the USA and the Middle East.
How do you think the jewellery industry will fare in the current pandemic?
I think the jewellery industry, in general, will fare just fine, and we see exciting opportunities ahead. History clearly shows us that personal adornment and the wearing of jewellery is not a passing trend, but rather a longstanding tradition that is ingrained within our very existence. I think that post-COVID-19, the desire to ‘treat oneself’ and celebrate life and living by wearing a colourful item or suite of jewellery will be stronger than it’s been in a long time (and at least in the last 15 years).
Post the pandemic, are you are witnessing greater online sales?
Most definitely. Our online sales have been simply booming so far this year and long may it continue.
Going forward, is the brand going to alter its business strategy in any way?
At the core, no. Creative audacity and extraordinary craftsmanship, both, innovative and traditional, is what motivates us. We will continue our quest of reinvesting luxury jewellery, timepieces and objet d’art with a sense of wonder, anticipation and discovery. All our work is based on the pursuit of perfection.
Could you tell us about some of the projects that are in the pipeline?
For such a small business, we take on mighty projects and we have a busy year ahead of us! This year, we will be launching a new High Jewellery collection and, for the first time in Fabergé’s history, this will be with a guest designer. The whole Fabergé family is very excited about what lies ahead, so watch this space!