How Lebanon’s Mouawad became Miss Universe crown jewel | Job Binary

For four generations, Lebanese designer Mouawad has been making one-of-a-kind pieces for royalty and the wealthy. Founded in 1908 in Beirut as a maker of intricate watches and costume jewelry for the city’s rich and famous, the brand soon expanded to the greater Gulf region, adding luxury moments to its birthplace.

Today, Mouawad is a world name in luxury jewelry and gems. With its headquarters in Geneva, it is still a family business, but one that is happy to evolve with the times.

In 2019, Mouawad became the official jeweler for Miss Universe, making a one-of-a-kind crown for the title winner. Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa won that year.

An association with a global beauty page, said Fred Mouawad Country, is a way to reach a “wider base of customers”. And it’s a technique that works wonders.

“In the past, we were very professional. We were high end, and we didn’t have much experience with the masses,” he said. “And now we realize that our brand awareness has increased with a customer segment that we didn’t have before, and that also allows us to create more affordable collections.”

Fred, who serves as “supervisor” of the brand with his brothers Alain and Pascal, calls it “the next evolution of Mouawad”.

“We always have more affordable jewelry in our collections, priced between $2,000 and $10,000. Now we want to emphasize a little more on this and grow our customer base.”

Make the Miss Universe crown

Discussions about The Power of Unity crown, as the Miss Universe crown is known, first began in 2018, right after Mouawad’s relationship with Victoria’s Secret ended. Mouawad has been creating record-breaking bejeweled bras for the star-studded annual fashion show since 2000 when the event was canceled due to widespread controversy and declining viewership.

“We thought, ‘What can we do that is consistent with our heritage, something beautiful that will have a lot of impact?'” Fred said. “And we think of Miss Universe, because we are, after all, decorations to the king. So why don’t we use our knowledge to also create a crown for the best women in the world?”

The process of actually making the crown takes about six months, Fred said.

“They wanted a crown that would represent the presence of the communities together. So we sent them some sketches and after a lot of back and forth we came up with the Unity Power Crown.

“I don’t think we would have finished with this design if we decided completely on our own, but it was a collaboration between Mouawad and the Miss Universe team and I think it’s good.”

Featuring interwoven petals, leaves and vines all made in 18-karat gold and set with white diamonds, the hallmark of the Unity Power Crown is a 62.83 carat canary diamond placed in the center. Two other diamonds, cut from the same stone as the central diamond, are placed on either side of the crown.

Fred says: “The canary diamond has the shape of a rock, which makes it perfect.” “Because it is a reminder that we should protect people from injustice. This crown is about empowering people, giving equal opportunities to people and living in peace and harmony.”

He estimated the value of the crown to be between $4 million and $5 million.

Miss Universe Thailand’s Power of Resilience crown

Mouawad also designed the crown for Miss Universe Thailand.  For 2022, it is named the Power of Resilience crown.  Photo: Mouawad

Fred, who moved to Bangkok in 1990 to look after Mouawad’s diamond business across Asia, is also behind the brand’s relationship with Miss Universe Thailand. For the third year this year, Mouawad is the official decorator for the annual competition, creating the winner’s crown.

“This project is different in that we create a crown every year with a new theme, and the winner gets to take it home as part of their prize,” Fred said. This year’s crown, called the Power of Resilience, features 43 shaped peridots and a marquise peridot, weighing 101.08 carats. They have around 158.24 carats of marquise-cut and round white topaz diamonds and 4.19 carats of round white diamonds, to show pure and true values.

Anna Sueangam-iam, 23, the daughter of former collection collectors, was named Miss Universe Thailand 2022 in a pageant held on July 30 at the True Brand Hall in Bangkok.

Miss Universe Thailand 2022, Anna Sueangam-iam.  Photo: Miss Universe

The hotel and tourism management school was crowned by its leader, Anchilee Scott-Kemmis, and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, beating 28 other women in the night.

“Wearing the Resilience Crown sends a positive message that we all have the strength within us to rise above any challenges.” It is faith in our ability to adapt to whatever life throws at us and courage and strength. to push forward to a brighter future.”

A global Lebanese brand

Part of Mouawad’s success, Fred says, is an appreciation of his roots, while maintaining a global outlook.

“Lebanon has the longest history of trade, of having merchants or sailors from the Phoenicians, so we are a very old culture. So for me when we created, we didn’t necessarily go back to our roots, but we try to create for our audience based on our own universal standards on what we think beauty is,” he said.

“So we have a style, which I would define as timeless and elegant. At times, I would say that we are also avant garde. We try to innovate in our styles, but we tend to always fall between what I that ‘timeless quality.’

Fred’s father, Robert Mouawad, who managed the company for 45 years, left his three children in 2010. Now, the fifth generation of the family, Fred’s son Jimmy Mouawad and sister Anastasia, have recently joined to take on roles important in the business. .

The plan, he said, was to bring Mouawad to the world in truth.

“We want to be more international, much more and we are more aware with more retail sites. That, as well as make our collections more profitable for a larger customer base,” he tell. “And that’s why our associations with organizations like Miss Universe are important.”

Update: August 26, 2022, 4:02 PM

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