By Solitaire Magazine

Valery Demure of Objet d’Emotion talks about transforming her dream jewellery retail concept into a reality

Objet d’Emotion is a fine jewellery shopping platform curated by Valery Demure. Founded in October 2018, it presents a selection of talented jewellery artists and aims to connect jewellery lovers with up-and-coming designers.

Demure, who is a regular exhibitor at the PAD Paris art and design fair, selects contemporary designers to feature for their strong aesthetics and distinct design signatures. These include the likes of Silvia Furmanovich, Alice Cicolini, Francesca Villa, Neha Dani, Yael Sonia, Melanie Georgacopoulos, Nada Ghazal, and Ioanna Souflia.

The French-born, London-based PR maven launched her agency in London in 2005 where she works across the entire spectrum of PR/communication, sales, consultancy and retail. Over the years, she has built a stellar reputation for anticipating trends and discovering unique talent for jewellery that immediately stands out.

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What inspired you to start this novel concept of jewellery retail?
With my love for discovering talent and curation, I have had this idea in the back of my mind. Personally, I have not been inspired by a lot of jewellery platforms except for de Vera in New York for their beautiful edit, artistic presentation, and personable customer service.

I was a jewellery buyer for five years in London and enjoyed the creative freedom of selecting the jewellery and creating unconventional display windows with intelligent story telling. This novel concept also stems from a frustration from non risk-taking retailers who stock the same brands and do not offer educated and thoughtful customer service.

Top: Francesca Villa “Above the Clouds” ring
Bottom: Alice Cicolini Summer Snow Chandelier Tourmaline in Yellow Gold with Watermelon Tourmaline, Ruby, Spinel and Pink Tourmaline

How do you see art and jewellery, and the confluence of both?
Jewellery is not fine art – it’s an artistic expression. Like in the field of fine art and design, you have high quality and mediocrity. Jewellery is also an essential part of our culture and history; it is wearable and this constitutes a major difference with fine art.

The high-end craft, the design vision, the mastering of techniques, the use of certain materials, and innovation can make jewellery more precious and artistic. It also separates the mass produced from the high end.

What qualities do you look for in a jewellery designer to represent them under Objet d’Emotion?
Talent, a personal vision, authenticity, artisanship, quality, honesty, transparency, generosity, and innovation. I do not tolerate copies or unoriginal work. I love designers who push design and material boundaries, believe in experimentation, and bring something new to the conversation.

Can you talk to us about the kind of clientele you have?
Our client loves design and art, is discerning, and not necessarily fashion-obsessed. They are mature, sophisticated, and have discerning taste. They seek an intimate, exclusive experience and are not so excited by shopping at department stores or big retailers. Seeking beauty, exclusivity, refined pleasure, and experiences, our client may be an art collector, a gourmet, a music expert, or an architect.

You regularly showcase at PAD and Paris Haute Couture Week. What other channels do you use to connect with your clients?
We debuted at Paris Couture in 2016, exhibiting the jewellers we represent at Place Vendôme. Objet d’Emotion also hosted a presentation last year and it was such a success. We are looking into hosting more private events and are seeking strong, close partnerships. We are planning a few private events from September 2020 and given the travel restrictions, a virtual event may be a possibility.

How do you think shopping patterns – for jewellery and beyond – have evolved in the last decade?
I feel that there are too many stores, which leads to confusion and saturation. Online has definitely changed the game with everything being almost too available. I feel that fashion (and jewellery) has been too democratised and mediocritised. With year-round discounts, online resale, and renting platforms, along with large jewellery platforms with massive marketing budgets selling mass, soulless jewellery – there is just too much! I love destination stores and art fairs like PAD, TEFAF, Masterpiece, and galleries like de Vera, Ted Muelhing, August in Los Angeles, Quidam Revel in Paris, and few in Scandinavia for special pieces.

The clientele is now divided in segments: The online shopper, the collector, and the design/craft consumer. Online jewellery shopping is not for me. I need a special experience of touching, trying, and feeling. I need the human connection that destination stores and ateliers offer.

At Objet d’Emotion, we definitely want to develop more bespoke commissions with clients and suitable designers. We have worked on quite a few lately and it is wonderful to have this dialogue with the client as they feel a part of the complete process.

Top: Melanie Georgacopoulos ring with pearl and mother of pearl
Bottom: Neha Dani Brionne Earrings in 18K gold, rhodium with diamonds and yellow opal

How has the pandemic affected your personal journey?
It has given me the time to focus. The past 17 years have been very hectic and I never had time to reflect on certain areas. It gave me time to rethink my priorities as a female entrepreneur, consultant, friend, mother, and consumer.

We have built strategies for our business, mission, and message. We are working on a pitch for investment, as we wish to support independent designers and preserve high-end craft. Raising concerns, a number of very talented jewellers will struggle post-pandemic, leading to business closures, disastrous suffering, and disappearance of honed ancient skills. For me, craft is part of the fabric of our humanity and culture – and it is under threat.

We have been busy tweaking our website, bringing new ideas and working on a few exciting consultancies as our services are in high demand. Due to travel restrictions, we are also preparing for a more virtual “communication” with our collaborators. I believe that change will happen for a better, slower, respectful world and we aim to establish a more meaningful and ethical business, as well as slow down a little, be more inspired, and give back.

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