“Every day I aim to make the impossible possible,” says legendary jeweller Fawaz Gruosi.
With an eye for detail like no other, Gruosi discusses with us his impressive career which spans over five decades.
Can you talk us through your career?
My career started at a very young age, I was born in Beirut and raised in Florence and started working at the age of 17 at a renowned Florentine jeweller: Torrini. I then had the wonderful opportunity to work at Harry Winston in 1979, first in London and then in Saudi Arabia as the store’s general manager for three years. At the time, the Middle Eastern jewellery market was rising rapidly. In 1982, I was spotted by Gianni Bulgari who brought me back to Europe and a decade later I founded De Grisogono in Geneva. After a lifetime of lessons, I was craving a new challenge in 2018 and it was time to plan my new creative adventure.
What were your formative years working with Bulgari like?
In 1982, Gianni Bulgari created a new role for me and I joined the team in Rome. I had the opportunity to work with global VIPs and the most exclusive clientele who travelled from all around the world including the Middle East. Rome is an exceptionally beautiful city and working for such a special Italian brand was very unique. This experience sparked my creativity and forged my artistic style. Working in Rome allowed me to penetrate with my Italian heritage what was one of the most iconic brands.
And then to founding De Grisogono – what did this chapter of your career entail?
It was a very important moment in my career, I opened my first boutique on Geneva’s Rue du Rhone in 1993. The boutique was richly furnished with art and the atmosphere was one-of-a-kind, decadent. I was on a mission to inject a new-style glamour into the traditional high jewellery world. I wanted to innovate and disrupt the high jewellery industry by incorporating my modern touch into each piece.
Your chapter with De Grisogono came to a close in 2018. What have the four years since been like for you finding a new path for yourself in your career and following your creative instincts?
It’s been a journey of reflection and growth. This new creative adventure was simply waiting for me. We’ve worked very hard the past few years with my talented team, family and friends. They’ve all helped me make this dream come true and I’m so grateful for the support and encouragement I’ve received to finally launch my namesake brand in 2019.
Now, you’ve entered into a new era. Talk us through this.
Launching a brand during uncertain times immediately followed by a global pandemic is not an easy one. We’ve sourced the most exclusive and top-notch materials and put together very unique high jewellery pieces. Each jewel has a meaning and has been inspired by my roots, origins, and surroundings; the beautiful Mediterranean colours, sounds and scents have all contributed to the creation of my pieces.
What does this region mean to you when it comes to the jewellery space?
My father was Lebanese and so my heritage partly comes from this region, plus I worked for three years in Saudi Arabia for Harry Winston in my young career, so I’ve always been very attached to this region.
In what ways do you take inspiration from both your Lebanese and Italian heritage in your designs?
I consider it an eternal source of inspiration, from the incredible architecture, to the rich culture and the artistic history, the landscapes that make us dream and escape, both Italy and Lebanon share the most beautiful sea: The Mediterranean. The waters, the food, the history, the culture and the colours are simply unique. The energy from this region and its people is translated into the jewels I design, their movement tells a story just like my creations, and I’m very
blessed to be able to share the memories I have in this region of the world.
You’re a specialist in black diamonds. What goes into being an expert in these gems?
A lot of hard work and passion. I was the first-ever jeweller to use black diamonds in my creations and disrupted the jewellery market and I will continue to do so. Under Fawaz Gruosi, I was the first to use Amber, the primordial, organic, and fossilised resin of conifer trees, a natural treasure. Every day, I aim to make the impossible possible and I believe this is the mindset you need to create something that never existed before.
You’ve had celebrities and notable figures the globe-over wear your designs throughout the years – what have been highlights for you?
Every woman I’ve dressed has been special and unique. I’m very grateful to have seen my jewellery dazzle on the most beautiful women in the world. I’m humbled by the recognition we’ve achieved, and I would like to thank each of them for embracing and loving the pieces as much as I do.
What have you learned through the bespoke creation process?
To incorporate energy and feelings into each piece of jewellery. We want our jewels to have character and a soul. Throughout your career what has been your most memorable project? All of my previous work experiences have forged who I am as a person today and have all been so different and unique. If I had to choose one, I would say that launching my namesake brand during a global pandemic has been the most challenging but rewarding project I have ever undertaken.
In business, what is a philosophy you live by?
Expect the unexpected.
What are some of the key lessons you have learned throughout your career?
Every opportunity and experience is rich and unique, I’ve taken the best of each of my career opportunities and learned along the way. I’ve never been afraid to embrace the silver linings and stay hopeful whilst true to myself. Believing in your ideas and creativity is the most important lesson I’ve learned.
What have been the hurdles you’ve had to overcome throughout your career? Meanwhile, what have been the milestones?
As previously mentioned, it was a challenge to launch my namesake brand during a global pandemic but with hard work and dedication, we’ve made it work. This has been both the biggest hurdle and milestone in my career as a jeweller.
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