Caroline Scheufele-Chopard

Caroline Scheufele-Chopard | Lesoleilfoundation

Caroline Scheufele-Chopard


Caroline Scheufele



The artistic director and co-president of Chopard, Caroline Scheufele, celebrates 23 years of collaboration between the Maison and the Cannes Film Festival and shares her memories in an interview made by Ada Iliopoulou, in 2006.

When the President of Le Soleil Foundation , Ada Iliopoulou was living in Paris as a reporter for the magazines of the most well-known newspaper of the Balkans, To Vima , she had the opportunity to do several interviews with the Chopard co-president, Caroline Scheufele. A small part of her memories on how she accepted the challenge of redesigning the Cannes “Palme d’Or” is included in the article posted on our site!

My phone rang at 11 pm. The always-pleasant voice of Caroline Scheufele was heard saying: “I had to call you this late because I just left the office. We will have to do the interview while I’m in the car”. “Does this woman ever have any free time?” I wondered, given that ever since I met her in Paris together with Giuseppe Zanotti, she is constantly in a similar routine. The most amazing thing about her, however, is that she always keeps up and deals with everything while remaining sweet and active and maintaining her inner strength. Mean while, she finds time to take care of her 8 dogs, to paint, to stay free, as she always says, to watch films and to go to parties. One thing is for sure: she never gets bored and no one ever gets bored around her. When I started the interview, I realized that I did not even need to ask Caroline any questions…

- Τhe first cinematic kiss I enjoyed was the one between Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, in “Gone with the Wind”. Truly unforgettable; exactly like a real-life kiss exchanged spontaneously without even noticing how you even got to that moment.
Ιn 2006, Chopard and the Cannes Film Festival celebrated 15 years of collaboration. Thus, during the Festival, we organized the Chopard Lounge, at the top floor of the Hotel Martinez; it was a photo exhibition entitled In love with Cinema capturing legendary cinematic kisses, such as the first kiss in cinematic history, the one between Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant in Notorious (1946). A truly iconic kiss!

- I loved cinema ever since I was a little kid; so to me it was only normal that we would open a boutique in Cannes during the time of the Festival, when all those celebrities would attend it, when all those parties would take place, etc. Back then, we used the Majestic Hotel suites as our headquarters; people would come and ask me “What is Chopard?  What are you making?” to which I stoically answered, “We make jewelry and watches”. Simple as that!

- It was 1997 and during the Festival, I happened to see the old Palme d’Or; I expected it would be much more glamorous so quite spontaneously I made that remark out loud. The then President of the Festival, Pierre Viot, heard it and said, “Very well, then. You can do it the way you think”. So, I redesigned it.
Made of 24K gold, it is hand cast into a wax mould, then affixed to a cushion of a single piece of cut crystal and is now presented in a case of blue morocco leather. In total, it took five artisans 40 hours of work at the Geneva workshops to create this legendary award, modernised under the presidency of Pierre Viot; Chopard Jewellers ever sincedonate the trophy every single year.
This new Palme d’Or was awarded for the first time to the best film, in 1998; coincidentally, it was a Greek film entitled “Eternity and a day” by director Theo Angelopoulos.



In addition to the Palme d'Or for the best feature film there is also the mini Palme for the best short film – both made in ethical 'Fairmined' certified gold, as well as the awards for best actor and best actress. Moreover, there is the Palme d’Honneur and the Trophée Chopard rewarding the talent of a young actor and actress. Marion Cotillard, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Diane Kruger and Gael García Bernal have received the latter before they became famous. The said award is always supported by a famous presenter.

According to the world renowned Maison, “For several years, Chopard had been demonstrating its commitment to corporate responsibility, placing it at the very core of its values. A member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), which plays a leading role in establishing environmental, social and ethical standards, the Maison has created in conjunction with Eco-Age founder, Livia Firth, a programme named The Journey to Sustainable Luxury, launched in 2013. The Green Carpet Collection also saw the light of the day the same year. The Maison thereby undertakes to source its materials from suppliers openly justifying responsible practices on both social and environmental levels. The creation of a Palme in ethical Fairmined-certified gold bears further testimony to Chopard’s dedication to sustainable and responsible luxury”.



- All these years, I met many interesting people in Cannes. One of them was Sir Elton John who inspired me to support EJAF (Elton John AIDS Foundation) through major artistic collaborations that took place from time to time and by auctioning these pieces in Cannes, to fund the battle against AIDS. It was thanks to him that the Elton John watch collection was created and part of the sales from this collection are offered to EJAF on a permanent basis.

