Meeting with Manuel Mallen, Founder and President of Maison Courbet, the first ecological and ethical jeweller on Place Vendôme
Explain us your professional background.
I started at Piaget Switzerland in 1990 and then moved to Piaget Spain in 1993. In 1996, I then took over the management of Piaget France and in 2000 the management of Baume et Mercier. In 2013 I bought the Poiray brand with a partner, whom I left at the beginning of 2017 to devote myself to launching my Courbet project, which was launched in May 2018 at 7 place Vendôme.
Tell us about Courbet.
A few years ago, during my years at Poiray, I went with one of my suppliers who worked for major jewellery brands in Place Vendôme, Antwerp, to meet a laboratory diamond trader. I then realized the remarkable quality of this diamond.
At the beginning of 2017, I left Poiray and thought about this meeting in Antwerp. I then had the idea of the first ecological and ethical jewellery brand in Place Vendôme.
Marie-Ann Wachtmeister, designer with whom I had already worked at Poiray, wanted to be associated with this project. Her feminine and aesthetic vision convinced me to continue this project together. We must not sacrifice beauty for the good. The product must be beautiful first and then well.
How long have you known Sup de Luxe?
I have known Sup de Luxe since its creation because I was at Richemont when the school was created. I've had a lot of interns from Sup de Luxe.
Why share your experience with students?
I think that laboratory diamonds and recycled gold are the future of jewellery and it is important to make students aware of these materials. Luxury also has a role to play in terms of responsibility and future professionals in this sector must be aware of this.
Advice for our students to succeed in the world of luxury?
I would advise students not to confine themselves to what exists and to question themselves and reimagine luxury, in its marketing and communication. Luxury is a fantastic world because it is a world to be reinvented. We are also in a pivotal moment because many opportunities are available. I invite them to enter them.