Dior’s Dominique Dufermont says fast jewellery, slow couture are “market mainstays”
In times like these, characterised by highly volatile circumstances and events, some players are able to anchor themselves to a timeless present. One of them is surely Dior, a label that expresses its style by appealing to the senses through the most diverse materials: from silk to gold, cashmere and rubies, from the most sophisticated leathers to sapphires.
The increasingly blurred boundaries between haute couture and jewellery were the subject of a forum curated by Assogemme (the representative body of Italian gemstone producers) held on Saturday January 21 at the Vicenzaoro trade show in Italy, with Dominique Dufermont, head of gemstone services at Christian Dior Couture, as guest of honour. In the course of his multi-faceted, 20-year-plus career, Dufermont has acquired a wealth of expertise. He started out at leading labels like Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, then studied as a geologist and gemmologist to gain an in-depth understanding of the world of gemstones, and later continued as manager, entrepreneur and lecturer at the Ecole des Arts Joailliers in Paris.
“The boundary between jewellery and fashion is becoming increasingly blurred,” said Dufermont. “In the past, jewellery was a slow [industry] and fashion was inherently fast, but nowadays fast jewellery is a market mainstay, just like slow couture, which seems to be a strong long-term trend, consistent with the sustainability imperative. Labels like Dior have managed to avoid the trap of impermanence, a phenomenon that erodes certainties and waters down brand image.”
The Vicenzaoro forum was moderated by Raffaele Ciardulli, a mentor and consultant active in the luxury industry. Among the speakers was also Paolo Cesari, president of Assogemme, who underlined the key role played by the métiers d’art, the fine craftsmanship trades that are still a prerequisite of excellence. He also highlighted the need for a systemic, multi-disciplinary approach that looks at the world from new perspectives.
“The métiers d’art are rare and valuable, and need to be supported by bold cultural and educational projects. They are a crucial mainstay of Dior Couture and Dior Joaillerie,” said Dufermont. “Gaining a multi-faceted expertise makes it possible to look at the same problem from different viewpoints, and this is an essential competitive edge for both our businesses,” he concluded.
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