Lorenz Baumer’s jewelry: A friend of women’s happiness
Women certainly can’t help falling in love with fine jewelry for what it represents-glamour, sophistication and most importantly an obsession to reward oneself with the finest things in life. And the kind of jewelry designed by the US-born French-based haute joaillerie designer Lorenz Bäumer speaks volumes about his relentless desire to beautify every woman with what he does.
As a child, Bäumer loved to watch his mother adorning herself and being transformed into a princess by the simple magic of jewels. It impressed him a lot and instilled in his head that how elegantly this part of finery can brighten people’s personality. “I’ve always loved jewelry. It’s at the heart of life, and also at a crossroads of art and technique, of desire and pleasure. It adorns women and can significantly contribute to their happiness,” he said.
He first graduated with a degree in Engineering from the Ecole Centrale in Paris. Soon afterward, he started designing costume jewelry, and for ten years from 1988 to 1998, he sold all the pieces under his first name “Lorenz” from his first showroom which was located at 23 rue Royale, Paris. He then realized he should move his office to 4 Place Vendome and did so six years later for it’s the most famous center for inspecting the art of fine jewelry in the entire world.
“In costume jewelry, I found the absence of material constraints very stimulating. However, little by little, I pushed back the boundaries of my imagination. And I learned this craft with the help of materials that are much less intimidating than sapphires or diamonds using all kinds of techniques, which later I would transpose to fine jewelry,” he said.
According to Bäumer, it was during these years of training that he found himself lucky to be working on almost all the facets of jewelry design. “I taught myself how to do this, without any formal lessons. It was more or less an intuitive approach which gave me huge confidence to keep going,” he said.
The most fascinating thing that one can find about his tangibly beautiful creations is that their details are intricately finished with no room for any flaws. That’s why he makes sure his pieces of jewelry are visible from all angles and shining bright. “I seek perfection in even the slightest details. All the elements, even those that are hardly visible or deliberately hidden, are worked to the point of obsession: the inside and the reverse sides of the jewels, the special cuts of the stones, the mechanical systems, engraving and openwork, and even the joints whose secrets are revealed only to a small degree, if ever,” he said.
Leaving no stone unturned for the love of jewelry
Bäumer s overall experience with regard to what women tend to look for in their jewelry has been more or less wonderful as he explained, “They usually want to possess pieces of jewelry which resemble them, make sense and are definitely and undoubtedly part of their lifestyle.”
And he elaborated further on this by showing us a brooch called “The Scarabée (beetle) Brooch”. It has bejeweled wings that open to reveal a porous black aluminum body that can absorb and release perfume. Not only that, it allows the wearer to place her favorite perfume on the body. “What could be more fascinating than for a woman to wear a piece of jewelry that emits her unique scent of choice and which stands out as the ultimate form of her self-expression,” Bäumer said.
The other thing that he has come to know after traveling to many regions of the world when it’s about women’s appetite for jewelry is that everybody wants to be blown away now. “There is so much jewelry around that they’re really looking for something that surprises them, something unusual,” he said.
Talking about Arab women’s preference for jewelry, Bäumer said they usually wear jewels as modern adornments. It’s purely linked to their social status. Meanwhile, Western women love to wear discreet jewelry pieces which are usually transmitted from generation to generation. “I deeply appreciate and respect these two cultural approaches to jewelry which emulate me and inspire me to create,” he said. “I’d love to change the way people look at jewelry.”
Using only topnotch material
Bäumer thinks he is more like Oscar Wilde considering his fascination with very simple taste, but there is no denying that he likes only the best. He loves to use the most unusual materials from titanium to colored diamonds, to spinel or bizarre metals. “My constant quest for perfection and uniqueness sometimes takes me to the most remote areas of the globe in search of the most beautiful and astounding gems,” he said. “With this desire to always break a code, I like mixing materials and using unconventional materials (titanium, meteorite) while breathing some humor, stories or surprises into my creations.”
Inspirations and role models
This could be anything such as visiting the museum, his encounter with a place, a country, a city or for that matter why not even an animal which he says he loves or hates or the reading of a book (he enjoys dialogues with the bygone authors) about a heroine. The sources of inspiration in his life are numerous. “From all of it a name might spring, from the name springs a first sketch, then the drawing which ultimately goes on to materialize the idea of origin and finally the execution by the finest artisans,” he said.
The one important person that Bäumer wholeheartedly considers as his superb role model is René Lalique. “Lalique was one of the first jewelry designers who paved the way for many. He was a grand man who always pushed the boundaries and always sought to innovate. I also greatly admire jewelry designers who started their career by creating costume jewelry: Jean Schlumberger for Elsa Schiaparelli, Fulco di Verdura for Chanel,” he said.
One of his latest collections is called “Sumba”. It is directly inspired from the Sumba Island in Indonesia where he often goes with his family and where he loves surfing. “I’ve imagined and created interchangeable stones. This new collection symbolizes a delicious moment, a child picking up with his innocent hand a stone which becomes a precious ring for his mom, the woman he loves the most,” Bäumer said.
In fact, this is what makes him different from the rest when he touched on one core aspect of what he does. “I mostly create one-of-a-kind pieces as I’m in the mood of perpetual creation. Every week, new products arrive in stock and shop windows are regularly renewed. I like this hustle in everyday life,” he said.
Bäumer is a very artistic individual prompting him to collect pieces of art wherever he is. “I’m an avid art collector and very passionate about art so I love showcasing my jewelry creations in art contemporary fairs,” he said.
Although a few celebrities like Princess Charlene of Monaco have worn Baumer’s jewelry and he feels happy about it, his focus on celebrity endorsement is never a priority. “I just want to celebrate women altogether and ensure that my creations fall in harmony with them,” he said. “For all my magnificently designed jewels, I believe my lovely life is my muse, and my best part.”
As for what’s next on the horizon on his behalf, Bäumer said there are lots of amazing projects and wonderful collaborations to come including having a showroom of his own in the Middle East.
“For the moment I only have one address: 19 Place Vendôme. More than just a location, it’s the heart of the profession,” he said.
During our conversation coming to an end we asked him how he views jewelry in a more specific way, he had this to say, “Jewelry is more than mere adornment. It must tell a story – your story, my story, the story we create together. Jewelry is the messenger that always accompanies those we care about in life.”