The jewellery maison of FRED was established by Fred Samuel. Born in 1908 into a family who dealt in precious gemstones, Fred grew up in the vibrant city of Buenos Aires in Argentina and as such, his designs are inspired by the vibrant colours of South America. Fred moved to France at the age of sixteen to study jewellery and was immersed in 1930’s Paris, which was full of rich contemporary influences. This, alongside childhood memories of Argentina infused colour and vitality into his jewellery designs, of which he said:
“My creations are inspired by life, light, movement, energy.”
He added his love of the sea into his unique creations which led to several celebrated chapters in the Maison’s history. Pearls feature heavily in his work and he won recognition as a leading expert in the field. He worked with the finest specimens, particularly those of a creamy-pink shade now known as ‘FRED-coloured’. Fred Samuel’s natural aesthetic, together with his radical view of jewellery enabled him to build a distinctive style.
The first store opened in 1936 in Paris at 6 Rue Royale. The history of FRED is not one without its trials and tribulations. With the outbreak of World War II, he had to place the yellow star of David in his shop window and remove his surname, Samuel, from all signage. As the situation worsened, he left Paris but was arrested in 1942 and did not return for nearly three years.
In the 1990’s Fred created a necklace which became one of the most famous pieces of jewellery in movie history when Richard Gere presented Julia Roberts with the stunning ruby and diamond necklace which featured twenty-three rubellite hearts in the famous scene from the film Pretty Woman. This is why Fred has also been referenced as, ‘the jeweller to the cinema’.
Now known simply as ‘Fred’, the business concentrated on producing their signature bold, colourful jewellery and built a loyal clientele that included Marlene Dietrich and Grace Kelly. These pieces by Fred are striking to the eye in both design and colour and are highly collectable today. If you would like to own your very own piece by FRED, visit Berganza or browse out entire collection online today.