Fred Mouawad The Co-Guardian Of Mouawad Discusses The Brand’s Heritage And Future

Lindsay Judge   |   29-04-2024

Beirut-based jewellery brand Mouawad has been creating unique jewellery pieces since 1890.

With the brand safely guarded by the family (now in its fifth generation), it is one of the few brands in the world that has remained within its founders’ hands. Hailing from Lebanon this opulent brand has successfully found global success with its record-breaking designs and show-stopping jewels. But where does it go from here? With the brands Co-Guardians now entering the fifth generation (Jimmy Mouawad, the son of fourth-generation Co-guardian Fred Mouawad, and Anastasia Mouawad, the daughter of fourth-generation Co-guardian Alain Mouawad), there is a focus on making the world a better place, through the launch of the Mouawad Diamond Impact Fund, and its belief in inspiring positivity through meaningful engagement.​

The brand recently showcased its latest collection at the 2024 Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition, reaffirming its commitment to the Middle East and proving the importance of this market to the jeweller.  Now, as the collections that debuted in Doha are shared with the world, we walk to Co-Guardian Fred Mouawad to find out whats next for the brand. 

Tell us about Mouawad’s vision and direction today. 

Mouawad is committed to crafting extraordinary and exceptional pieces that embody timeless elegance and craftsmanship. The brand has strived to push the boundaries of creativity and innovation, blending traditional techniques with contemporary design to create pieces that captivate and inspire.  

In recent years, Mouawad has expanded its global presence as a leading name in the luxury jewellery and watch industry. The brand has embraced a vision of luxury that goes beyond mere aesthetics, emphasising the importance of heritage, craftsmanship, and allure in its creations. Mouawad has been focusing on further expanding the brands retail footprint, its product offerings, and strengthening its commitment to sustainability and responsible practices. Additionally, we are constantly exploring innovative ways to engage with our clients and adapt to changing market dynamics while staying true to the brands heritage and core values.

Can you tell us about the recent showcase in Doha?

Mouawad took centre stage at the 2024 Doha Jewellery and Watch Exhibition, leaving a lasting impression on luxury covets and enthusiasts alike. The brands presence at DJWE was defined by the unveiling of an unprecedented concept, marking a new era for the house. The concept, a fusion of legacy and contemporary vision promises to redefine the very essence of luxury. Mouawad’s commitment to crafting the extraordinary and setting new industry standards was evident as the brand showcased its innovative approach to craftsmanship and desirability. One of the highlights of the exhibition was the unveiling of Mouawads Sun on the Seven Wonders” Collection, inspired by the Seven Wonders of the World. These masterpieces served as a testament to Mouawad’s unwavering dedication to raising the design and creativity bar across multiple generations. The novelties showcased at the 2024 exhibition promise to be iconic pieces that transcend time and captivate the hearts of connoisseurs around the world. Another highlight from Doha was the presence of the 2023 Miss Universe title holder, Sheynnis Palacios. She was Mouawads guest of honour who engaged in several discussions with clients and showcased some of the high jewellery pieces. Palaciospresence symbolised the harmonious blend of beauty, grace, and exclusivity that defines Mouawad. 

Can you share a little about the brand here in the region and why it is an important market for you? 

The GCC has a rich cultural heritage that appreciates luxury and fine craftsmanship. Mouawad’s jewellery and timepieces resonate with these cultural preferences and appeal to an array of customers, making it a natural fit for the brand. This region also serves as a cornerstone of Mouawad’s global strategy, offering a blend of affluent clientele, cultural resonance, strategic importance, and growth potential that aligns closely with the brand’s values and objectives.

With such a rich history, how do you balance honouring the brand’s legacy with continuing to be relevant to todays customer?

Balancing the rich legacy of Mouawad with the evolving needs and preferences of today’s customer is a delicate yet essential endeavour for the brand. Mouawad honours its history by preserving and celebrating its heritage craftsmanship, design techniques, and iconic pieces. By maintaining a connection to its legacy, the brand appeals to customers who appreciate tradition, authenticity, and timeless elegance. 

While honouring tradition, Mouawad aims to embrace innovation and creativity to stay relevant in today’s dynamic market. This involves experimenting with new materials, techniques, and design concepts to create contemporary pieces that resonate with modern sensibilities. 

Mouawad offers a seamless omni-channel experience that caters to the diverse preferences and lifestyles of today’s clients. This includes integrating online and offline channels, offering virtual consultations, and leveraging technology to enhance the customer journey from discovery to purchase.

Can you tell us about the brand on a global level and where we can expect more growth over the coming years?

Mouawad’s global growth strategy focuses on expanding its presence in key markets, rolling out the new re-branding concept across our boutiques, embracing digital transformation, diversifying our product offerings, forging strategic partnerships, and championing sustainability. By staying agile, innovative, and customer-centric, Mouawad strives to continue to evolve as a leading luxury brand on a global level.

Tell us a little about some of your highlight pieces for this year.

