A Quick Q&A with Marc Auclert
By: Jessica Michault
Marc Auclert is a dangerous man. He is a world renowned jeweler (he launched Chanel’s fine jewelry department) who has come up with an original concept that makes his signature creations pretty much irresistible for anyone with the means to afford them. Auclert’s jewelry is a elegant mix of unique museum-quality antiquities, which he has sourced from across the globe, that he then reimagines through the use of modern settings of his own design.
The Maison Auclert jewelry box of a store at 10 Rue de Castiglione, 75001 Paris, is filled with pieces like Byzantine gold coin earrings surrounded by a new ring of precious stones, 18K gold pendants set with antique agate beads form the 3rd Millennium B.C. that are finished off with fancy-cut diamonds or an 18K gold ring set with a bloodstone intaglio engraved with an ant motif that comes from 2nd century AD Rome, which has been balanced in symmetry with its impression in gold. Each piece is a one-of-a-kind chef-d’oeuvre created by a man with a whimsical imagination that produces pieces which defy categorization.
Here Auclert tells us all about what he learned from his time at Chanel, the challenges of finding the right antiques to work with and his relationship with emoji communications.
Q: How did you first get interested in jewelry?
A: As far as I can remember I always have been interested in expensive glittery little things…I remember my English grand-mother sticking me in the bathroom of her bridge (and booze) friends to clean up their jewelry: I would be quiet for hours!
Q: What was your big break?
A: I guess launching the jewelry department for Chanel in the 90’s was a great chance for the young chap I was. Then opening my gallery in 2011 on the Rue de Castiglione under my name was really a great event for me.
Q: What made you finally decide to launch out your own and create your brand?
A: In my case it came with age: at 45, I had that strong feeling of having the best of the corporate world behind me, with, in additon, the need to create and be free.
Q: Who inspires you?
A: Some very determined girlfriends of mine but I shan’t name them here in fear they would learn something they don’t know.
Q: Who living or dead would you love to be able to have dinner with?
A: Hum…Jeanne Toussaint from Cartier and Suzanne Belperron maybe…Actually, in those lines, my dream would be to be projected in a time capsule in the 18th century.
Q: What is your favorite trip?
A: I love going to Rome or Italy in general.
Q: When are you happiest?
A: It’s when I have made a sale to an enthusiastic client: not really for the commercial aspect of it, but more for the notion of having made the right choice in life, the reassurance of it all…
Q: What is the biggest challenge you are currently facing?
A: Sourcing the type of antiques I need for my jewelry is the most difficult aspect of my job: valuable, durable, not fragile, authentic yet attractive in a jewelry sense: colour, patina, shape and volume.
Q: What is your secret talent?
A: I make the best soups in the world! Especially my vegetable soup. I swear it’s true!
Q: What is your motto or the best piece of advice you ever got?
A: My ex-boss from Chanel from whom I was seeking advice before launching my business said to me: “Be special. Always”. And my personal motto when looking at a piece: “Is it chic?”. Chic cannot be defined but you know what I mean: either it is or it’s not.
Q: What emoji do you use the most?
A: I actually rarely use emoji though I love them in other’s texts.
Q: What is the latest Instagram feed you decided to follow?
A: It’s corny but it’s @parisjetaime because I do!