Elegantly intertwined letters “C” are known on the planet every. The “Cartier” brand has already survived a half-century anniversary. Cartier – this is not just the name of the company, it’s a sign of quality, and from its logo it’s kind of magical. No wonder the brand is called the legislator of the world fashion, which determines the styles and tastes. In due time Cartier has made the present revolution in jeweler art, having created a new, unique direction.
And the history of the brand began in 1819. Then in the family of a modest craftsman, making gunpowder horns, Louis-Francois Cartier was born. The boy quickly began to demonstrate success in the fine arts, which is why his father identified him as a pupil to the Parisian jeweler Adolf Picard. Only her mother was against such a future child. It seemed to her that you could earn more on gunpowder than on gold.
After all, explosive powder is needed by everyone and constantly, and gold – only to crowned people, and even in small quantities. In 1847, a young student bought a workshop from his teacher, deciding to start carrying out exclusively private orders. Matters at Cartier were not bad, six years later, Louis-Francois had already opened a workshop in Paris on the street Neu-de-Petit-Shang, near the Palais Royal and the Exchange.
Although there were quite a few good jewelers in France, Cartier was lucky. Just a couple of weeks after the opening of his institution, he looked at a certain rich lady, elegant and smelling good. She took a long look at the gold ornaments, and eventually bought three brooches. It was an important deal, because the lady was the countess of Nieverkerk. Her husband was a supplier of fine art items at the court of Napoleon III. In addition, the countess was the best friend of Princess Matilda, Bonaparte’s niece.
For the next three years the noble ladies and their girlfriends, including the Empress Eugene, wife of Napoleon III, bought about a hundred and fifty gold items from the jeweler. The decorations were so beautiful and high-quality that fashionista recommended Cartier to all her friends and acquaintances. At the same time, there were no fears that someone else would have bought similar jewelry – Louis-Francois Cartier was not used to cunning. He preferred to create, not copy already done. As a result, the glory of the jeweler and his capital grew rapidly.
This turn of events was quite natural. After all, Louis-Francois differed in that he did not just create products, but really was a real artist. Cartier liked to experiment to look for new forms, to invent combinations of old jewelry traditions and modern fashion. Hairstyles of noble ladies were decorated with diamond butterflies, suits of nobles were decorated with mysterious scarabs, satiny toilets found a place for scorpions.
No one thought that it was possible to create such elegant decorations in the form of insects and animals, and they fell into the upper light. Before Cartier was generally considered a bad form to use insects and animals in jewelry art. But the Frenchman saw and proved by all his work that it could be beautiful.
Louis-Francois Cartier became the world’s first jeweler who started working with platinum. For this, gold and silver served as material. The advantage of platinum was hidden in its strength, it could hold more jewels on itself. But the more noble stones on the decoration, the more happy and desirable their owner. This simple pattern Cartier quickly found out for himself. As a result, the duchesses, princesses and princesses believed that it was the famous jeweler who would help them to win the favor of the powerful. Was this not a success?
The case of Louis-Francois was continued by his son Alfred. At first he worked with his father, but in 1898 he opened his own showroom in the famous metropolitan street de la Pae, where the most expensive shops in Paris were located. And Alfred had sons. The elder and most talented was Louis-Joseph, his name was simply Louis. He joined the family business of Cartier as a partner. Then Louis was only 23 years old.However, the young jeweler managed not to fail his name – the reputation of the brand rose even higher. Louis managed to give his products his own aura and a special chic.
Modernity became fashionable at the turn of the century, but Louis did not imbue with new trends. Jeweler, on the contrary, offered his customers jewelry, stylized for the past centuries, being able to eventually overcome the windy fashion. The products of Cartier were in great demand, especially the “Guirlande” style was very popular. It was characterized by the arrangement of diamonds that hid the fasteners. Cartier has always been attentive to the work of colleagues and competitors, not disdaining to learn from them.
For example, Louis Cartier learned the art of enameling from Carl Faberge himself. And this despite the fact that they both competed a lot. In 1907, Cartier brought an exhibition of his products to St. Petersburg, but a boutique in Russia never appeared. But the French master received an official order from the Russian emperor, becoming the official supplier at the royal court.
In 1908, a branch of the brand appeared in New York. The new branch was headed by Pierre Cartier, the youngest of the third generation of the dynasty. In 1910 the Cartier trademark was registered, and that very famous monogram from a pair of intertwined “C” appeared. Despite the fact that Cartier specialized in meeting the whims of secular ladies, it was this company that created the world’s first wristwatch for pilots. It happened in 1906. And in 1910, the jewelry brand literally blew up the world of watchmakers – the company first released watches in a rectangular case. A little later, Cartier Company presented a product that showed the exact time in Paris, London and New York – that was where the company headquarters were located.
In 1919 jewelers took part in the creation of the first thin wristwatches. They received the name “Tank” in honor of the American tank corps, who fought in France during the First World War. The clock came out to match its name and could withstand the test for years. “Tank” was worn by Jackie Kennedy (Onassis), they are worn by Elton John, and fashion magazines in general say that the American writer Truman Capote had in general six such items.
Gradually, the brand style and strategy began to change. It was influenced by the First World War, the Great Depression of 1929, and then the Second World War – society has changed markedly. Times of aristocrats have passed – they were replaced by businessmen. They are increasingly choosing not just prestigious and expensive things, but also the most convenient. “Cartier” has a large assortment of functional products. Lighters, watches and pens are produced from expensive materials.
They are offered for mass sale, as far as such a concept is generally applicable to brand products. In 1945, Cartier International was headed by Pierre Cartier. In the 1950s, the oval model of the Baignoires watch was developed, and this form was considered back in 1912. In the next few decades the brand has released many beautiful and functional models of watches: “Crash Watches”, “Reverso” and “Ceintures”.
In the 1960s the company had already lost its family character. In 1972, one of the company’s managers, Alain-Dominique Perrin, organized a re-arrangement of the entire distribution policy. So there was a new direction, “Must”. Now products from the famous brand, except jewelry, are sold not only in branded stores, but also in special departments of luxury stores. The company starts developing new products – kerchiefs, belts and bags.
This allowed us to acquire new customers, as a result, a new direction began to bring up to a third of Cartier’s total income. In 1979, all subsidiaries of the firm merged into one concern “Cartier World”. In 1981, the brand came to the perfume market, releasing the perfume “Must”. In 1987, the product “Pantere” appeared, and in 1995 – “So Pretty”. Nevertheless, Cartier still focuses on jewelry.
In 1982, thanks to Cartier appeared a new style – “Nouvelle Joallerie” (“new jewelry”). It was based on the same eternal classic, stylized in accordance with the new realities. Traditional forms are combined with modern ones, but products are still spared from shocking and modernity. And in 1993 the Cartier brand became part of the concern “Richemond”, which specializes in creating luxury goods.
Today Cartier is no longer a single company, and not even three or four. The brand unites just 14 companies, each of which produces its unique goods – accessories, watches, jewelry. They are united not only by name.
All goods produced under the Cartier brand embody luxury in its highest manifestation, wealth and power. Even the company itself could not resist the beauty of its own products. Recently, “Cartier” began to buy their own masterpiece creations, characteristic for this or that period of its development.