In 2013, fine jewelry was undergoing a seismic shift. Not only were women taking charge of their purchases, but designs also shifted from often stodgy, classic styles to ones that proved diamonds could be chic and avant-garde. That same year Repossi debuted Antifer, with its versatile peaked edge demonstrating this new look for diamonds that became an enduring code of the brand. It was the mastery of Gaia Repossi who took the creative reins of her Italian family’s jewelry business in 2007. Now with Anne de Vergeron as the CEO, the brand is uniquely female-led among Place Vendome jewelers. Only Natural Diamonds spoke with de Vergeron on the collection’s 10th anniversary and the brand’s distinct viewpoints.
“Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Antifer shows it’s still relevant and recognizable,” de Vergeron said via Zoom. The brand has launched eight exclusive new pieces to mark the occasion demonstrating its versatility. Vergeron points out that its simple shape can take on new looks by varying the repetitive patterns or scale. The commemorative collection expands the notion of the motif. New styles include a ring with ten layers or a singular oversized peak to be worn as a pendant.
While some lucky press got a sneak peek at a sampling of the anniversary collection in March, the full collection will be unveiled during the July Haute Couture. De Vergeron tapped multidisciplinary artists associated with Amelie, Maison d’art in Paris’ 6th arrondissement to interpret the Antifer design in the medium of their choice.
“We presented the collection to six artists ranging from ceramicists, stitch work, photography, and sculpture, among others, and gave them carte blanche to imagine Antifer.
Each of them introduced the Antifer shape to their work. I was mesmerized by the results,” she continued. Repossi will take the show on the road to Isetan in Japan, and Repossi stores in Dubai and Monaco; and potentially at Saks Fifth Avenue. The jeweler plans to purchase some of the pieces made by participating artists François Kenesi, Victoire d’Harcout, Michel Kirsch, Florence Grundeler, Guido de Zan, and Marine Vu.
The collaboration punctuates the growth of the motif based on architecture originally designed as an alternative to a wedding band. Its name was borrowed from a cliff in Normandy, France, thanks to its signature peak.
“Antifer was originally a reinvention of the wedding band. Life isn’t always in a circle,” de Vergeron explained, noting clean, ‘tense’ shapes influenced by minimalist architecture are core to Repossi’s design philosophy. It’s a poetic sentiment first established by Gaia Repossi’s design language, and its meaning resonates with the female CEO.
“Leading a jewelry house as a woman is interesting as it brings a balanced and complimentary vision to the product. As a woman, you are sensitive to knowing what women want and the jewelry you will wear,” she explained.
Diamonds are core to Repossi’s design language. Case in point, the floating solitaire diamond design accentuates the stone’s brilliance with its hidden setting. The new Antifer collection emphasizes its diamonds using black gold or a larger band to accommodate the stones.
Repossi doesn’t stop at accentuating the jewels but the women who cultivate them. As a female-led brand de Vergeron believes supporting other women in the industry is important. She practices this with the female owned and operated African mines Moyo Gems and The Tanzanian Women’s Mining Association or TAWOMA.
“These women are real entrepreneurs who own the plots they mine, and we work with them using real market conditions and pay them the market value. In mining in Africa, there is even less representation of women. We help empower them by buying the stones, which are also completely traceable to the person who mined them,” de Vergeron said of the partnership.
Working with the mine is how Repossi practices human sustainability in its operation. Additionally, the jewelry house, described as a ‘Place Vendome disruptor,’ donates to the Fondation de Prince Albert II de Monaco, aimed at protecting and improving planetary health.
Currently, Repossi is committed to using natural diamonds in its creations. “We use traditional methods to create the jewelry, but the design and way to wear are contemporary savoir-faire,” she noted. On the horizon, de Vergeron teased plans for the company to mark a 45th anniversary, further expansion into the Korean, Middle East, and US markets, and a limited-edition high jewelry collection released in September whose theme is under wraps.
The latter may well be the spark and intrigue delivered in a jewelry collection that enthralls Repossi fans and helps propel designs like Antifer to live on. No matter the theme, it will probably look as good in ten years too.