For this ninth « Encounter » I chose the Maison de GRISOGONO. Synonymous with partying, jet-set and glitter, the Maison – just like its founder Fawaz Gruosi – has known how to appeal to the world’s happy few, for the last two decades.
Through this photo I wished to express a festive mood which appeared to me as an obvious choice. Such as this Maison, independant and daring, free from established conventions. Desire for lightness and bubbles with this sumptuous necklace, all about shapes and curls, finely set in subtle shades of diamonds and emeralds. I tried it on ! A true halo of light and lightness to dress up any woman… wether she already has clothes on… or not! For a party where anything can happen, especially the best…
« I think in volumes, I imagine in colours, I design in lights »
Born on 8 August of 1952, Lebanese-Italian Fawaz Gruosi leaves school at the age of 18 and starts working as a junior staffer in a reknowned jewellery store in Florence. Will follow 20 years of dazzling success during which he develops strong connections. He becomes the representative for Harry Winston in Saoudi Arabia for three years, then he is offered by Bulgari a task that matches his posture: to be in charge of selling worldwide all the latest jewellery creations of the Maison. On the romance side, he gets married to Caroline Scheufele (Chopard) and they stay together for 18 years. Fawaz Gruosi has two daughters, Violetta and Allegra.
In 1993, Fawaz Gruosi embarks on the adventure of launching de GRISOGONO with two associates. In their boutique located in Geneva (rue du Rhône), Fawas Gruosi offers to his clientele a series of exclusive art pieces and starts expressing his creativity by the way of precious and creative jewels. Soon, the first signs of the Maison appear, and in 1996, after parting from his associates, he does something quite daring by bringing back a stone long neglected, the Black Diamond!
In flipping at random through books, he becomes fascinated by a black diamond of 67,50 carats named «Black Orlov», and he decides to bring back the undervalued gem and give it a new life through a whole new jewellery collection. His inventiveness is rewarded, and even followed. Only three years after the launching, the price of black diamonds skyrockets and the most famed jewellers as well decide to use the stone.
Here is an example of de GRISOGONO know-how: the Crazy Skull watch invites people to live life to its fullest, in non-conformity and free-thinking. A lovely way of thinking, life is short, enjoy it to the max!
In 1999, he even produced everyday objects set with black diamonds, such as a pair of sun glasses or a mobile phone, the latter encrusted with 240 diamonds for a total of 18 carats.
Fawaz Gruosi has cultivated his instinct and his inspiration, devoted to attract customers and professionals by unlimited creativity, using long-forgotten materials (shagreen), and stones, such as heavily included « Icy Diamonds », brown tinted gold named « Browny Brown Gold », or yet another technique which consists in darkening gold in order to intensify the precious stones’ shine.
In the year 2000, he goes into watch making and launches his first watch, Instrumento N° Uno. 20 other unique and original designs will follow, the latest of which is the New Dame Retro.
He rises to fame in no time, in 2002 Chopard takes a 49% stake in the company, giving him more ressources to develop the brand. In 2003 he launches a collection made of shagreen and a first line made for distribution.
In 2005, the company opens its first worshop in Plan-les-Ouates and develops its own process for a new hue of gold, the « Browny Brown Gold » invented using a specific treatment based on PVD (Physical Vaporisation and Deposition).
The same year, de GRISOGONO releases three new timepieces: the Instrumento Grande, the Power Breaker and the Occhio Ripetizione Minuti, an exceptionnal trio. The latter has a 12 piece diaphragm which opens just the time of the alarm to let one have a peek into the movement. This limited edition watch, only 50 copies worldwide, was an instant success. I love it!
In 2007, he bought out the shares of Chopard in the company de GRISOGONO S.A, thus becoming the unique owner of the jewellery Maison. He develops the timepiece workshop and purchases more efficient machines.
That same year, he designs an extravagant ring using as a center stone the Virgin Scarlet, a 45,39 carat natural ruby discovered in Burma.
« Everything that surrounds me, the nature or the everyday objects, is source of inspiration ».
In 2008, Fawaz Gruosi celebrates the 15th anniversary of the Maison and unveils a new timepiece combining a digital screen and a mechanical system, with two time zones and two types of display: la Meccanico dG.
In 2009 and 2010, the Genevese Maison releases new timepiece collections, updates the Instrumento N° Uno collection, giving it a Pop Art twist for its 10 years of existence. New partners invest in the company’s capital at 40%. The « Black Forever » collection is unveiled in 2011 as an hommage to the black diamond, the brand’s flagship product.
In 2012, de GRISOGONO presents « Melody of Colours », a high jewellery collection, beautifully audacious in the uniqueness of the pieces.
Several collections are further developed, enabling to mix and match different collections together following the different hamonies of colours and stones. We really adore the Allegra collection, made in honour of his daughter, beautiful simpliciy in gold and diamonds.
In spite of the firm being bought over by 75% by Angolan and Belgian investors, de GRISOGONO hasn’t lost in originality nor creativity, quite the opposite. As evidenced by this superb high jewellery piece from the new collection Opera, showcased for the Opening Gala of the Opéra de Paris last september.
This creation is absolutely spectacular, certainly in my mind the jewel of the year.
This new collection is made of unique pieces, with sapphires of profound natural beauty.
Indeed, Fawaz Gruosi stays in command of creation, and, I must say, I was very much impressed by his choice of turquoises from Iran presented at last Baselworld fair, as well as by his latest creations and collections: Boule, Inde, Sensuale, Bocca, Catene…
Fawaz Gruosi is passionnate about jewellery, curious, a self-made man who keeps his passion alive and has entertained and shared his dream with a rich network. I wish the same success to all and the chance to pass on one’s passion, as he did by paying tribute to his daughters with hommage creations. Namely, the Allegra collection, and the Lovivi timepiece presented at Baselworld last March as a symbol of love for his daughter Violetta.
For the achievement of this photo, I would like to thank the Maison de GRISOGONO in particular Audrey Flabeau, photographer Nicolas Mingalon and Maud Fourier-Ruelle, founder of the company Matemonsac, which was so kind to lend us this beautiful Yves Saint-Laurent clutch bag for the shoot.
For all enquiry, the Maison de GRISOGONO has two points of sale in Paris:
A new corner located inside the Galeries Lafayette – Espace joaillerie – 1st floor
40 bd Haussmann 75009 Paris
01 42 82 34 56
And the boutique, located
358 bis rue Saint Honoré – 75001 Paris