Tiffany Files Lawsuit Against LVMH

In November 2019, luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE confirmed that it has reached a $16.2 billion deal to buy American jeweller Tiffany & Co. For the previous post, click here please.

Yesterday, after months of speculation, LVMH has called off its planned mega-merger with the American jeweler. The result? Tiffany sinks 11% and is now suing the French luxury conglomerate to keep the acquisition on track. The jewelry giant alleged LVMH sought to leverage US social justice protests and the coronavirus pandemic to «avoid paying the agreed price for Tiffany shares.»

LVMH explained that the deal’s contract set a November 24 deadline, and that requests from Tiffany and the French government to delay the deal led to its pulling out. In return, Tiffany accused LVMH of not doing its part to win approval of the deal from antitrust authorities.

Tiffany’s famous 5th Avenue store in New York City

More details can be found in LVMH’s press release from yesterday: «After a succession of events which undermine the acquisition of Tiffany & Co, the Board of LVMH met to review the situation relating to the contemplated investment in light of these recent developments.

The Board learned of a letter from the French European and Foreign Affairs Minister which, in reaction to the threat of taxes on French products by the US, directed the Group to defer the acquisition of Tiffany until after January 6th, 2021. Furthermore, the Board noted Tiffany & Co.’s requested to extend the «Outside Date» in the Merger Agreement from November 24th to December 31st, 2020.

As a results of these elements, and knowledge of the first legal analysis led by the advisors and the LVMH teams, the Board decided to comply with the Merger Agreement signed in November 2019 which provides, in any event for a closing deadline no later than November 24th, 2020 and officially records that, as it stands, the Group LVMH will therefore not be able to complete the acquisition of Tiffany & Co.»

Key figure: Roger N. Farah, Chairman of the Board Tiffany & Co.

In course of Tiffany & Co.’s lawsuit in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware against LVMH Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton SE and related entities («LVMH»), Roger N. Farah, Chairman of the Board, said, «We regret having to take this action but LVMH has left us no choice but to commence litigation to protect our company and our shareholders. Tiffany is confident it has complied with all of its obligations under the Merger Agreement and is committed to completing the transaction on the terms agreed to last year. Tiffany expects the same of LVMH

He stated further, «We believe that LVMH will seek to use any available means in an attempt to avoid closing the transaction on the agreed terms. But the simple facts are that there is no basis under French law for the Foreign Affairs Minister to order a company to breach a valid and binding agreement, and LVMH’s unilateral discussions with the French government without notifying or consulting with Tiffany and its counsel were a further breach of LVMH’s obligations under the Merger Agreement. ‎Moreover, this supposed official French effort to retaliate against the U.S. for proposed new tariffs has never been announced or discussed publicly; how could it possibly then be an effort to pressure the U.S. into revoking the tariffs? Furthermore, as we are not aware of any other French company receiving such a request, it is all the more clear that LVMH has unclean hands.»

Tiffany CEO Alessandra Bogliolo in 2018

Tiffany emphasized that its business remained strong, with sales in the last three months of 2020 expected to exceed the same period last year and that the COVID-19 pandemic has not prevented other parties from making antitrust filings on a timely schedule.

Chief Executive Officer Alessandro Bogliolo underlined, »The fundamental strength of Tiffany’s business is clear. The company has already returned to profitability after just one quarter of losses, and we expect our earnings in the fourth quarter of 2020 will actually exceed the same period in 2019

The famous movie scene: Audrey Hepburn in «Breakfast at Tiffany’s».

Tiffany is seeking to expedite the Delaware proceedings to obtain a ruling prior to November 24, 2020 ordering LVMH to comply with its obligations and complete the transaction on the agreed terms.

An unpleasant turnaround of what we thought would become a love story of the luxury industry. I am very curious to see the outcome. I mean if LVMH walks away completely, Kering or Richmond might jump on the deal and acquire Tiffany. Stay tuned!

