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After many years working for one of jewellery’s most famous Maisons, Van Cleef & Arpels, Frenchman Louis Gérard decided to strike out on his own.
He founded M. Gérard in 1968 opening his first boutique at number 8 Avenue Montaigne in Paris. Driven by a self confessed desire to create “the most beautiful jewels in the world” he designed extravagant suites of necklaces, bracelets and earrings scattered lavishly with diamonds and coloured gems. Much of the jewellery was made by the workshop Atelier Vassort who Gérard had no doubt been introduced to during his time at Van Cleef & Arpels.
Over the next two decades, Vassort would produce some spectacular jewels for M. Gérard whose pieces are often noted for their superb manufacture. The jewels attracted a wealthy jet set client base from Europe as well as the Far and Middle East and Louis Gérard revelled in catering to them, throwing extravagant parties and staging shows in fashionable places such as Cannes and Monte Carlo. Within ten years boutiques had opened in Gstaad, London, Lausanne and Monte Carlo and in 1980 the firm’s magazine advertisements advised readers that they were the premier exporter of French fine jewellery for the fifth consecutive year.
In November 1985, with the firm struggling financially due to huge over expenditure, Gérard sold it to a group of American investors. It was later bought back and re-launched with a new showroom at 16 Avenue Montaigne under the name Louis Gérard, Joaillier International. However within three years it was all over and the firm closed its doors in December 1991.