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A talk with Liliane Jossua: Does the Avenue Montaigne still sell diamonds for this end of year ?

In Paris, Montaigne Market is to jewelry what Ladurée is to macarons. Liliane Jossua, founder of Montaigne Market gives us her insights about the Parisian climax for this end of year. After the terrorist attacks that struck Paris on November 13th, can the spirit of Christmas be filled with gifts and smiles ?

We have asked her what is the retailing business is currently about, and how do clients spend for this particular end of year…

CURRENT JEWELRY TREND?
It’s either big or small pieces but there is no in-between…Clients either want statement pieces or small delicate pieces such as stackable rings.

ONE MUST-HAVE PIECE FOR THIS END OF YEAR?
Kisnet Rings ! As crazy as it sounds, we are going back to traditional pieces of jewelry. Why a kisnet ring ? Well… It is a design that has not been made in a fun or cool way for a very long time if not ever! Often too masculine and traditional, the kisnet ring has rarely been explored in a jewelry creative way. Modern and alternative jewelry designers have understood the potential of the pinkie rings ! Stone Paris or Yvonne Léon are great examples of modern and fashionable kisnet rings.

TRIGGER ENABLING A SALE?
Love at first sight ! It’s also the ideal gift: no size fitting, timeless and that can be passed on one generation to another… you can’t get tired of a piece of jewelry and you make no mistake in offering one!

HOW IS THE BUSINESS GOING IN THIS PARISIAN CLIMAX?
Not great even right now with the start of the private sales… but thankfully online sales have taken over – mostly on small pieces though.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PARISIAN AND A FOREIGN CLIENT?
Foreigners do not think as much as French do. If they have the money they buy what they like. They do it to please themselves, they have the money, they spent it. There is less of a thinking process… Most importantly because it’s a cultural difference!

YOUR THOUGHT ABOUT WATCHMAKING?
People view watches as a safe heaven currency. Men like watches and women jewelry. Classic reflexion – but I think in the watch industry prices are too high and limited editions are too many. It used to be interresting to own a limited edition piece. Not anymore. Rarity does not exist anymore and customers aim for established brands such as Patek Philippe knowing it’s a secured value. Everything has become oriented towards marketing, branding, self-image and on how can it be spread in the most efficient way. Authenticity and sincerity do not exist anymore.

Stone Paris
Kisnet Ring – in gold and diamonds

Lynn Ban
Triangular B Ring made of sterling silver with 1.55 ct white diamonds – 3’895 Euros

WHAT ABOUT YOUR LIMITED EDITIONS?
If I do limited editions it’s only because the brand does not do any or the selected piece does not come in any other variation. If I ask for a different piece – as a limited color edition for example … it’s mostly for commercial reasons!

THOUGHTS ABOUT THE STAR SYSTEM?
Celebrity trends aren’t as valuable anymore. The star system is biased … The celebrities who are paid to wear X or Y brand only play the love game depending on the amount on the check they are getting. We have celebrities buying at the store and they buy because they love. Nobody force them to!

MAD- YOUR ONLY WATCH BRAND
At Montaigne Market we only carry one watch brand called MAD. The concept is about customising an existing piece with black PVD treatments mostly and precious stones. It’s all about giving a second life to a watch.

ONE REASON WHY THE JEWELRY INDUSTRY WOULD DIE?
I doubt it would as women will keep on wearing jewelry… but if it does, it would be for security reasons where you need to stay discreet and not show off what you have.

WHAT COULD CEASE YOUR ACTIVITY?
Geopolitics ! It’s the worse, and it’s what we are experiencing right now in Paris. We are located on a touristic Avenue, where most Parisians do not think they could ever buy something at Montaigne Market -most of what we sell is expensive, it’s a fact but we start our prices at 10 Euros !!!! The on-going climax is disrupting Parisians and tourists to come visit …