After dealing with the company as a consultant for years, Roger von der Weid took leadership of Lalique Group as CEO around 10 years ago. Since Roger took the reins, his vision to create beautiful products and distribute them worldwide has really come into focus.
Roger von der Weid says that from the outset, his plan has always been to make ambitious acquisitions and achieve sustainable growth. “The idea was to develop and extend the Lalique Group brand portfolio,” he says. “Our core activity was the creation and distribution of fragrances and there was also a focus to diversify our business activities. Back then we were planning to invest in some cosmetics brands; skin care in particular. In 2007 we took over Ultrasun, a suncare company.”
Lalique Group was founded in Switzerland in 2000 with three perfume licenses. Today it is a niche creator and distributor of luxury perfumes, skincare and cosmetics, crystal items and home accessories, jewellery, furniture, and art. It has a strong international presence, with headquarters in Switzerland, production facilities in France and a global reach, with distribution subsidiaries in many other countries.
In the past four or five years, we have gone on to quite significantly diversify the Lalique brand. We took it from a pure crystal brand and launched new categories in the interior design and home segments. We also introduced a fine jewelry business and opened a Michelin-rated restaurant with adjacent Relais & Châteaux hotel under the Lalique name
Pushing creative boundaries
While the perfume and cosmetics side of the business has always been about improving formulas and creating and launching new products within its established ranges, the Lalique brand has been an area where the Group has boldly branched out into new business categories and targeted new sectors of existing markets.
“In the past four or five years, we have gone on to quite significantly diversify the Lalique brand,” Roger von der Weid says. “We took it from a pure crystal brand and launched new categories in the interior design and home segments. We also introduced a fine jewelry business and opened a Michelin-rated restaurant with adjacent Relais & Châteaux hotel under the Lalique name”.
“Most recently, we went on to start an arts business, where we cooperate with external artists such as Damien Hirst, or Anish Kapoor. These artists design pieces or art works that we then produce and market in Lalique crystal. Obviously, that’s very interesting as it opens the entire art industry to us and to our Lalique brand. It builds tremendous awareness to be able to communicate jointly with these artists, and it is something that has growth potential for years to come.”
Lalique – a strong history of art and beauty
In 1887, René Lalique set up business in France, designing jewellery with innovative materials. He chose them for their power, light and colour, regardless of how precious they were, combining gold and gemstones with semi-precious stones, as well as other materials like mother of pearl, horn and glass. In 2011, Lalique’s artistic contribution was celebrated with the opening of the Lalique museum in Wingen-sur-Moder, France. The museum showcases a collection of more than 650 pieces of jewellery, glass, and modern-day crystal created by René Lalique and his successors.
In 2008, two years after Roger von der Weid started as CEO, the Group acquired the Lalique business — the larger company at the time — with the aim of developing it globally as a lifestyle brand and increasing the production of crystal glassworks.
“It was a huge challenge in terms of being able to close the acquisition and then came two or three tough years where we had to restructure the company,” Roger von der Weid says. “Since then, we have been able to reposition the brand and to extend the business, which is very rewarding.”
Despite the significant challenges associated with the acquisition of Lalique, nowadays the brand perfectly embodies the Lalique Group’s mission to create beautiful products that evoke emotion and the company’s strong artistic heritage.