A Name, A Legacy, An Adventure
Pascal Mouawad, co-guardian of the world-renowned Mouawad Group, spoke of history — that is, the history of his remarkable family and its world-renowned brand, beloved of royalty and celebrities the world over.
Four generations of the Mouawad family have run the renowned jewellery house that bears their name. The brand’s history stretches back all the way to 1890, when the current co-guardian Pascal Mouawad’s great-grandfather David started the business in Lebanon.
When the baton of the business passed to Pascal’s grandfather Fayez, he decided to venture out. Travelling to Arabia by boat, he rose to become jeweller to the ruling family of what is now Saudi Arabia. Since then the house of Mouawad has been known for its service to royalty.
When Pascal’s father Robert was a young man, he wanted to be a doctor. He even went to medical school in Paris. When his family called him home, however, he had to come back to help in the business. Fortunately, he had the golden touch. Beginning in 1965 as a salesman behind the counter, he rose to become the president of the company.
“When my father took over, we used to represent many large brands,” Pascal Mouawad told his audience in his presentation on the journey of Mouawad since 1890 at the The Retail Jeweller Dubai Forum 2019. “He focused on retail expansion instead, pushing our retail horizon out from Saudi Arabia to the US, where he opened offices in New York. Today we have 35 stores in Japan, and we’re operational in Singapore and Malaysia. He opened factories in Saudi Arabia, Italy, and Paris.”
Within a few years, his father took the company in other new directions, including moving it to Geneva, Switzerland. “We’ve been building watches since 1972,” said Pascal, “with innovative designs — cutting-edge, yet universal in appeal. My father was also instrumental in acquiring important diamonds throughout his career. Some of them are named after us, such as the emerald-cut Mouawad Magic of 108.81 carats.” Another star of the Mouawad collection is the Jubilée, a colourless, cushion-cut diamond of 245.35 carats. It is the sixth-largest in the world, and was once owned by Dorabji Tata, founder of Tata Steel.
“My father was instrumental in shaping the business,” said Pascal. “He took us from a two-store operation to a multinational company. In 2010, he decided to retire and give the business to my brothers Alain and Fred, and me. Now, we are grooming the next generation.”
So well-regarded is the Mouawad name, and so unwavering Mouawad’s commitment to the diamond and jewellery industry, that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) named its headquarters after Robert Mouawad.
As the fourth generation to run the company, the brothers have built on the strong foundation of the family brand, with its commitment to positive values. Integrity, said Pascal, is one of them. So is courage, which a business needs when investing in gemstones, taking risks, and growing. Adaptability is another, from which flows innovation and openness to technology.
Under the leadership of Alain, Fred and Pascal, the company has undergone changes in business areas and strategy. One of the key shifts has been Mouawad’s turn from multi-brand entity to single-brand powerhouse. Today, Mouawad is one of the 79 licenced communities in the world.
It is also a name regularly associated with A-list celebrities. Mouawad now dresses many stars for the red carpet at, for instance, Cannes. Nicole Kidman, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Demi Lovato and more of that calibre have worn Mouawad. This year, Pascal told his audience, the brand has tied up with the Miss Universe Organization and will make the winner’s crown.
Ethical in business, the family maintains a tradition of social responsibility as well. A separate fund, managed by Pascal’s nephew, generates resources that help underprivileged communities in the regions from which Mouawad sources diamonds. Some of these resources are devoted to training and educating its workers at the source locations, so that they can earn more with their upgraded skills, as well as grow and thrive as individuals.
Pascal’s family have, from the very beginning, run a well-founded, well-rounded business. Today, their name instantly conjures up superbness and originality. With its clientele of royalty — literal as well as cinematic — Mouawad has the kind of cachet that few brands in the world can match.