Friday, May 23, 2008

Cartier's Bel Air Road Show

Courting the Superwealthy at Cartier Atelier
Eager to Keep Its Luster, The Jeweler to Maharajahs Takes Its Cases on the Road

Christina Binkley in yesterday's Wall Street Journal reported on Cartier's new strategy to reach high end clients.

Anxious about losing its luster, however, Cartier is aggressively stalking the superwealthy in their own natural habitat. Cartier's U.S. chief executive, Frédéric de Narp, last year recruited art adviser Carl Adams from Christie's auction house, where Mr. Adams had assembled an enviable Rolodex. As Cartier's vice president of business development, Mr. Adams organizes 18th-century-style salons that give Cartier access to the nation's leading socialites in their own homes. "We want these influential women to understand the heritage of the brand," Mr. de Narp says.

The luxury house doesn't sell anything at the events. Rather, it aims to build relationships with future customers so that when someone wants to buy a $150,000 bracelet, she thinks of Cartier first.
"I'm trying to build an awareness that Cartier -- at a certain level -- still exists," Mr. Adams says.
Last Thursday afternoon, 44 bejeweled women gathered at the Bel Air home of Carla Sands, wife of real-estate mogul Fred Sands. The guest list was chosen jointly by Cartier and Mrs. Sands. "I've known the hostess for years, and I knew the caliber of the people she would invite," Mr. Adams said. He'd already held "Cartier ateliers" in Costa Mesa, Calif., and Palm Beach, Florida.

Now just in case you weren't on the guest list for Cartier's Bel Air Road Show...and you aren't in the market (just yet) for that 51 carat yellow diamond has some great vintage Cartier baubles like this sleek Ellipse ring.

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