LoL, Sandra

Funny composite from the NY Post
Photos: Tiffany & Co., LVMH, Getty

CHANEL Pétales de Camélia

Mademoiselle Chanel’s favourite flower, the camellia, lends itself to every style. Also known as the «Japanese rose», the beautiful flower is mostly found in Asian countries and symbolises long-lasting devotion and became an element of her style in 1913. Its geometric curves encourage endless creativity; its perfect roundness expresses pure femininity. More than a flower, the camellia is an inspiration.

Coco Chanel liked the simplicity of the bloom that has no thorns or fragrance, which means that that it would never clash with her iconic No. 5 fragrance. Furthermore, she loved the shape of the flowers and its white color that stood out against her famous little black dresses. Word has it that she developed the fondness the moment she was presented with a bouquet by her lover, Boy Capel.

I am so in love with my CHANEL Pétales de Camélia ring.

The yellow gold collection, CHANEL Pétales de Camélia, inspired by the designer’s favorite flower was launched last year and I truly love every single piece. Perfect as an everyday jewelry choice, the Camélia collection remains inextricably linked to CHANEL’s spirited personality and creative diversity.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © CHANEL, © Sandra Bauknecht and © David Biedert Photography

Masterpiece London x Net-à-Porter

First of all, congrats to Net-à-Portericon, my favorite shopping destination turns 20 this month and it never stops to amaze me. Last Thursday, I had the privilege too attend a very exclusive zoom meeting hosted by Net-à-Porter for their top clients to explore Masterpiece London, the world’s leading cross-collecting fair, before the official launch date today.

With Alison Loehnis to the right and Charlotte Olympia in the middle at another amazing Net-à-Porter event in London.

Our lovely host, Alison Loehnis, president of Net-à-Porter, was joined by experts from the art world for a virtual discussion on «Voyages of Discovery: journey, legacy and connection in art & design.»

Philip Hewat-Jaboor gave us some great insight into Masterpiece London.

Philip Hewat-Jaboor, chairman of Masterpiece and a distinguished collector himself of exceptional pieces from every category imaginable, including 18th-century and early-19th-century ceramics, marbles, furniture and antiquities, gave us a great introduction. What sets Masterpiece London apart from other art fairs is the juxtaposition of art and design from all periods and origins. It is the unmissable art fair at which visitors can view and buy the finest works of art, design, furniture and jewellery – from antiquity to the present day.

Emma Ward during the meeting in front of a Picasso painting.

«Art is incredibly subjective.» – Emma Ward

With almost 400 years of collective art world experience, Dickinson specialises in privately and discreetly handling rare Old Masters through to Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary masterpieces. Emma Ward, Managing Director, who runs the company, explained us how to navigate through today’s complex and fast-moving art world.

Stunning necklace by Fabio Salini

«I couldn’t find the perfect color combination. Therefore I divided the gems in two rows, into warm and cold colors.» – Fabio Salini

Gemologist and jewelry designer Fabio Salini worked for Bvlgari and Cartier before launching his own brand, creates original jewelry and events around the world. In 2004 he opened his Atelier in Rome, an elegant shop and design studio that has become the focal point of his work, representing the quintessence of his style. His keen interest in contemporary art as a form of expression and a source of inspiration has led to brilliant collaborations, like that with Fernando and Humberto Campana, rooted in a tantalizing mélange of jewelry, design and art. He sees himself as a contemporary artist, very much related to his emotions. He is a pisces, very moody, feelings change every single day.

Image of Rockefeller’s salon designed by Jean-Michel Frank in 1939, showing the Léger mural and Giacometti andirons.

«I believe that a less severe principle can be found—the mixing of styles. The noble frames that came to us from the past can receive today’s creations. The house that we build now can welcome ancient things of beauty.» – Jean-Michel Frank

Such a source of inspiration: Helena Rubinstein’s apartment.

«Re-editions can be problematic.» – Daniel Malarkey

Daniel Malarkey, art advisor, specialized in contemporary art and important design for collectors. I loved his advice and speech. He spoke about provenance and the designer’s work; how proportion, materials and form inspire contemporary design today: how then one commissions site-specific design for interiors and mixing 20th century with contemporary.

