Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Art of Luxe from Boucheron

Is our dear city Kuala Lumpur becoming the new playground for the rich and famous? Well, I think we do since so many luxury stores popping up like mushrooms since early last year.

First, of course everyone knows about the opening of Chaumet, the royal jeweller for Napoleon Bonaparte when he was the emperor of France, then came the much-awaited reopening of Louis Vuitton's street-facade store that has created a new trend in Malaysian retailing prsentation and the public loves it because it gives Bukit Bintang a Parisian feel to it. Not to mention its marvelous display of City Bags that attracts or should I say
lure more people to get into the store and see for themselves. That's a good retail strategy you know.

Last November, another luxury brand has joined the bandwagon and it's Boucheron, another French haute joaillier at the Starhill Gallery. Like it's nearest contender Cartier at Suria KLCC and Chaumet, which is just one floor below, Boucheron too is steep in history. The business was founded by 1858 by Frederic Boucheron and Frederic too was the first jeweller to open his store at the notable Rue Vendome in Paris in 1893.

Since its early days, the designs created by Boucheron are inspired by nature and creatures like butterflies, snakes, dragonflies and ladybirds are the staples of the house, in lieu with the active Art Nouveau movement on that time that uses strong influence of nature in arts.

As an established jeweller, Boucheron, like its competitors Cartier and Chaumet, has an extensive yet impressive list of clientèles from the century it started its business to today. Czarina of Russia, Art Nouveau icon and actress Sarah Bernhardt, millionaires Vanderbilt and Mackay from the United States, Comtesse de Polignac and Lady Curzon were all a part of its important clients of all time, plus today's socialites and Hollywood starlets like Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Rachel Weisz and Jemima Khan to name a few.

Something special about Boucheron's Rue Vendome's outlet, which is an antique mansion is that the mansion was once resided by Comtesse de Castilglione, a famous beauty and a mistress to Napoleon. The Comtesse sensual image too was featured on Boucheron's 2005-2006 ad campaign. Today, Boucheron brand, which has been a part of the Gucci group family, does not focused on just jewelleries but it has expanded into perfumes and watches.

Best of all, Malaysia was chosen to be its first stop in South East Asia due to its new position as one of the emerging shopping destinations in the world. More recently, the maker of handphones for the rich, Vertu and Boucheron collaborated to create the first high jewellery handphone in the world. The phone's facade is made entirely out of pink gold and accented with a curling snake, the emblematic icon of Boucheron that is encrusted in precious stones.

The phone is available in several designs and limited edition. Though the price is yet to be disclosed, those who are interested can drop by at any Boucheron boutiques to find out more about it.

*Photos courtesy of Boucheron.

Boucheron - Lot 15 B, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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