For luxe jeweler Graff — whose approximately 60 stores worldwide include a salon and private viewing room in The Vault at The Saks Shops at Greenwich — design begins with art but it doesn’t end there.
Laurence Graff, who founded the company in 1960, is a passionate modern and contemporary art collector, whose holdings include works by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. But it is the calligraphic painter Cy Twombly (1928-2011) who has proved an enduring muse. The latest pieces in the Inspired by Twombly collection — which as always are created in-house in London, from design to finished product — play with the artist’s love of line.
Rubies and diamonds alternately loop about the neck, dangling pendants of the gemstones. Rubies and diamonds also coil about the ears, dripping ruby teardrops. In another pair of earrings, oval sapphires are topped by ribbons of diamonds, while a multishaped diamond bracelet dances on the wrist in interlocking ovals. So clever are the designs that you never see their metal underpinnings, much like the painter who has disguised his sketches with a panoply of color.
Graff is, of course, renowned for its diamonds. In 2017, Graff acquired the Lesedi La Rona, the largest rough diamond discovered in the last decade (1,109 carats). Late last year, the first of 67 stones were released for sale. The main stone will be revealed this spring.
Architecture and interior design play a big role, too, at Graff, which remains a family business, with Laurence’s son François as CEO and two other family members directing design, merchandising and production. Recently, Delaire Graff Estate opened an Owner’s Villa and six Superior Lodges amid the mountainous beauty and vineyards of the Cape Winelands region in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The 6.458-square-foot villa — which accommodates eight guests and two staffers — includes a living room, dining room, a fully equipped kitchen, entertainment and study areas and a 46-foot pool. The lodges, each 818 square feet and accommodating two — have access to a private outdoor space with a heated plunge pool.
Designed by David Collins Studio, the villa and lodges blend bespoke materials, sleek furnishings and an earthy palette, which complement modern and contemporary African artworks from Laurence Graff’s collection.
Mmm, which to choose — the jewels or the South African adventure? Why not both?