The Royal Jewellers S01 ep6 : Repossi Jewellery [Monte Carlo]

Interview with Alberto Repossi

Alberto Repossi - A Monte-Carlo Jeweller in Paris. You can imagine 32 year ago it was a big adventure to go to the Tribal zone of Bhurma or Pakistan. To buy raw stones you must carry cash money so you are not very sure that once you buy you would actually reach home safely. So our philosophy was always to buy four and to leave one behind like a sample - take the sample for my next trip so you have the sample for the colour we need. This was insurance. It was therefore not necessary to kill us and to take the money and the stones.

 

Alberto Repossi

11.39
KM:
What is Repossi?

11.41
It’s a third generation company that specialises on high fashion jewellery.

11.56
My grandfather started in roughly 1920 in the North of Italy and after my father
opened the first shop in Turin after the Second World War. He understood
immediately that the private client had more taste than the merchant so he
wanted the direct contact with the client and in 1975 we opened our first Monte
Carlo branch and after 85 years in Paris Place Vendome.

12. 39
No, what I have inherited like my father that we don't like the money - this is a
great secret of our company, and so we can risk, we can design, we can
produce crazy things. Because if it is in the "mode" to have white gold it is time
to turn to another ones colours.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

13.05
KM:
When did you get involved in the jewellery business?

13.07
Because I want to go to the artistic school in Italy but was 1968 and it was a
great problem for this so my father put me on mathematic school - you can
imagine what I can do in this school and I convinced him to let me work in our
work shop when I was 18 years old and it has now been 32 years since then.

13.44
I was born in a family where I saw my father design every night, all night - he
did not sleep. I learnt from the bench and because our factory was in a very
small town there was not very much to do in the evenings especially 32 years
ago, I spent a lot of time with a man who specialised in precious stone cutting
who worked in the evening. I had the chance to learn from the raw stone:
cutting, modification and this side of the business and so I was involved and I
was in love with this type of work. So I talked with my father and said listen
there is this cutting man, who is a great artist too and he can cut from the raw
stone and so my father was thinking to break the last link that we had,
because we produced and sold directly to the client. But we must at this time

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

15.02
KM: Buy raw, finished stone

15.03
...buy raw finished stone and not to cut. So at 19 years old my father gave me
some money but said you will be wrong for 3 years. I said no listen it is one
year that I am working and I am very intelligent and so I had experience and I
was wrong for 4 years not 3 years.

15.22
KM: When you say wrong for 4 years what do you mean?

15.25
By synthetic stones, bad stones, all the natural lessons of being in business.

15.36
KM: Where did you go to buy coloured stones?

15.39
You know there were no Yellow pages to tell you where to find the mine and
the telephone numbers and address and everything, so I remember the first
time, I looked at a mineral book and found out where the rubies came from,
where sapphires came from, where do emeralds come from? And we go first
there - Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, Colombia everywhere ....

Jewellery Theatre Elements

16.02
KM: It must have been an adventure?

16.04
It was fantastic!

16.06
KM: In those days too, when it was still safe...

16.09
Absolutely more safe there than in New York or here in Paris.

16.13
KM: Explain to me what was it like when you went to Burma or Sri Lanka or
Colombia?

16.18
You can imagine 32 year ago it was the beginning of the big tourist but it was
an adventure to go there in the Tribal zone of Burma or Pakistan - there was
no danger but you know....

Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

16.44
When you go to the Tribal zone to buy raw stones you must carry cash money
so you are not very sure that once you buy you would actually reach home
safely. So our philosophy was always to buy four and to give one to there like
a sample - take the sample for my next trip so you have the sample for the
colour we need. This was insurance so that we would be secure in our return
home. It was therefore not necessary to kill us and to take the money and the
stones.

17.23
KM: Where in India would you go- Hydrabad?

17.25
Normally it was Jaihpoor and Bombay - these are unbelievable places, you can
find what you want. Last year I found a 101 carat ruby cabochon - fantastic - I
found 102 carat antique diamond stone.

17.49
KM: When did your father retire from the business?

17.52
Not yet.

17.53
KM: He is still here, he is still driving you crazy?

17.55
He is a crazy man who works harder than me

18.00
KM: How old is he, 82 you said.

18.02
82 yes

18.04
KM: SO he still does some creation?

18.05
Yes, he has his own collection because he is more modern than me. He says
that I am very old in my design, more butterfly etc. He said this I was doing 24
years ago.

18.24
You know I live in Monte Carlo basically the people ask me why it is that I don't
gamble in the casino. I say listen I gamble everyday even more risky than
roulette. You can have a client everyday who would say o.k. I will buy the
1million dollar diamond ring. You say o.k. thankyou. 2 minutes later he calls
and says he has changed his mind and decided not to buy it. You say O.K. 1
million you say what is 1 million dollar like this. If you don't have this type of
blasé philosophy you can die - this is one of the secrets of survival. The
second secret of survival is that the very rich people are normally more shark.
And the more shark they understand immediately if they have another shark in
front of them. And when they meet me they see that I am not a shark and I
am very simple designer and I don't like their money, they can trust me.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Repossi Jewellery