- One of the best moments I remember from Cannes, is the time I met Elizabeth Taylor. What an incredible human, what an incredible personality! What an actress! She asked to meet me and I had to go to the villa where she stayed with about six bodyguards!
I handed her a Riviera full of heart-shaped diamonds, which she would wear to the red carpet. She fell in love with the diamond necklace with a pink diamond ribbon and actually she broke the earrings! She told me: “It doesn’t matter, I want to wear the necklace and then mix it with some of my own pieces that match.” She tried it and said, “In my life, I have worn all kinds of jewelry but truly I have never seen anything like this before!”
Later on, one of her bodyguards called me at approximately 2 pm and said, “Mrs Taylor doesn’t want to give back the necklace yet, she wants to sleep with it.”
The next morning at 11 am, I received a new call from her bodyguard saying, “Mrs Taylor doesn’t want to give the necklace back, she would like the best price.” She loved it so much that she wanted to buy it at once and requested to know the price. As soon as she heard it, she started tearing up, just like the perfect actress she was, in order to entice me into lowering the price so that she could actually buy it. Of course, I will not tell you whether she bought it and at what price (laughter).
She also wanted to see the rest of my collection, so I went to her villa with a wide variety of pieces. I laid them out on a low coffee table and I remember she had this little dog that was walking all over the jewellery. Then, she showed me her private collection of jewelry, and we mixed them with ours. For me, it was aparticularly amazing experience to sit in front of such an iconic actress and look at her wearing my creations in her own unique way!

One of the worst moments I ever experienced during the Festival was when a young actress who was utterly excited to walk the red carpet, ended up getting ready for hours; however,when she actually arrived at the Festival venue it was too late. The red carpet had already closed. She started crying and later she claimed that she was not allowed to enter the venue because she was from India. Despite the fact that I felt sorry since unfortunately she could not enter the venue to attend the ceremony, it is important to remember that rules apply to all, without exception. However, Cannes is a meeting point for people from all over the world.

- In order to describe 24 hours of mine during the Festival, I would have to speak for an hour, and it would still not be enough! My day starts early on in the morning: meetings with the entire team in full alert mode for all the things we need to coordinate, whether it is for a fashion show, a charity event or a photo shoot. There are lengthy discussions about how we worked things out last year and how we should proceed this year on any occasion, who will attend where, who shall receive garments from whom, who shall wear our jewelry, etc. And thenat some point, I just look at my watch and it is already 5 pm and it is late; it is time to prepare for the red carpet. It is a truly hectic schedule because following an exhausting day you are also expected to attend the parties; and the day seems to never end. But you call it a night at 3 amand the next morning, again early on, you need to be there. In order to make it, I have to eat healthy, drink a lot of water and take several vitamins. When I can find a few minutes, I swim for a while at the pool. It is truly tiring for me.


- What kind of award would I offer myself after all the awards I have designed for Cannes? I would award myself a little free time!

Interesting Chopard & Festival facts...


Starting from the 53rd Festival, two versions of the Palme were made for the Best Actor and Best Actress prizes. The first winners were Björk ("Dancer in the Dark" by Lars von Trier) and Tony Leung Chiu-wai ("In the Mood for Love" by Wong Kar-wai). In 2013, for the first time in the history of the Festival, the Palme d'Or was awarded both to a director, Abdellatif Kechiche, and to his two leading actresses: Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux, for "Blue is the Warmest Color". A second Palme is always held in reserve in case of material damage, or in the event of a joint winner, but that year a third trophy had to be made. The Palmes are delivered to the Palais des Festivals at the last minute, just a few hours before the Closing Ceremony.


2016

Ken Loach was the most recent director to win the Palme d'Or in 2016 for his film 'I, Daniel Blake', presented in Competition at the 69th Festival. Having already received the celebrated trophy for "The Wind that Shakes the Barley" in 2006, he joined the seven other directors belonging to the much-coveted circle of "double Palmes": Francis Ford Coppola (1974 and 1979), Shoei Imamura (1983 and 1997), Bille August (1988 and 1992), Emir Kusturica (1985 and 1995), Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (1999 and 2005) and Michael Haneke (2009 and 2012). However, before the creation of the Palme, director Alf Sjöberg had also received two Grands Prix for "Torment" in 1946 and "Miss Julie" in 1951.



Drawing of the Palme d'Or for the 70th Festival de Cannes © Chopard
For the 70th edition of theCannes Film Festival, in 2017 the trophy has been specially redesigned to provide a "frosted" effect. The Palme d’Or has been exceptionally incrusted with 167 diamonds "like stardust on its leaves and stalk". The diamonds were provided by an ethical supplier certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council.
After winning the Palme d'or in 2019, Bong Joon-Ho's Parasite continued its absolute triumph with more than 200 international awards. The film has entered cinema legend by breaking two new records at the Oscars. It's the first time a non-English language film has won the award for best picture, but also the first time a film has won the double Oscar, for best film and best international film. It has also gone down in Festival history: Parasite is the second Palme d'or winner to be honoured with the best film Oscar (after Marty by Delbert Mann in 1955).

At Saturday 6.06( 9 AM for NY,3 PM for Paris,9 PM for Benjin)the event “at home” Cannes comes at home “Do good feel good “ charity gala will be hosted by @chopardbycaroline will support the International Committee of Red Cross and the AMFAR fund to fight Covid 19.

Reserve your ticket at www.reservations.chopardlive.com.
Master of ceremony DJ Cassidy , live auction Simon De Pury and a lot of surprises!