Table of Contents
Fred, an empire of pearls and jewels
Fred Joaillier is a French jewelry brand. It is named after its founder Fred Samuel, creator of the stainless steel ‘Force 10’ cable jewelry in 1966.
The company became owned by LVMH in 1996 and since 2002, it has opened a dozen new boutiques in various locations including Paris, Tokyo, Seoul and London. In 2012 he teamed up with Kate Moss to design an exclusive collection.
Its extension covers many cities and countries such as Luxembourg, Madagascar, Andorra, Spain, Belgium, Hong Kong, Cayman Islands, Morocco and Tunisia.
It is also found in the Near and Middle East: Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Lebanon, A bu Dhabi, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.
Fred Samuel, the story behind the brand
Fred Samuel is one of the most distinguished jewelers of the Place Vendôme in Paris . Creator of Fred in 1936 and since 1996 part of LVMH. But his story deserves to be told from the beginning.
This man was born in Argentina in 1908 and the tradition of making jewelry came to him from his father, jeweler Alsatian who fled their country to escape military service in Germany after the war of 1870.
His arrival in Paris occurred when he was 16 years old , his purpose was to study jewelry.
A contribution to French jewelry
Time passed and in 1936 he opened his first store, in Rue Royale, and at that time he was enchanted with cultured pearl, a Japanese novelty that revolutionized jewelry that until then was dedicated to fine pearls.
He was the one who introduced it to France and his influence marked the style to such an extent that the light cream pink color has since been called “color Fred”.
The stain of being Jewish
When World War II began, Fred was unable to mobilize and joined the Foreign Legion. He was a resistance fighter and legionnaire, in fact he became Commander of the Legion of Honor.
He won the War Cross and the Military Medal. A year later he was taken prisoner by the Germans on the Somme, from where he escaped shortly thereafter and returned to Paris.
Given the persecution of Jews in December 1941, the Commissariat aux affaires juives put the yellow star on the front of his store and told him that he had to remove Samuel’s name. Thus was born Fred.
These were turbulent times, but nothing stopped the growth of his company. In 1942 he moved to the free zone and after being arrested and imprisoned many times, he took refuge in the Drôme.
There in April 1943, he formed an FTP network, then in 1944 he returned to Paris.
Fred and royalty, a step to success
The business begins to prosper and its jewels are acquired by important personalities such as the wife of former Indonesian President Soekarno and Princess Grace of Monaco.
It also establishes a collaboration with artists of the stature of Jean Cocteau or Bernard Buffet.
He is also known as the Modern Jeweler Creator . His clients included Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Marlène Dietrich.
It was the first jewelers who created or jewelry pendant representing the monuments of Paris.
However, his old passion for pearls caught him again in the 50s.
For 1960, he had among its clients to Arab princes, admirers of gemstones. In fact, he was the first jeweler of the princes of the Middle East and for them he made custom jewelery and exclusive creations.
An example of this was the tiara with a 275-carat sapphire and the brooch with two 7-carat Kashmir sapphires. In that date he also acquired a 37 carat Burmese sapphire.
Especially successful were the 70s and 80s, a time when he created iconic collections with a very bold style. If cultured pearls were his first passion, Fred then turned his attention to colored stones.
The colored stones, his other passion
The amethysts, tourmalines, peridot, sapphires and diamonds colorful presence in their jewelry made in unique style but without departing from its traditional work.
From this time the Rainbow jewel is remembered , made up of 42 diamonds of pink, blue and yellow colors.
Innovative and visionary, he opted to mix gold and steel, creating Force 10 inspired by sailing, a line of total success in the world of jewelry.
At the same time he worked for the cinema and its stars.
Among the sets that he designed in this world , the most famous is the necklace of 23 rubies carved in the shape of a heart and surrounded by diamonds that Richard G ere offers to Julia Roberts in the movie Pretty Woman.
Fred Samuel, sports and jewelry, two in one
Playing sports was another of Fred’s passions. Gymnastics, athletics, rowing, fencing and swimming, all liked him, too physical activity was important to him.
So much so that his first watch was sports and he called it 36 for the years that his house had at that time.
One of his most important creations was born from sport. They say that once practicing sailing, one of his sons braided bracelet with marine cables and the regal or his wife.
Quickly he thought: gold meets steel and that is how Force 10 appeared, rings, necklaces, bracelets that represent the advancement in jewelry since 1996, combining sport and style.
Fred’s jewelry and collections
Among the types of jewelry that Fred has made are rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces and cufflinks. And among its collections we find Mouvementée, Pain de Sucre, Success, Une ile d’or, Delphine and Ombre Féline. There are also Amour Fou, Kate Moss, Lucifer, Miss Fred Moon and Sunlight.