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What goes into the stunning high jewellery collections from L’Atelier Cindy Yeung?

How the CEO of Emperor Watch and Jewellery leverages business smarts and design savvy to fashion collections with multi-generational appeal.

A sapphire necklace encrusted with more than 3,000 diamonds might captivate the uninitiated simply by its sheer decadence. But those who appreciate fine jewellery will see the artistry in the intricate, flower-inspired form.

“I am deeply fond of flowers,” shares Cindy Yeung, chairperson and chief executive officer of Hong-Kong listed Emperor Watch and Jewellery. “On my travels, I observe what crosses my path, and embrace all kinds of aesthetic and artistic delights. I saw this Japanese peony on a trip to Australia with my daughter, and was in awe of its beauty. It inspired my design of this asymmetrical sapphire necklace. We spent nine months refining it from design to completion.”

LABOUR OF LOVE Yeung (third from left) sometimes draws inspiration from objects that enrapture her during vacations.

Yeung is driven by a passion for beauty and a quest for perfection. This is clearly reflected in the pieces she creates for L’Atelier Cindy Yeung High Jewellery Collection, launched just last year. “Jewellery is more than just an accessory. Every piece carries a blessing, a promise, or even a legend that will be passed down through the generations. That is why I believe every piece of jewellery is a resonant work of art,” she says.

A number of pieces that showcasing the smorgasbord of techniques employed by the jewellers.

FINGER ON THE PULSE

While it was a diamond that drew her to jewellery many years ago, jade is special to the Gemological Institute of America-trained gemologist. “Jade comes in different colours like green, lavender, white and black, and is a gemstone of endless possibilities. The Chinese have strong connections with jade – even some world-renowned jewellers cannot rival them in their crafting of this stone. As an Asian brand, we hope to unveil new creativity in our designs,” says Yeung.

“Emperor Jewellery blends classic and new trends and Eastern and Western cultures in its designs. For example, in the L’Atelier Cindy Yeung High Jewellery Collection, the South Sea pearls long necklaces are adorned with black agate, sapphire, ruby and diamond tassels. They encapsulate a classical, oriental style in a fresh and youthful fashion.”

Yeung’s ability to connect young and old shapes her strategy to keep the 75 year-old company competitive. Last year, revenue from the group’s jewellery operations increased by 6.5 per cent to HK$836.5 million (S$142 million), with the total revenue, which includes watches, registered at about HK$4.08 billion; 9.2 per cent of that comes from Singapore.

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The hands-on chief who visits the shop weekly to interact with clients also has her eyes on a new generation of jewellery buyers. “Contemporary and innovative design is one of the reasons why customers are drawn to Emperor Watch and Jewellery. In recent years, Emperor Jewellery has focused on young consumers and consumers from middle to high income groups, who value refinement in their lifestyle and personal taste. We employ different strategies, such as refining our range of ‘Everyday Luxury’ designs,” shares Yeung.

“Our new store at Telford Plaza in Hong Kong features millennial pink as its primary colour, accented by aquamarine furniture. It marks a sharp departure from the design concept of the conventional jewellery store. It echoes our brand’s mission to create unique jewellery designs that embody innovative ideas, keen fashion sense and exceptional creativity, and which surprise and enchant our customers.”

(RELATED: What exactly is millennial pink, anyway? Make sense of these millennial trends.)

Emperor Watch & Jewellery is at The Shopping Gallery, Hilton Singapore