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From India, cut and shining black

With a legend like Fawaz Gruosi, the man behind uber luxury jewellery brand de Grisogono, it is difficult to stop when you begin asking questions. As Jaydeep Ghosh caught up with him, a tete-a-tete followed.

fashion and trends Updated: Mar 10, 2009 18:27 IST
Jaydeep Ghosh

With a legend like Fawaz Gruosi, the man behind uber luxury jewellery brand de Grisogono, it is difficult to stop when you begin asking questions. As HT City caught up with him, a tete-a-tete followed. He spoke about India, and also, how Gruosi, a salesman, became a business tycoon.

Love for India
“In India, I turn totally vegetarian. Back home vegetarian dishes are so bland that I feel like I am eating hospital food,” says Gruosi. And that’s not the only Indian thing that made this suave gent fall in love with India. In fact, the very basics of the success of the brand de Grisogono has a lot of contribution from India.

The genesis
Gruosi was bored of selling jewellery at his chic Geneva boutique. However, he was stuck with the mystery and sexiness of the colour black. He says, “Everybody wore black, man and woman both. Then it struck me — why not use black diamonds in jewellery.”

These black diamonds eventually led to the birth of de Grisogono. “Black diamond (carbonado) was cheap and anybody who would sell me would agree only if I bought quantities. But, I couldn’t find any diamond cutter in Europe as black diamonds were unclear under the microscope. Then I headed to India to get these cut in Gujarat,” explains Gruosi.

The jewellery became an instant hit, and eventually Chopard and Chanel too were found going for the black diamonds. In fact, it made the price of carbonado jump 32 times in a matter of a year. Gruosi moved to watches after jewellery. His first celebrity client was Sophia Lauren, and now the likes of Naomi Campbell and Mickey Rourke sport the brand.

Family connection
Though his wife is from the Chopard family, Gruosi doesn’t work with them because he says, “I married my wife because I loved her and not because of her family and wealth. And then de Grisogono would have never happened to me.”