Energetic and passionate are just a few adjectives that come to mind when describing Chabi Nouri, CEO of Swiss luxury watchmaker and jeweller, Piaget. Dressed in a fuchsia ensemble and adorned with multiple watches — a Limelight Gala on her wrist and a malachite sautoir around her neck — Chabi not only cuts a formidable figure but also oozes vivacity, much like the brand she represents.
Swiss-born with an Iranian heritage, Chabi’s exemplary career saw her rising the corporate ladder within Richemont before being appointed as the CEO of Piaget in 2017. Enriched with a wealth of experience, extensive knowledge of the luxury universe and an unending passion for watchmaking and jewellery, she hopes to write a fascinating new chapter for the Maison. Ahead of Piaget’s Golden Oasis high jewellery unveiling and gala in Bangkok, the dynamic CEO talks us through the latest novelties and her vision for the brand’s future.
How has your journey at Piaget been so far?
The journey of being the CEO is new for me in the last two years, but I’ve been with the brand for four years. Collectively, it’s been fantastic. In my time with Piaget, I have been able to dive deeply into its history to understand the values and what drives the company and its working culture. The biggest most amazing surprise for me is that the people who work for Piaget are so passionate, on every level right from the creative studio to the development, and the workshop to the marketing team.
How have you used your past experiences to redevelop Piaget’s image and positioning in the market?
When I joined Piaget, I realised how strong and different the Maison was, and its credibility and legitimacy in areas as such as gold. I also realised how strong the jewellery side of Piaget is and could continue to be, so we put a lot of focus behind high jewellery. While watchmaking has been Piaget’s forte, in the last six decades we’ve also done a lot of high jewellery. And so it was my mission to bring that forward and to share with everyone our specialty in the high jewellery universe.
Take us through ‘Golden Oasis’, Piaget’s latest Novelties.
It’s a collection that is inspired by elements of nature, which is Piaget’s signature. ‘Desert Minerals’ is inspired by golden dunes, the ‘Native Bloom’ line expresses very well the vegetal side we have in all our designs, and ‘Play of Lights’ showcases high jewellery watches with gemstone settings and diamonds on them. The pieces within Golden Oasis have very vivid colours, the stones are completely natural, and the colours are spectacular. If you look at the craftsmanship, symmetry, and fluidity, it’s very organic and comes from nature.
Can you elaborate on the “Sunny Side of Life” motto that Piaget has adopted?
Piaget is always doing something different and that has been the case throughout history, the fact that we have always reinvented ourselves. And that is something you can do if you have a positive out- look of the world. So that motto expresses that personality and side of Piaget. We can see that throughout all our collections – be it Possession or Magic Hour, or Twice – all these pieces that we’ve created and continue to create are very playful. They are uplifting, and even though they are very precious and timeless, they still have some audacity and a pinch of craziness.
How is Piaget doing in Asian markets?
Piaget in Asia is very strong because we came in a long time ago, and that gave us an advantage. We’ve also been very strong in the jewellery-watch side for women and that has probably been the most successful in Asia, especially in Thailand. The clients here like to have a precious timepiece, and that’s what we are, the sculptor of precious timepieces. We are so happy to be here, the environment is so dynamic, and the women here are trendsetters in a way. They are very early adopters, so we see a lot of novelty and innovation here that is inspiring for Piaget.
How do you see the brand evolving and what is your vision for its future?
I think we need to continue to adapt what we do, which is to integrate ourselves into different generations. A different generation doesn’t always mean younger, we need to talk to the generation that is to come, but also stay relevant for the generation we have today. The beauty of it is that today we don’t have one type of product for one generation, and another type for another generation. Today, generations are mixed, and our products are universally appealing, so it makes things quite exciting.
It’s a difficult question that I am often asked. I think I am very satisfied when I see our creations having a life somewhere else, especially if it’s a celebration. I’m excited to see that Piaget has been chosen to be a part of someone’s special moment through weddings, anniversaries, or the birth of a child – that, to me, is an achievement.
Conversations: Q&A with Chabi Nouri, Piaget’s First Female CEO by Reena Hallberg first appeared on PrestigeOnline Thailand