Van Cleef and Arpels Œillet handbag mirror. Unique piece, High Jewelry Collection, 2019
Yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, pink sapphires, rubies, diamonds. £300.000

If this preview has whet your appetite, you can go even further with this online. Navigate on your own, you can do this from every corner of the globe. However, without the conversation with the exhibitors, you might be stuck. If you find something you like, make a telephone call, talk to the dealer, get engaged and learn more about the respective piece. Masterpiece’s exhibitors span all eras and disciplines and include many of the world’s most distinguished art dealerships.

Shopping art and design is actually similar to shopping at Net-à-Porter, do your homework. Understand the fabrics and materials, buy books and learn about iconic pieces. Buy the best you can afford, instead of buying 25 pieces, invest in THE one. You should feel comfortable in spending money so that you would like to do it again.

Chairs, ca. 1930, by Jean-Michel Frank (1895-1941), Galerie Marcilhac

If you commission a piece, find a gallery, an artist or designer. Talk about the feeling of the house, work on the discussion and have an eye on proportion.

Invest in something you like. It might become an iconic piece. I am a collector myself, my collection of high end fashion pieces is my biggest passion that I have followed since over 25 years now. I buy what I personally adore and this is in general the best advice! In the meantime, my collection includes many museum-quality objects.

Do you remember the auction sale of the art collection put together by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé that was held from February 21-25 2009? Yves Saint Laurent was a tastemaker of his own who also got inspired by art, as you can see perfectly in the creation of the famous «Mondrian dress». It was the first ever auction sale to be staged in the Nave of the Grand Palais. The event turned out to be memorable with even 34.000 visitors. Record-breaking items were: the Brancusi sculpture, Madame L.R. which fetched 28.1 million euros. The Matisse Cuckoos went for a spectacular 32 million, smashing the estimated figure of 12 to 18 million euros. Marcel Duchamp’s Belle haleine, eau de voilette fragrance bottle fetched 7.9 million euros.

Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé in their apartment with the famous dragon armchair.

Last but not least, a legendary item in the collection, Eileen Gray’s «dragon» armchair, defied all expectations, the sale price of 21.90 M€ being ten times the pre-sale estimate. This chair was absolutely different from her usual style, but you see how things can turn out surprisingly well.

Join Masterpiece Online (22 – 28 June 2020) for live panel discussions with leading cultural institutions, watch interviews and learn from experts, expert-led virtual tours or arrange a tailor-made private view for you and your friends.

Have a great start into the week.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht, Courtesy of Rockefeller Foundation, Net-à-Porter and Masterpiece

Clash de Cartier Debuts New Additions

In a private appointment at CARTIER this week, I had the opportunity to finally discover the new addition to the Clash de Cartier collection, that debuts a white gold series and some limited edition amazonite novelties.

Those beautiful studded and spiky fine jewellery pieces are available now in four designs:
1 Clash de Cartier ring, small model in a rhodium-finish 18K white gold, CHF 2150
2 Clash de Cartier ring, medium model in a rhodium-finish 18K white gold, CHF 3100
3 Clash de Cartier ring, medium model in a non-rhodium finish 18K white gold, CHF 3100
(the non-rhodium finish looks darker and more matte, something that might appeal especially to men and those who like their jewellery to look more fashion-forward)
4 Clash de Cartier bracelet, medium model in a rhodium-finish 18K white gold, CHF 8850

Looking at my arm, I am seriously into stacking goals. Needless to say, I have immediately fallen in love with the new Clash de Cartier white gold bracelet which I think would finish off my collection perfectly. It also looks great in combination with my small Clash de Cartier rose gold bracelet.

Do you like stacking your arm as much as I do?

And their is more. Following the debut release of 18k white gold versions, the brand has also added a line of limited edition amazonite novelties. Take a look at these new beauties. I am madly in love, especially with the ring.

1 Clash de Cartier earring, large model, 18K rose gold, amazonite, CHF 13000
2 Clash de Cartier bracelet, large model, 18K rose gold, amazonite, CHF 53500
3 Clash de Cartier ring, large model, 18K rose gold, amazonite, CHF 11900

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Cartier and © Sandra Bauknecht

Hermès New Aluminium Sunset Bracelets

Inspired by California’s unique sunsets, intense colors like Bleu Egée or Jaune Soleil adorn the wrists this summer at Hermès.

