Alexandre Charriol graces the pages of Baccarat Magazine‘s November issue.
Alexandre Charriol, Visual director, Age 33
Born in Hawaii and raised in Hong Kong and London, Alexandre Charriol attended Tufts University and Parsons School of Design before dropping out of college to become an artist. He lived in New York for more than a decade before moving back to Hong Kong last year. “I needed some change,” he says. “I needed to come back to my roots to see what could flourish. New York was getting a little stale for me, so this is a new chapter.”
He plans to modernise the brand with his artistic background and flair for aesthetics: “I would like to bring new displays and visual material in a more interesting context; I can dabble in each department and give the brand an overhaul.”
“I’m still young, so I’m working on one, but I would like to say be true to yourself. If you start lying to yourself, life gets much more complicated.”
Charriol divides his time between Hong Kong and Bangkok, where he keeps a studio “I’m trying to find a new balance between art and Charriol. When I’m in Hong Kong, I concentrate solely on the business. I think dividing my time between the two is good, it will help me keep my balance, if not I will go crazy. I try to go to Bangkok 10 days a month, where I paint for 10 hours a day.”
Describing his art as narrative abstract, Charriol creates large format mixed media works. “I don’t really think in terms of goals. I have project goals. I plan to put on a good exhibition before Christmas in Hong Kong,” says the laid-back artist.
“I think my family business will always be part of me, but how much I will give or do is still being determined.” He adds that art will always be part of his life, though he is not sure if he will do it professionally: “I will always have it in me and continue my journey as an artist.”
Charriol – www.charriol.com – Age 29
Philippe Charriol – Alexandre’s father – founded the jewellery and watch brand in 1983 and its signature cable design became an instant hit. Since then, the company has expanded into other product areas including leather goods, luggage, eyewear and fragrance. Today, Charriol has 99 boutiques around the world plus many points of sales, with a presence in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and China.
Charriol specialises in jewellery and watches for men and women, many of which feature the brand’s iconic cable design. Popular watch collections include St Tropez and Celtic for ladies, while the Celtica line for men features sporty chronograph styles. Aurora jewellery, designed by art director Coralie Charriol (Alexandre’s elder sister) offers necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings with stainless steel and titanium cables, some in black or bronze. “We are developing coloured cables to be launched next year when we celebrate our 30th anniversary,” says the young Charriol. The brand also has a licensee business selling men’s clothing and shoes in China.
“We pride ourselves on tradition and value,” says Alexandre. “I think those are pretty strong links to the future. We are one of the few family-owned brands trying to stand on its own feet, and that’s definitely part of the fun of the job. We hope to keep Charriol in the family as long as possible.”
The brand will unveil a new image at Basel World 2013 and present an updated boutique concept. “We have new showcases and displays. Currently we are a little outdated, so our image needs a face lift,” he explains. A pop-up store in Hong Kong will also open within the next six months.
“I want to make the brand more relevant while keeping the cable alive and modern. That’s what we mean by tradition.”