American Marketer


Jaeger-LeCoultre positions its high-jewelry with couture fashion via runway show

April 17, 2014

Jaeger-LeCoultre's fashion show with Alexis Mallibe on Instagram Jaeger-LeCoultre's fashion show with Alexis Mallibe on Instagram


Switzerland’s Jaeger-LeCoultre fêted its latest high-jewelry collection with a fashion show organized by French couturier Alexis Mabille.

The fashion show served to highlight Jaeger-LeCoultre wristwatches as high-fashion-approved accessories rather than time telling tools. Debuting the 2014 high-jewelry pieces in a creative way underscores the similarities between couture designs and timepieces.

"High-jewelry is an intricate part of fashion, so the connection has to be symbiotic," said Sophie Terrisse, CEO of STC Associates, New York.

"Jaeger-LeCoultre has done a great job remaining relevant for its clients," she said. "The Reverso is as an object of fashion and character far from the polo fields where it made its debut.

"Reinventing the connection between high-jewelry and being fashionable is the essence of remaining relevant. [The incorporation of Alexis Mabille] doesn’t strike a chord with me, not yet. I wish the experience could have brought me more in the relationship, so I better understand its purpose and vision."

Ms. Terrisse is not affiliated with Jaeger-LeCoultre, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Jaeger-LeCoultre was unable to comment directly.

Couture and clockwork
Held at Jaeger-LeCoultre's Place Vendôme boutique in Paris, the watchmaker celebrated the new designs included in its High-Jewelry collection with a live fashion show. The participating models wore 25 designs created by fashion designer Alexis Mabille who accessorized the looks with Jaeger-LeCoultre High-Jewelry watches.

To share the Parisian event with its global fan base, Jaeger-LeCoultre posted images from behind-the-scenes and the in-store runway show. The exposure created will also increase awareness for Mr. Mabille who left Dior to launch his eponymous brand in 2005.

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Mr. Mabille preparing a model for the Jaeger-LeCoultre fashion show

For further exposure, the brand also created the dedicated hashtag, #JLCandAlexisMabille to reach fans of both the watch manufacturer and fashion designer. Each photograph in the gallery, on Facebook for instance, includes a link to the product page of the watch seen in the image.

Jaeger-LeCoultre also created a dedicated board on Pinterest for the Alexis Mabille and High-Jewelry fashion show. On the board, fans of the brand can browse the looks worn by the models and read the details of the watches incorporated into each look.

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Alexis Mabille and Jaeger-LeCoultre Pinterest board

Pinterest allows for organic shares and seemingly endless sharing opportunities via repins that do not require brand involvement beyond the original posting. In this sense, Jaeger-LeCoultre, as well as Alexis Mabille, will benefit from the additional awareness that Pinterest pinning will create (see story).

Interestingly, the watchmaker has not included links for consumers to find more about the fashions seen alongside Jaeger-LeCoultre’s High-Jewelry watch collection. A click-through on a pinned image from the event lands on the watchmaker's Web site on the heritage page rather than a product page.

The new pieces found in the watchmaker’s High-Jewelry collection included updated versions of the Reverso Duetto Classique in pink gold with three different sizes of diamonds on its twin faces and the Rendez-Vous Night & Day model with 699 diamonds adorning the 36mm version and the Rendez-Vous Tourbillon in a white gold case with diamonds around the face.

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Jaeger-LeCoulture's High-Jewelry Reverso Duetto Classique

Jaeger-LeCoultre included a Master Tourbillon Dualtime with an 18-karat white gold case and 83 diamonds adorning the watch in the High-Jewelry collection. There is also the Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Céleste with 5.4 karats of diamonds and and an 18-karat white gold case.

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Jaeger-LeCoultre's High-Jewelry Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Céleste

Grand arrivals
To generate interest in a new collection, product or boutique, brands often organize over-the-top events to interact with core consumers.

Wealth-X’s inaugural Luxury Sentiment Survey Report discovered that although the various industry sectors spend their marketing budgets differently, they have all found the most success with in-person, event-based tactics to pique awareness and generate interest, and purchases, from ultra-high-net-worth individuals. Across all sectors surveyed, 74 percent noted that they target the ultra-high-net-worth individual through curated events (see story).

Also, Karl Lagerfeld, creative director of both Chanel and Fendi, spent time curating the fragrance portfolio of his eponymous fashion label with an interactive digital touchpoint approach to increase awareness for the new range.

After a 10-day countdown of cartoon hands outfitted with Mr. Lagerfeld’s signature studded black leather gloves, the brand officially debuted its namesake fragrances for men and women at London department store Harrods. The launch was accompanied by an out of home tactic. If London consumers hailed a taxi cab adorned with black and white Karl emoti icons they received a free sample along with the ride (see story).

When promoting a new product, the outlet must be in accordance to the brand's codes.

"The Pinterest board could create awareness, but it feels out of context for the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand," Ms. Terrisse said.

"An Instagram video or a series of Facebook episodes may have better conveyed the essence of what both brands stand for," she said.

"Also, the hashtag #JLCandAlexisMabille is flawed. It is not searchable, and therefore, not as relevant as it could have been."

Final Take
Jen King, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York