Collier de Chien bracelets in Bleu Eagle and Jaune Soleil

This year is all about innovation. Therefore, the French Maison has developed a progressive material and created the iconic Collier de Chien and Evelyn bracelets from anodized aluminum. The surface of these ultra-light bangles is treated using a special oxidation process, so that the color melts with the metal and is particularly resistant to dirt and scratches.

Evelyn bracelets in five colors

The Collier de Chien and Evelyn bracelets are available in five colors each at a price of CHF 710.- and CHF 470.- respectively.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Hermès and © Sandra Bauknecht

Obsessed with Cartier Bracelets

Since my teenage years, I had been dreaming about receiving a LOVE bracelet by CARTIER one day. Of course, I could have bought it myself but to be gifted with one and its love message behind is so much more meaningful. Now, I was blessed twice and got a rose gold one with diamonds from my love and a small white gold one from my girlfriends for my birthday.

What makes CARTIER bracelets so special? As some of the most recognizable luxury jewelry items, often stacked up the wrists and sparkling on our favorite celebrities, this is what has made it a luxury staple over the past few years. The LOVE bracelet for example has been apart of the Cartier DNA as one of the brand’s heritage designs for around four decades.

LOVE BRACELET in rose gold with four diamonds

Created in 1969 by Italian jewelry designer Aldo Cipullo in the New York workshops of the French luxury jewelry house, the iconic jewelry piece was modeled after medieval chastity belts, so-to-say «locked into love» and can only be opened or closed with a screwdriver that comes with the bracelet. For the first time, a fine jewelry piece was meant to be worn day and night. At the time of the original release, CARTIER started a kind of influencer marketing and gifted bracelets to a curated list of some of the defining It-couples of the century to publicize the romantic symbolism. Among them were for example Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and Ali McGraw and Steve McQueen. Only in 2017, CARTIER launched the smaller sizes so that it has become easier for the wearer to create the stacked look everybody wants today.

LOVE BRACELET SM in white gold

Aldo Cipullo wearing his iconic creations, the LOVE and JUSTE UN CLOU bracelets.

While the LOVE bracelet was Cipullo’s first design, he went on to design another equally popularized design – JUSTE UN CLOU (just a nail) – only three years later in 1971. Encircling the wrist in a thick nailhead, this creation is actually my favorite, not only because it is easier to remove. By the way, the diamond encrusted versions of the LOVE bracelets come with a clip closure and don’t need to be closed with a screwdriver. Can you imagine that today, most hospital emergency rooms are equipped with the latter to be able to remove the jewelry piece in case of any medical crisis…

CARTIER flagship store at Fifth Avenue in NYC

JUSTE UN CLOU bracelet in rose gold with diamond pavé

In 2012, to commemorate CARTIER’s 165th anniversary, the brand opened an exhibit at the CARTIER Maison on Fifth Avenue to celebrate Cipullo’s work in the 1970s and released an entire collection of earrings, necklaces, rings based on the JUSTE UN CLOU bracelet.

CLASH DE CARTIER SM bracelet in rose gold

Last year, a completely new collection was launched with the name CLASH DE CARTIER, that’s all about duality, and contradictions, celebrating the modern woman. For the previous post, click here please. I feel blessed to wear all three lines at my wrist that make me happy every day…

JUSTE UN CLOU bracelet in rose gold with diamonds, LOVE bracelet SM in white gold, LOVE bracelet in rose gold with 4 diamonds, and CLASH DE CARTIER bracelet SM in rose gold, all by Cartier.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Cartier and © Sandra Bauknecht; Courtesy of Toteone

Best V-Day Gift: Dior’s New Oui Jewelry

Victoire de Castellane’s creations continue the sparkling story started by Christian Dior himself: a story of femininity, elegance and refinement, adorned with delicately rendered boldness.

«Yes… A word whispered in your ear, a muffled cry that lies upon your neck… The Oui collection reveals a selfish pleasure, a precious gift or a commitment to life.»
Victoire de Castellane

Oui earrings in yellow gold with diamonds, € 1500

Now, the jewelry designer expanded the Dior «oui» collection, which means «yes» in English, featurings rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces that spell out romantic French phrases.

