Valerie Samuel, FRED Vice-President and Artistic Director, tells us all about the new boutique in The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and its latest chapter on these shores.
Welcome back! How does it feel to be here in Singapore again?
Thank you so much. You know, it’s wonderful to be back; to be here at Marina Bay Sands with a beautiful jewel box [of a store] to express the brand. I’m also very happy to have been able to express our latest boutique concept, which [delivers] a little of the French Riviera spirit—the light, colour, sea, sound, and palm trees. We are so happy to be able to meet our clients again and share the story of the brand.
What is that story? Because it has been reported that FRED has weathered the pandemic quite well.
It is true that we’re expanding the brand. I think what has made the difference during the pandemic is that we have stayed true to who we are, what we are as a brand and as a jeweller. The brand was built by my grandfather Fred Samuel in 1936 and he was a very visionary man [who saw himself as] a modern jewellery designer. That is the essence of the brand; to be in the now. And at that time, my grandfather really wanted to offer jewellery for men and women that could be mixed and worn every day; and to also be transformable, versatile and interchangeable. It’s something that has been [rooted] in our DNA since the beginning. Those values, that vision, is still very relevant for today’s world.
What are some of the essentials that everyone should get from FRED?
Force 10, which has been an iconic design since the ’60s. It’s for both men and women, and it’s interchangeable so there are many different ways of wearing it—from casual chic to glamour informal; with a neon rope or a full diamond line. We have also launched an XL version, so you can express your personality more strongly. Then there’s Chance Infinie, which is like a talisman with its expression of the lucky number eight or the infinity sign.
And finally, Pretty Woman, which is our latest collection [launched in January 2021]. It’s about love with a capital L because it can be love between mother and daughter, sisters, friends and of course, two people with its symbol of a heart within a heart. It’s fresh; it’s young; it’s playful.
What is the one thing that you want everyone to know about the brand?
I’d love for people to know the man behind FRED. It’s not just a name. Fred Samuel was a visionary; he was courageous [and] daring, with a lot of audacity. And the personality of the brand is still very much linked to Monsieur Fred Samuel’s values. [Customers] get a little of that when they buy a [piece of] FRED jewellery.