Luxury & Fashion
May 1, 2015
125 years of jewelry excellence
Mouawad fine jewelry embodies a sublime combination of artistry in design, quality of craftsmanship and the passion of an expert jeweler. While united by these constants, each collection strikes a unique note, taking its place in an impressive repertoire of unsurpassed creativity for which Mouawad is renowned.
Led by fourth generation Co-Guardians, Fred, Alain & Pascal Mouawad, and backed by more than a century of excellence in its field, Mouawad remains a family business built upon artistic excellence, superb craftsmanship, trust and relationships. Mouawad designs, manufactures and sells its own exclusive jewellery and timepiece collections ranging from boutique collections and haute joaillerie to magnificent bespoke masterpieces and objects of art. The Mouawad brand is present in continents across the world, while retaining its eminent position as jewelers to royalty, high society, celebrities and those that appreciate the finest standards of dazzling craftsmanship.
The Mouawad family business dates from 1890 when Daoud Mouawad established a small jewelry workshop in Beirut, Lebanon, after learning the craft in New York and Mexico. Later, Doaud's son, Fayez, broadened the scope of the business by moving to Saudi Arabia in 1950. The timing proved to be excellent and it enabled the family to capitalize on the country's growing wealth and to benefit from the increasing oil revenues in the Persian Gulf. Once Fayez handed the reins of the business over to his son, Robert Mouawad, the brand was set to expand to Europe, developing North American and Far Eastern connections, and to transform his family's jewelry business into the global empire it has become today.
The firm moved into the European and worldwide market under Robert Mouawad's leadership. He had initially studied in Europe to become a doctor but returned after being convinced by his father to join the family business. He started as a salesman with Mouawad in order to learn the business from the ground up, later entering into an agreement with his father to take over the business as the sole president. In the early 1970s, Robert moved the headquarters to Geneva, Switzerland.
He took many risks with the firm by purchasing some of the world's largest diamonds. He expanded the brand into Europe, Asia, and North America and began producing watches in the early 1990s. He's also contributed to the jewelry education and research through support of the Gemological Institute of America whose campus in Carlsbad, California is named in his honor.
Robert Mouawad acquired a historical residence in Beirut, Lebanon to host his collections of fine arts and antique pieces, and in 2006 established the Robert Mouawad Private Museum for his collections of books, ceramics, architectural elements, pottery, ancient weapons, carpets, jewelry, objets d'art and rare precious stones.
In 2010, Robert Mouawad left the firm to focus on his real estate group, the Robert Mouawad Foundation, and his museum. He officially retired on January 1, 2010, and the company was then led by his sons Fred Mouawad and Pascal Mouawad. Alain Mouawad joined to head up the watch division in January 2013.
The move to Hollywood
Since 2000 Pascal Mouawad had forged a strong link between the House of Mouawad and the world of celebrity through a collaboration with Victoria's Secret that saw the world's top models adorned in Mouawad gems. His decision in 2006 to move the company's offices from New York to Los Angeles deepened this celebrity connection further.
Supermodels weren't the only celebrities lining up to be covered in Mouawad jewels. No red carpet event could be complete without Mouawad creations adorning the necks and wrists of Hollywood's hottest stars. Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Kidman, Eva Longoria, Gwen Stefani, Faith Hill, Mary J. Blige, Giselle Bundchen, Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks are just the beginning of a long list of celebrities won over by the combined charms of Pascal Mouawad and his family's irresistible gems.
The deep affinity of the famous for Mouawad jewels went on to break unprecedented ground by giving birth to joint creative collaborations. A new fashion jewelry division emerged as a haven for artists and celebrities looking to create jewelry collections under their own labels. Icons such as Heidi Klum, Nicole Richie, Kim Kardashian and Jessica Simpson have translated their appreciation for fashion and beauty into timeless collections that connect with jewelry lovers across the world.
A passion for diamonds
Over the years the Mouawad family has acquired a collection of diamonds that is arguably the world's finest in private hands. It was in the early 1970s that Robert Mouawad first arrived on the jewelry auction scene. Soon his very presence in the sale room was enough to send pulses racing when it was realized that a new, significant player had appeared. Robert Mouawad was responsible for some of the most astonishing record diamond prices achieved in modern times.
The US, and specifically Hollywood, remained at the heart of Pascal's vision for the company. His grandfather before him had earned a prestigious status as jeweler to royalty across the world. Decades later, Pascal brought an innovative twist to this family tradition by courting the glamorous 'royalty' of the modern day - iconic celebrities - with Mouawad's renowned European traditions and craftsmanship.