Oui double ring in yellow gold with diamonds, € 1600

There’s for example a pink gold double ring that says «je t’aime» (I love you), dotted with diamonds; a pair of yellow gold earrings that feature the word «toi» (you) on one side, «moi» (me) on the other; and a diamond-embellished «oui» bracelet and necklace, which come in 18k gold in pink gold.

Oui earrings in yellow gold with diamonds, € 1500

Oui double ring in yellow gold with diamonds, € 1600

And don’t be shy. The cursive font used in the collection also lets you wear several pieces together,  make a statement by stringing together different rings, one on each finger.

Oui bracelet in pink gold with diamond, € 1000

Oui collier in pink gold with diamond, € 1200

I truly hope that my better half reads my blog 🙂 …

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Dior

Prada Valentine’s Day 2020

Prada is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a special selection of gold and white gold fine jewellery for both men and women.
In an exquisite, highly original style, precious materials are handcrafted in sophisticated designs that reinvent Prada iconic symbols and the themes of the new collections.

Vibrant hearts, baroque pearls, rock guitars, romantic roses, playful robots but also keys, rabbits, bananas, and the brand’s triangular logo – in gold and diamonds – relive Prada’s history through
contemporary and timeless earrings, bracelets, pendants and necklaces with an unmistakable hint of irony.

Prada’s fine jewellery is made using 18-carat gold and diamonds from suppliers with Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) certification.
The RJC is a non-profit organisation, founded in 2015 to promote responsible practices from an ethical, social and environmental point of view and respect for human rights in the handling of metals and precious stones, from their extraction right through to their sale.

Now on sale at selected Prada boutiques worldwide as well as on prada.com, exclusively for USA, Japan and UAE.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Prada

Birthstone Jewelry

Today is my birthday! I love birthdays, zodiac signs, birthstones and celebrations. Therefore I love this beautiful dainty jewelry pieces by German jewelry designer Saskia Diez.

Each pair of her stud earrings or delicate bracelets corresponds to a birthstone that holds a special meaning and power in astrology. Sophisticated in their simplicity, these single styles have been handmade at the brand’s atelier in Munich.

January / Rose Quartz: Love, emotional healing, compassion
February / Amethyst: Health, beauty, clarity
March / Aquamarine: Intuition, balance, wisdom
April / Rock Crystal: Awareness, amplifying energy, clarity
May / Chrysopras: Joy, healing, attracts love
June / Moonstone: Intuition, sensuality, safe travel
July / Onyx: Blocking negativity, patience, determination
August / Aventurine: Prosperity, well-being, good luck
September / Jade: Harmony, prosperity, healing
October / Turmaline: Love, emotional cleanser, healing
November / Citrine: Brightness, positive energy, clearing
December / Topaz: Centering, remove negativity, grounding

Pick from one of those stones above even if they fall outside of your zodiac or choose one as a thoughtful gift.

TO SHOP SASKIA DIEZ BIRTHSTONE JEWELRY, CLICK HERE PLEASE.
iconNow, I am off to enjoy my day… stay tuned!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Saskia Diez
DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.

Louis Vuitton Sewelô

Louis Vuitton announces its participation together with Lucara Diamond Corporation and the HB Company of Antwerp, in a unique collaboration to transform a rare and exceptional diamond specimen, a 1758 carat diamond, the second largest rough diamond ever discovered.

April 19th, 2019 will go down as a history-making moment in the long story of the divine diamond: the day when the monumental 1758 carat rough diamond, now named Sewelô, meaning Rare Find in the Setswana language, was recovered at the Lucara Diamond Corp.’s 100% owned Karowe mine, Botswana. It is the second largest rough diamond ever discovered and the largest to come out of Botswana.

Roughly the size of a tennis ball, measuring 83mm x 62mm x 46mm, weighing 352 grams, the Sewelô is the second largest rough gem diamond in recorded history, eclipsed only by the Cullinan, at 3106 carats, discovered in South Africa in 1905, and fashioned into historic diamonds that are now in the British Crown Jewels and royal collection. The Sewelô is also the largest, exceptional rough diamond to be recovered from Lucara’s state-of-the-art Karowe mine in Botswana.

