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The gracefully intertwined letters "C" are known on the planet every. At one time, Cartier made a real revolution in the art of jewelry, creating a new, unique direction.
And the history of the brand began in 1819. It was then that Louis-Francois Cartier was born into the family of a humble artisan making powder horns. The boy quickly began to demonstrate success in the visual arts, which is why his father identified him as an apprentice to the Parisian jeweler Adolphe Picard. Only now the mother was against such an unborn child. It seemed to her that gunpowder could make more money than gold.
After all, everyone needs explosive powder all the time, and gold is only needed by crowned persons, and even then in small quantities. In 1847, a young student bought a workshop from his teacher, deciding to start fulfilling exclusively private orders. Things were going well for Cartier; six years later, Louis-Francois had already opened a workshop in Paris on the rue Neuve de Petit-Chanters, not far from the Palais-Royal and the Exchange.
Although there were quite a few good jewelers in France, it was Cartier who was lucky. Just a couple of weeks after the opening of his establishment, a certain rich lady, graceful and good-smelling, dropped in to see him. She looked closely at the gold jewelry for a long time, and in the end bought three brooches. It was an important deal, for the lady was the Countess of Nieverkerk. Her husband was a supplier of fine art to the court of Napoleon III. In addition, the Countess was the best friend of Princess Matilda, Bonaparte's niece.
Over the next three years, noble ladies and their friends, including Empress Eugenia, wife of Napoleon III, bought about one hundred and fifty gold items from the jeweler. The jewelry was so beautiful and of high quality that women of fashion recommended Cartier to all their acquaintances and friends. At the same time, there was no fear that someone else would have a similar piece of jewelry purchased - Louis-Francois Cartier was not used to being cunning. He preferred to create rather than copy what had already been done. As a result, both the fame of the jeweler and his capital grew rapidly.
This turn of events was quite natural. After all, Louis-Francois was distinguished by the fact that he did not just create products, but was really a real artist. Cartier loved to experiment, look for new forms, come up with combinations of old jewelry traditions and modern fashion. The hairstyles of noble ladies were adorned with diamond butterflies, the costumes of nobles were adorned with mysterious scarabs, and there was a place for scorpions on satin toilets.
No one thought that it was possible to create such elegant decorations in the form of insects and animals, but they fell into the upper world. Before Cartier, it was generally considered bad form to use insects and animals in jewelry. But the Frenchman saw and proved to everyone with his work that it can be beautiful.
Louis-François Cartier became the first jeweler in the world to work with platinum. For this, the material was gold and silver. The advantage of platinum was in its strength, it could hold more jewelry on itself. But the more noble stones on the jewelry, the happier and more desirable their owner. Cartier quickly figured out this simple pattern for himself. As a result, the duchess, princesses and princesses believed that it was the famous jeweler who would help them win the favor of the mighty. Wasn't it a success?
The business of Louis-Francois was continued by his son Alfred. At first he worked with his father, but in 1898 he opened his own salon on the famous metropolitan rue de la Paix, where the most expensive shops in Paris were located. And Alfred had sons. The oldest and most talented was Louis-Joseph, everyone called him simply Louis. He entered the Cartier family business as a partner. Then Louis was only 23 years old. However, the young jeweler managed not to let his name down - the brand's reputation rose even higher. Louis managed to give his products his own aura and special chic.
At the turn of the century, Art Nouveau became fashionable, but Louis was not imbued with new trends. The jeweler, on the contrary, offered his customers jewelry styled after the past centuries, eventually managing to overcome the windy fashion. Cartier products were in great demand, especially the Guirlande style. It was characterized by such an arrangement of diamonds that hid the fasteners. Cartier has always been attentive to the work of colleagues and competitors, and did not hesitate to learn from them.
For example, Louis Cartier learned the art of enamel from Carl Faberge himself. And this despite the fact that both of them competed a lot. In 1907, Cartier brought an exhibition of his products to St. Petersburg, but the boutique never appeared in Russia. But the French master received an official order from the Russian emperor, becoming an official supplier at the royal court.
In 1908, a branch of the brand appeared in New York. The new department was headed by Pierre Cartier, the youngest of the third generation of the dynasty. In 1910, the Cartier trademark was registered, and this is how that famous monogram from a pair of intertwined "C" appeared. Despite the fact that Cartier specialized in satisfying the whims of society ladies, it was this company that created the world's first wrist watches for pilots. It happened in 1906. And in 1910 the jewelry brand literally blew up the world of watchmakers - the company was the first to release a watch in a rectangular case. A little later, the Cartier company presented products that showed the exact time in Paris, London and New York - it was there that the company's headquarters were located.
In 1919, jewelers took part in the creation of the first thin wristwatches. They were named "Tank" in honor of the American Panzer Corps, which fought in France during the First World War. The watch came out to match its name and was able to withstand the test of years. "Tank" was worn by Jackie Kennedy (Onassis), Elton John wears them, and fashion magazines generally say that the American writer Truman Capote had six such items altogether.
The brand's style and strategy gradually began to change. This was influenced by the First World War, the Great Depression of 1929, and then the Second World War - society changed noticeably. The days of aristocrats have passed - they have been replaced by businessmen. They increasingly often choose not just prestigious and expensive things, but also the most comfortable ones. Cartier has a wide range 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 Pierre Cartier became the head of Cartier International. In the 50s, the oval model of the Baignoires watch was developed, and this form was considered back in 1912. Over the next few decades, the brand has released many beautiful and functional watch models: Crash Watches, Reverso and Ceintures.
In the 1960s, the company had already lost its family character. In 1972, one of the company's executives, Alain-Dominique Perrin, orchestrated a redesign of the entire distribution policy. This is how a new direction appeared, "Must". Now products from the famous brand, in addition to jewelry, are sold not only in brand stores, but also in special sections of luxury stores. The company begins to develop new products - scarves, belts and bags.
This made it possible to acquire new customers, as a result, the new direction began to bring up to a third of Cartier's total income. In 1979, all the subsidiaries of the firm merged into one concern "Cartier World". In 1981, the brand entered the perfume market by releasing the Must perfume. In 1987 the Pantere product appeared and in 1995 So Pretty. Nevertheless, Cartier still focuses on jewelry.
In 1982, thanks to Cartier, a new style appeared - "Nouvelle Joallerie" ("new jewelry art"). It is based on the same eternal classics, stylized in accordance with new realities. Traditional forms are combined with modern ones, however, the products are still spared from the shocking and modernity. And in 1993, the Cartier brand became part of the Richemond concern, which specializes in creating luxury goods.
Today Cartier is no longer one single company, and not even three or four. The brand unites 14 companies at once, each of which produces its own unique product - accessories, watches, jewelry. They are united not only by the name.
All products 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 out its own masterpieces, characteristic of a particular period of its development.