An interview with Chopard’s Caroline Scheufele
A luscious pomegranate, complete with gold crown calyx and glistening red spinel pips, forms the dazzling backdrop to the upper silhouette of a slender female figure draped in an elegant silver gown. She is wrapped in a gold laurel wreath, which connects her to the “fruit of life”. This exotic sculptural piece is a statuette created by Chopard’s Co-president and Creative Director, Caroline Scheufele, for the inaugural Green Carpet Fashion Awards held in Milan late last year to celebrate the growth of Sustainable Luxury.
Crafted from Fairmined-certified gold as well as silver, brass, and aluminium, and embedded with hundreds of spinel beads, the unique statuettes were presented to 12 winners — exceptional Italian artisans, mills, producers and brands — at the inaugural fashion awards ceremony at Teatro alla Scala during the Milan Fashion Week in September 2017.
“Designing the statuette was an honour that would have been impossible to pass up,” says Scheufele. “These awards are closely aligned with Chopard’s values, especially with the Journey to Sustainable Luxury, and are a celebration of the artisans involved in every level of our supply chain.”
Scheufele says her concept for the statuette’s female form was to represent strength, inner beauty, and the freedom of creativity while advocating the vision of the award — responsible and sustainable fashion. She lauds the Green Carpet Fashion Awards as a starting platform to increase awareness and education about sustainability efforts.
Asked how she visualises the ‘sustainable and fashionable woman’ of the 21st century, Scheufele says: “I see her as someone who embodies the positive energy and values of social justice that channels the ancestral excellence of traditional craftsmanship, while she embraces the technological transformation in the world of luxury and fashion. She strives to make a positive impact on the lives of others in the supply chain.”
Chopard’s Journey to Sustainable Luxury started in 2013 with Eco Age founder Livia Firth. “We called it ‘The Journey’ because we knew it would be a challenging path, marking Chopard’s commitment to combining ethics and aesthetics. True luxury means knowing where the precious material in each item comes from.”
Initially, they started with a small amount of gold, then discovered ethically-sourced opals and collaborated with the French actress Marion Cotillard to create a one-off piece. “In 2016, we took it a step further, and we worked with actress Julianne Moore to design some fantastic pieces with certified Gemfields’ emeralds. Then, in Spring last year, we launched the Ice Cube Pure Collection, made of 100% Fairmined gold aimed at young, modern, edgy women — an evolution and revolution of the first Ice Cube.”
Emboldened by her success, Scheufele now dreams big for the future: “I want to increase the percentage of ethical gold offered in Chopard’s collections, while finding new materials and new partners.” She also hopes more will join the efforts to sustainable luxury and see its benefits. “It would be fantastic if everyone could play a part in educating the young and future generations about these important values.”
Co-president and creative director, Chopard
What defines your personal style?
Less is more. I travel a lot, so I need comfortable things in my suitcase. I try to choose jewellery items that I can play with and coordinate with each other easily.
Do you prefer outfits and accessories that have a connection to a sustainable story?
I like to mix and match my clothing, and items that have a link to sustainability certainly catch my attention.
What are your usual jewellery choices to accessorise for day, evening, and night events?
I love our Happy Hearts sautoirs and bracelets, and I wear them every day. This year, we added more colours to the collection by using turquoise, onyx, and mother of pearl on the delicate golden hearts.
Do you have a piece of jewellery that is a ‘must-wear’, a piece that makes you feel incomplete if you don’t wear it?
It is like asking a mother to choose which one is her favourite child, but I would say it’s often the latest piece we’ve created. At the moment, I am wearing a lot of the Happy Heart collection — two sautoirs and lots of bangles, which I love to stack together. I have a crush on the new Happy Diamonds Icon watch — the square shape that I wear all the time.
What gemstone do you wear for design inspiration?
For me it is diamonds because I work, see, feel, and touch them every day. They inspire me to create something different.