With a renewed focus on pushing boundaries and redefining luxury, Mouawad is poised to embark on an exciting new phase in its journey. The Sun on the Seven Wonders draws inspiration from the awe-inspiring majesty of iconic landmarks around the globe, capturing the essence of their timeless allure.  Featuring exquisite designs meticulously crafted to reflect the splendour of the sun’s rays dancing across the Seven Wonders, this collection promises to enchant aficionados of fine jewellery and connoisseurs of elegance alike. showcases the brand’s mastery of artistry and innovation.

Highlights include the enchanting Machu Picchu” white and yellow gold bangle and diamond earrings. Inspired by the majestic Andes Mountains, Machu Picchu” unfolds as a spectacle of unparalleled precision — a timeless marvel echoing the Incan civilisation’s ingenious craftsmanship. Mouawad delicately handsets each diamond in tribute to this ancient wonder, crafting an arrangement that mirrors the intricate beauty found in the hallowed grounds of Machu Picchu.

As a brand you have always remained very loyal to your values and heritage – how do you balance this with moving forward to please todays customer? 

Mouawad has maintained its loyalty to the brand’s values and heritage while also moving forward to meet the evolving preferences of today’s customers through a careful balance of tradition and innovation. The brand’s dedication to exceptional craftsmanship is a cornerstone of its heritage. It continues to uphold traditional techniques passed down through generations, ensuring that each piece embodies the highest standards of quality and artistry while appealing to todays client needs. 

The brand pays homage to its heritage by drawing inspiration from historical motifs, cultural influences, and iconic pieces from its archives. By celebrating its heritage, Mouawad creates a sense of continuity and authenticity that resonates with customers who value tradition and legacy.

While rooted in tradition, Mouawad embraces innovation in design to stay relevant and appealing to today’s customers. The brand continuously explores new materials, techniques, and design concepts to push the boundaries of creativity and offer fresh interpretations of classic styles. By blending traditional craftsmanship with contemporary aesthetics, Mouawad creates pieces that appeal to modern sensibilities while maintaining a timeless elegance that transcends trends and has become an industry signature. 

In essence, Mouawad’s ability to balance its commitment to heritage and tradition with its forward-thinking approach to innovation and customer satisfaction is key to its enduring success in the luxury industry. By staying true to its core values while embracing change, Mouawad continues to captivate and inspire customers around the world, generation after generation.

How do you feel about endorsements and partnerships as a company?

Mouawad’s approach to endorsements and partnerships is guided by its overarching brand strategy, which prioritises authenticity, excellence, and innovation. The company carefully curates collaborations or partnerships to ensure alignment with its values and vision.

Whats the biggest challenge you face as a brand today?

There are several challenges that luxury brands in general face in today’s competitive and rapidly evolving market. The biggest hurdles include market saturation, whereby the luxury market encompasses numerous brands competing for the attention of prospective and current clients. Standing out amidst this competition and maintaining a strong brand identity becomes crucial. 

The market is also faced with evolving customer preferences and behaviours. There is constantly a change in demographics, technological advancements, and shifting societal values. Adapting to these changes while staying true to the brand’s core values and heritage can be a delicate balancing act.

Overall, these challenges require agility, innovation, and a deep understanding of the brand’s target audience and market landscape. Mouawad is staying proactive, responsive, and focused on delivering exceptional value and experiences to customers who will value and appreciate a customized and unique brand experience. 

What are some of the changes you have seen in womens expectations from a jewellery brand?

Over the years, women’s expectations from a jewellery brand like Mouawad have evolved in response to shifting cultural, social, and economic dynamics. Some of the key changes that Mouawad may have observed in women’s expectations include individual expression. Women today seek jewellery that allows them to express their individuality, personality, and personal style. They gravitate towards pieces that reflect their unique taste and preferences, whether it is through bold statement pieces or delicate, minimalist designs. There is also a growing demand for jewellery that seamlessly transitions from day to night and suits various occasions and outfits. Women appreciate versatile pieces that offer flexibility in styling and can be worn effortlessly in different settings, from casual outings to formal events. 

While trends come and go, timeless quality and craftsmanship remain paramount for women when choosing jewellery. They value pieces that are meticulously crafted with the utmost attention to detail. In todays evolving market, women are increasingly conscious of their purchasing decisions’ ethical and environmental implications. They expect jewellery brands like Mouawad to uphold responsible sourcing practices, ethical labour standards, and sustainable manufacturing processes throughout the supply chain. Those women are also highly educated and seek jewellery pieces and brands with meaning and significance, whether it’s through symbolic motifs, cultural references, or personal connections. They appreciate brands that embrace storytelling and imbue their pieces with narratives that resonate on a deeper level, fostering emotional connections with them.

What message would you send to our readers?

At Mouawad, we believe that every piece of jewellery tells a story — a story of craftsmanship, heritage, and timeless beauty. For over a century, we have dedicated ourselves to creating exquisite treasures that capture the essence of luxury and elegance. Our journey is one of passion, innovation, and dedication to crafting excellence. From the meticulous craftsmanship of our artisans to the brilliance of our gemstones, each Mouawad creation is a testament to our unwavering commitment to quality and craftsmanship. 

Our values remain steadfast as we continue to evolve and embrace new horizons. We are committed to sustainability, ethical practices, and responsible stewardship of our precious resources. We strive to positively impact the world around us, fostering creativity, culture, and community wherever we go.