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Interview with Alain Némarq, CEO of Mauboussin, House of High Jewelry

The boss of Mauboussin, Alain Némarq, in his elegant office filled with works of art

A few weeks after a radio show together, Alain Némarq warmly welcomed me in his elegant office in Paris. The walls are adorned with original paintings, among which you can admire a portrait of the legendary couple Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. As the CEO and artistic director of Mauboussin, Alain Némarq combines an academic background in business management with teaching experience. Scholarly and passionate about craftsmanship, he developed hand intelligence by learning jewelry making. Conversation with a leader as creative as he is visionary.

Interview

Pierre-Antoine Tsady: When you took over Mauboussin in 2002, what were your first impressions and what goals did you set for yourself?

Alain Némarq: When I started leading Mauboussin, I was immediately struck by the elegance and historical richness of the House. Its impressive archives testified to a precious heritage, but somewhat dormant, that I was determined to revitalize. My goal was twofold: first, to breathe new life into this sleeping beauty by modernizing it without losing its soul. Second, I wanted to feminize the purchase of High Jewelry, making this experience more inclusive and accessible for women, allowing them to afford luxury pieces on their own.

P.-A. T.: How do you combine creativity and business strategy as CEO and artistic director of Mauboussin?

A. N.: At Mauboussin, creativity is not just an aspect of our work; it is at its heart. As a great House of creative tradition, we believe that the power of creation is the basis for generating added value. The business strategy is therefore closely linked to artistic innovation, each collection being designed to awaken the imagination of our clientele while strengthening the brand’s position in the market. Let’s unleash creativity, profit is around the corner.

P.-A. T.: To democratize luxury, what strategy did you implement and what unexpected realities did you discover in the market?

A. N.: My ambition was not to democratize luxury. I wanted to make High Jewelry accessible through a triple approach: product accessibility, geographical accessibility, and price accessibility.

Miss France Alicia Aylies showcases the jewelry of the House, which also offers the Mauboussin Pour Femme perfume, Promise Me, Mademoiselle Twist and Elixir Pour Elle..
Miss France Alicia Aylies showcases the jewelry of the House, which also offers the Mauboussin Pour Femme perfume, Promise Me, Mademoiselle Twist and Elixir Pour Elle..

P.-A. T.: How has the web helped to promote Mauboussin with the digital evolution and what have been the essential elements of your online strategy?

A. N.: It is obvious that the advent of smartphones and the development of online commerce have transformed our way of selling our products. On the one hand, they have allowed us to better present the visuals and videos of our jewelry, our watches, and more generally our new products. On the other hand, we can now reach out to prospects – who are not yet Mauboussin customers – to bring them to the brand.

P.-A. T.: To expand internationally, how do you adjust your strategy to conquer diverse markets while remaining true to Mauboussin’s identity?

A. N.: Internationally, I apply exactly the same strategy as I have in France. However, I adapt the methods to local specificities without compromising Mauboussin’s identity. This approach allows us to maintain consistency in our brand image while respecting the preferences of foreign markets.

P.-A. T.: How does the Mauboussin brand, with its many products, stand out to such a solicited consumer?

A. N.: Mauboussin stands out for the accuracy and finesse of its creations. We also place great importance on the absolute respect of quality-price ratios. But the most important thing is to always have an attitude turned towards the customer. We are constantly listening to them, striving to meet their expectations.

Discover the delicacy of the Mauboussin ring and the elegance of the Mauboussin watch, refined creations for her or him
Discover the delicacy of the Mauboussin ring and the elegance of the Mauboussin watch, refined creations for her or him

P.-A. T.: According to Challenges in 2016, 85% of Mauboussin jewelry was made in Europe, including 45% in France. How have your manufacturing practices evolved since this pre and post pandemic period?

A. N.: Our manufacturing practices have maintained their geographical orientation since 2016, with the majority of our production based in Europe and a large part in France. This continuity guarantees the quality and respect of artisanal traditions that are at the heart of our brand.

P.-A. T.: How has your training in management and your experience in other houses influenced your way of leading Mauboussin?

A. N.: You know, experience is just a lantern that illuminates the past. I have simply learned over all these years to seize the spirit of the times. The one who succeeds is the one who manages to seize the present time.

P.-A. T.: Has the tennis you practice reinforced your approach to leadership and your business philosophy at Mauboussin?

A. N.: Tennis has taught me that there is no possible success for the one who moves, stays ready to move and adapt quickly. This teaching is also valid in business and we practice it at Mauboussin. As a philosophy, I would say that everything must change so that nothing changes.

P.-A. T.: In a world where societal issues are increasingly essentialized, what values would you ideally like Mauboussin to reflect?

A. N. : I love that Mauboussin embodies generosity, elegance, kindness, and freedom. These four values are fundamental to us.

P.-A. T. : Like some competitors, will we soon see the Mauboussin brand extend to interior decoration, cosmetics, or ready-to-wear?

A. N. : The Mauboussin brand primarily expresses a lifestyle, and as such, nothing is forbidden to it. Whether it’s interior decoration, cosmetics, or ready-to-wear, there are no limits to the areas we could explore.

P.-A. T. : What can we wish for Mauboussin before 2030 and what goals do you want to achieve for the brand?

A. N. : By 2030, I hope that more and more women will feel comfortable and embodied in Mauboussin.

Mr. Némarq has been leading the Maison Mauboussin since 2002, propelling the brand towards a success that lasts
Mr. Némarq has been leading the Maison Mauboussin since 2002, propelling the brand towards a success that lasts

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