#ELLEExclusive: In Conversation With Chopard’s Co-President And Artistic Director Caroline Scheufele
She talks about her personal bond with Julia Roberts, her love for cinema and more
Caroline Scheufele is passionate about cinema, philanthropy and creativity, and these often intersect to produce wonderful outcomes. Consider Chopard’s partnership with the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Cannes International Film Festival, or the dazzling Animal World Collection of haute jewellery as evidence! In 1993, a revolutionary concept of introducing steel and diamonds for women’s timepieces was launched by Caroline, Chopard’s Co-president and Artistic Director. The resultant Happy Sports watch is a technical feat, with five diamonds whirling, nay dancing, around the piece in an everchanging choreography. For the newest edition of this iconic timepiece, Caroline has invited Julia Roberts to be the face of the Happy Diamonds campaign. Ahead of the launch, here’s Caroline in an exclusive interview with ELLE India:
ELLE: Cinema is a shared passion between Julia Roberts and yourself. Tell us about your friendship with her, and how the idea of her being the perfect fit for the Happy Diamonds campaign strike you?
Caroline Scheufele (CS): I still remember the first time I watched Erin Brockovich, where Julia played a dramatic heroine—a free-spirited, determined woman. Her charisma, her spontaneity, her boldness, her easy laughter and her actions on behalf of women’s and children’s rights make her a universally adored actress. For me, she is not only a talented and glamorous actress but a genuine global movie legend with a big heart. The first time she walked up the famous steps of the Palais de Festival in Cannes—the image of her being barefoot and wearing an off- the-shoulder, black dress highlighting a Chopard Haute Joaillerie emerald and diamond necklace, became the most memorable red carpet event in recent editions of the Festival. Julia’s natural grace and confidence impressed the world. Since then, she has uniquely personified the ultimate free-spirited woman, which is why I asked Julia to be the face of the ‘Happy Sport woman’. Who better to embody joie de vivre than the Hollywood star with the world’s most radiant smile!
ELLE: You often emphasise on experiencing joy in life. What gives you happiness? When are you truly happy?
CS: I am convinced that a positive attitude attracts well-being and happiness for oneself and for others. Happiness exists only when shared, and is made of moments you spend with your loved ones. For me, one smile, just one smile, is enough to be happy and to bring joy to those around you. I truly feel that it’s a virtuous circle— it costs nothing, yet it spreads so much good. My second piece of advice is to surround yourself with people who are dear to your heart. Be happy and dance to the rhythm of your ‘Happy Diamonds’!
ELLE: How have you evolved personally over the years?
CS: As a young girl, I was always doing something with my hands—sculpting, drawing… I would watch my parents at work and longed to be working alongside them. For me, the room where precious stones were sorted and stored was the most magical place in the world—where I could touch and feel the energy of all the gems. I officially joined the company in 1985, at the age of 22 and my first jewellery creation was the Happy Clown pendant. It was an informal design that my father had produced as a surprise, but it turned out to be so successful with clients that it sparked the beginning of jewellery for us. As the Creative Director, I am proud and thankful to have been able to develop our Jewellery and High Jewellery activity, which stands as one of the maison’s two fundamental pillars today, alongside the original Fine Watchmaking. Consequently, I initiated a long- lasting partnership with the Cannes Film Festival.
ELLE: Take us through Chopard’s journey of sustainability and ethics.
CS: As a family-run business, ethics have always been an important part of our family philosophy. Personally, I am extremely proud of our in-house, multi-year initiative ‘The Journey to Sustainable Luxury’ that we launched in 2013. It all started at the Oscars in 2012 when I met Livia Firth, the founder and creative director of Eco Age. She asked me where our gold came from and I immediately replied, ‘from the banks’, but her question went deeper than that and put the spotlight on humanitarian concerns. When you learn that there are millions of men, women and children digging up gold, often working in unsafe conditions and unable to get a fair price for their work, you’d better do something about it. Personally, I was shocked. From that point, I was determined to embark on a mission to change not only Chopard as a company and brand, but also the entire industry. By the year 2018 Chopard committed to using 100 per cent ethical gold for the production of all our watches and jewellery, becoming the first watch and jewellery maison to do so.
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