EXCLUSIVE: Sunlight Creates Love Note Projections In New Fred Jewelry Collection


LOVE SHINES: Forget looking for silver linings.

For its latest collection, jeweler Fred is tapping into the optical effect that causes rainbows to project love messages with its jewels.

Four messages have been hidden in the diamond-set rose gold necklaces in the Pretty Woman Sunlight Message range.

Last year, the brand signed a three-year exclusivity deal for the use of a patented light shaping technology created by Rayform, a Swiss company cofounded by Romain Testuz, Yuliy Schwartzburg and Mark Pauly.

The result of a decade of research by Testuz and Schwartzburg, graduates from Switzerland’s Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), it harnesses caustics, the optical effect that causes rainbows or the patterns seen at the bottom of a pool.

Mathematical algorithms are used to calculate how a surface needs to be distorted to produce a certain image or message. Given this shape, which looks like a slight texture to the naked eye, the surface reflects the information only when hit with direct light.

FRED PW ALB VISUEL

The message appears when the surface is hit by direct light.

Courtesy of Fred

The technology can have applications in many domains including anti-counterfeiting. As a proof of concept, Testuz and Schwartzburg launched fine jewelry brand The Rayy, currently on hiatus following the Fred deal, which covers jewelry.

When the French jeweler’s artistic director and vice president Valérie Samuel first saw what Rayform could do over a couple of years ago, she was charmed. “What delighted me was the vision of reproducing the effect of sunshine on the sea, these vibrations caused by waves,” she recalled.

She felt it resonated with Fred’s motto of being “the sunshine jeweler” and a family appetite for daring innovations in jewelry, including most recently lab-grown diamonds.

Using the surface of jewels to project a message also felt like a novel spin on an age-old idea.

“It’s a way of revitalizing the traditional engravings done by jewelers,” she continued. “We know that jewelry is often steeped in emotion, marking important moments of our lives and this is a message that is only revealed by light, in particular sunlight.”

The Pretty Woman collection felt like the appropriate platform to introduce this new development. “Since it’s a message that is secret, only revealed when there’s this light projection, I spontaneously thought of a love message – for yourself or to give as a gift,” she continued. “Pretty Woman is about multiple expressions of love in a ‘your way, your love’ [approach].”

For Samuel, adding this nearly hidden message as an added surprise in a gift or as a reminder to onesself slotted in with Fred’s motto that “adding a twinkle of happiness illuminates small and big moments in life,” she said. “It really brings a dash of magic.”

FRED PW ALB VISUEL

The French word “amour,” or love, is one of four messages in the collection.

Courtesy of Fred

Although there were plenty of options, the wording needed to be short to fit the available surface.

Messages currently come in French and English, with the heart symbol dotted in. Available in three sizes and launching Monday in Fred’s global retail network and online, the necklaces are priced between 3,310 and 12,530 euros.

“Since we are a French brand, our market reacted very well to the word ‘amour,’ as it makes people dream [in the same way] in Japan, in China, in Korea,” said Samuel. “But why not tomorrow also have words in other languages?”

Personalizations aren’t yet on the cards. She said its complexity needed a step-by-step deployment. “It’s not something we can offer immediately,” she said. “But it’s something I would really like to do because personalizing even more, answering even more [clients’ desires] is part of our DNA.”

“When you look at the pieces on its face, it’s the well known pink gold heart set with diamonds, with this very strong code. On the back, the surface is slightly uneven, a little like rippling water,” she said. “But I like to forget that and come back to the magical moment where light reveals the message.”



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