February 18, 2004
Richemont Partners with Mimi So
Jewelry designer Mimi So sold a stake of her company, Mimi So Fine Jewelry, to major luxury goods conglomerate Richemont. She launched Mimi So Fine Jewelry in 1993 and was among the first female entrepreneurs to open a boutique in New York City's male-dominated diamond district.
The purchase, which was announced without financial details, dovetails with accelerating trends that meld larger parent firms with developing brand names in both the jewelry and watch arena. "Richemont believes Mimi brings a unique design perspective to the luxury industry," says Ed McQuigg, vice president of marketing for Richemont.
"This is a partnership, and we want to develop this company into an international brand," So explains. Switzerland's Richemont is the parent company of Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget, Dunhill, Panerai, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, International Watch Co. and other watch and accessories brands.
So now sells her jewelry through 12 Neiman Marcus stores nationwide, Stanley Korshak in Dallas, and at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City. She plans to open her first shop-in-shop in Tokyo's Mitsukoshi department store in late Fall 2004. Mimi So's celebrity following began several years ago with a commission by Iman and David Bowie to create their wedding bands.
by Michael Thompson