I am Valérie Samuel, Director of the Jewelry and Accessory collections at Swarovski. I head a team of designers with a range of nationalities and really varied backgrounds. It’s not just a coincidence that mine too is very “multifaceted”! I come from a family of jewelers, and I am a gemologist myself, but I am also trained in law and human resources, which led me into marketing and design. I started my career as a junior at the Fred jewelry house, where I worked up to Head of Design and Production. Since 2010, I have continued to pursue my passion for jewelry with Swarovski!
I like to see my job as almost being like the conductor of an orchestra. Whilst not having the creative talent of my designers (I can’t draw to save my life!), my role is to guide the design of all our collections using my sense for products and my knowledge about the end consumer. Each season it’s my job to put Nathalie Colin’s creative vision into practice. I am at the heart of the product strategy and this involves structuring the work of five design studios in parallel with the different departments that develop the collection, from marketing to production. For a collection of 400 new pieces, we have to ensure there is a real sense of harmony between the products and an easily recognizable and identifiable story for the final consumer. My ability to oversee all of these areas allows me to ensure coherence as well as diversity. I try to stimulate and motivate my teams so that they are constantly reinventing, and bringing together the heritage of the brand as well as new innovations!
What do I enjoy the most?
I love helping my designers maximize their response to the creative brief that the marketing team give to us. Even if my day-to-day work focuses mostly on strategy, it’s just a little creative bubble that I always immerse myself in with huge pleasure and enjoyment, even after twenty years!