Yesterday amid the lush and luxurious oasis of palms and pools that is the Bal Harbour Shops courtyard, I had the opportunity to interview Marc Hruschka, President of the iconic luxury watch and jewelry maker, Chopard. Marc was here for the occasion of the location’s grand re-opening after its redesign into the new Chopard boutique format – light wood finishes, soft and dimmed mood lighting, and displays that steal the show – a concept designed by New York-based French architect, Thierry Despont. We took a seat in a great red couch in the garden and discussed the Chopard brand and its inspirations.
The executive is confident with a striking look and he clearly exudes a fine level of passion and understanding of the fashion firm. He is at ease in the picturesque Bal Harbour scene but one gets a sense that he could make anyone feel right at home while chatting with him in most any backdrop. Marc describes Chopard products as dynamic and design-driven, created for the client who desires something truly unique and of the highest quality. The brand’s shoppers are global, international clientele that travel all around the world. “We have to make sure that we design and manufacture products that are attractive to them no matter where they may be,” Hruschka explained.
The 152 year-old family-owned and operated firm still possesses a family environment and the inspirations of the pieces hail from what inspires the family personally. For example, the company’s Animal World collection came about as an expression of the family’s love for animals and benefitted the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Chopard is actually one of the international sponsors for the organization and their social responsibility doesn’t end with their extensive charity work. They recently earned the impressive Responsible Jewellery Council Certificate – something that only a handful of companies in the world may boast today. Now they may safely refer to their merchandise as stunning and socially-conscious.
The creative minds behind the brand never look to be trendy – they use concepts that “drive them internally”, according to Marc Hruschka. This includes their clientele involvement, their travels around the globe, and their observations of the world – “it’s very authentic,” explained Marc. This design aesthetic is apparent as one strolls through the boutique and sees elements of pop culture (yay for high-end Mickey Mouse), nature (sea horses, elephants, and more), and emotion (plenty of love-inspired pieces hard to resist), among other motifs. There is nearly something for everyone.
As for the redesign, Hruschka explains it’s a new objective of the company for all new stores and all remodels of existing locations. According to the Chopard President, “the idea is to keep a rich feel with absolutely the most amazing materials, the most amazing lighting…so that when somebody comes in they feel the grandness of the boutique. Most importantly it feels like home… it feels like something you are comfortable with. We have this amazing merchandise in an environment that feels like it could be somebody’s home. You should feel welcome. You should feel invited in and that is what inspires the design [of the boutique]. I think it’s been done extraordinarily well.” I would have to agree.
The comfortability level extends beyond the store design and visual merchandising, however. Marc says the focus is on the team working in the stores. Their task is to complete the ambience of comfort in the boutiques with welcoming smiles and by being “nice, genuine, inviting,” and “knowledgeable”. The brand ethos is that clients should expect the level of service that Chopard offers at such a level of “price point, quality, design, [and] materials. That’s our aspiration of the company,” Marc explained with pride.
Chopard attracts clientele with their brilliant, high-quality, eye-catching designs and exceptionally superior service. Well wishes to the firm and its freshly made over Bal Harbour boutique.