Jewellery is her DNA and confidence is part of her nature, OHLALA’s Jenny’s Guttridge had an inspiring chat with Caroline Scheufele, from the Maison Chopard.
Caroline Scheufele, Co-President and Artistic Director of Chopard jewellery house is no shrinking violet. The German-born powerhouse billionaire has brought the family-owned maison into the modern day with her commitment to sustainability and forward-thinking, running Chopard with her brother, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele.
When I met with Caroline Scheufele, she floated into the room and sat gracefully on the velvet couch right in front of me. A slight woman, elegantly dressed with a subtle confidence that immediately commanded the room. Her eyes lit up as she smiled, her quick sense of humour shining through like her gold earrings sparkling under the lights.
Ageing gracefully is an art form that Caroline has down to perfection. At 60, she is an inspiration to women globally as an example of how to lead the industry with her pioneering ideas without sacrificing family life.
When asked if she had any advice for the modern woman, she laughed as she brushed back her flowing golden hair: “I think, actually, if there were more women at the helm, whether in politics or industry, I think a lot of better things would happen in the world. There would be more humanity, intelligence maybe, less ego!” she laughed. “I’ve done a lot, but I have so much more I want to do, every day is a challenge and I am a positive person. It’s very difficult to get me upset, but when I do, I really get upset, then you better run!”
No stranger to pioneering new territory, under her guidance Chopard has become the first jewellery house to commit to sustainability and their Responsible Sourcing Programme.
Under this agreement, Chopard ensures their entire supply chain meets with UN Human Rights standards. Caroline hopes that other high-end jewellery houses will see this as an opportunity to follow suit. “We do as much as we can in an ethical way, ethically sourced gold and steel in our Alpine Eagle watches, everything we do, our packaging. We always think twice ‘Can we do it differently? Can we find a new material?’” She continued. “We are working a lot with NGOs and different associations too. With gemstones the colour differences are big, so you have to talk to governments, you have to educate the mines, it’s slowly but surely happening.”
Globally, there has been a big shift in all industries towards more sustainable consumerism, where being able to trace your product’s origin is becoming a luxury in itself. When I asked Caroline Scheufele for her thoughts on this growing change, she said: “In the fashion industry a lot of things have happened already, I think there is a big movement, whereas, in our industry, we are sort of pioneers, but I hope now our colleagues are starting too. I don’t want to be the only one, luxury should be transparent and ethical.”
It is a natural extension that the forward-thinking leader of the industry should partner with the intelligence of the James Bond franchise. In 1998, Caroline Scheufele redesigned the Palme D’Or for Cannes Film Festival, which cemented Chopard’s position as an official partner for the event and their strong relationship with the film industry. “We were approached by the Bond franchise, which is also family owned [by the Broccoli family], and they said that they would like to re-brand and that they loved Chopard. I said that in this case, we need a young fun collection. We need something for younger girls. So, we came up with the Happy Hearts collection in gold because it’s a bit like the Golden Eye.”
The 007 X Chopard Happy Hearts Golden Heart collection alternates between a large golden heart and a smaller heart containing Chopard’s classic dancing diamonds, the signature of the maison, which is said to symbolise freedom and adventure. The limited-edition collection features only 7,007 pieces, which are spread across Chopard boutiques globally. The pieces within the collection are said to embody the James Bond woman, a determined and courageous woman with a playful edge which sounds rather like Caroline herself. The latest Bond film No Time to Die is due to be released on September 30, 2021.