Remarkably, the diamond remained unbroken thanks to Lucara’s high-tech XRT circuit, a highly advanced recovery process that avoids crushing the diamond-bearing rock, a drawback of previous processes. Initial analysis of the Sewelô characterises the stone as ‘near gem quality’ with ‘domains of high-quality white gem’, while detailed studies of the stone, its composition, qualities and potential will continue for several months.

The Sewelô is spectacular not only for its immense size but also for its intriguing characteristics
of shape, colour, formation and composition. The rough crystal is largely covered in a very thin layer of black carbon, enveloping yet hinting at the 2 billion-year-old secrets hidden within; the full extent of variations in colour and clarity of the diamond yield is still unknown. This was exactly the kind of extreme rarity, unconventional and challenging, to appeal to Louis Vuitton’s sense of adventure and creativity: an extraordinary, idiosyncratic diamond specimen, a wondrous miracle of Mother Nature, mesmerizingly mysterious, with its contradictions of darkness and light, and hidden depths of beauty and lustre, waiting for the right expertise and sensibility to be revealed to the world.

Karowe, meaning ‘precious stone’, is Lucara’s 100% owned diamond mine that is situated on the northern fringes of the Kalahari Desert and came on stream in 2012. It is renowned for the quality and size of the diamonds it produces, specifically superlative Type IIA diamonds – chemically pure, and with exceptional limpidity – of over 10 carats. These have included the 1109 carat Lesedi La Rona, and the 813 carat Constellation.

Karowe uses the most advanced processing technology in the world, and puts corporate and social responsibility, sustainability and the safety and welfare of its workers, at the heart of the business. Boasting a workforce which is 98% comprised of Botswanan nationals, the huge success of the mine has brought great economic and social benefits to local communities. Lucara is committed
to ensuring the Sewelô has a positive, lasting impact on Botswana. As part of this mission, when the astonishing 1758 carat rough diamond was discovered last year, the mine invited the people of Botswana to submit ideas for a name. The winning submission, Sewelô, or Rare Find, one of 22,000 entries, was announced and the stone officially named at a gala event last summer in the presence of the President of the Republic of Botswana.

Louis Vuitton is working closely with master diamond cutters, HB Company, from Antwerp, studying the Sewelô in minute detail, using the very latest scanning and imaging technology to assess the final potential of the stone, and plan the optimum yield of individual finished, cut and polished diamonds. The first step is to open a window onto the stone, in order to gain visibility into the heart of the Sewelô, and plot various permutations of size, colour and shape. Diamond-cutting is an age-old, near-mystical blend of art and science, expertise and intuition. Advanced, cutting-edge technology will play a crucial role in the entire process from initial scanning and planning to the cutting and polishing which is estimated to take a year to complete. The unique properties of the Sewelô, its size and black surface coating, mean that new nano-technologies have to be used in place of standard equipment. In a spirit of creative collaboration with HB Company, Louis Vuitton will be involved at every stage, ensuring that the maximum light, life and fire, character and charisma will be unleashed from the magnificent rough crystal. The size of the diamond will enable production of Made-to-Order Louis Vuitton Cut diamonds, each complex, each skillfully fashioned in the form of one of Louis Vuitton’s emblematic Monogram, the rounded flower and star-shaped motif.

Finally, in a characteristically barrier-breaking initiative of innovation and individuality, Louis Vuitton plans to use the extraordinary variety and abundance within the Sewelô to offer clients the opportunity to create bespoke, custom-cut diamonds. This industry disrupting move allows for the ultimate personalisation and exclusivity, remaining entirely in tune with Louis Vuitton’s heritage of special, made-to-order commissions. In this way, the client will be intimately involved in the entire creative process, in the life and story of an extraordinary, magnificent diamond from its source in the famous Karowe mine in Botswana, Africa, to a refined masterpiece, conceived and crafted in Paris, Place Vendôme – from the centre of the earth to the heart of High Jewellery.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Louis Vuitton