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Founder of Watch and Jewelry Brand Dies in Race Car Crash

He was a ‘true epicurean.’

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Phillipe Charriol died Tuesday while driving his race car.

Philippe Charriol, founder of Swiss luxury goods brand Charriol, died Tuesday while driving his race car on the Circuit Paul Ricard, home of the 2018 French Grand Prix Formula 1.

Charriol, born in 1942, broke out on his own in 1983, founding Charriol as a multi-product brand making Swiss watches, jewelry, accessories, fragrance, optical and even Bordeaux wine.

In the 1980s, when the nexus of Swiss watchmakers was the Place Vendôme in Paris, Charriol instead focused his efforts on Asia, laying the foundations for what would grow into a luxury goods empire across the Middle East, Europe and the Americas.

“As a result, the Charriol brand from its inception has been both a genuine Swiss watchmaker, and a truly international brand, genuinely rooted in Asia from day 1, as opposed to migrating to Asia in the early 2000s like so many European brands later did,” according to a press release.

Prior to founding his own brand, Charriol was a leader inside the maison of Cartier for 15 years, holding various positions, including general manager, then brand president for the Asian market.

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After leaving Cartier, it took seven years of bootstrapping before he opened the first stand-alone Charriol boutique in Hong Kong in 1990. The pace accelerated throughout the 1990s as he opened locations in Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo, Doha and Riyadh followed by Geneva, Beijing, Shanghai, Dubai, Mumbai, Las Vegas and many more.

Charriol also pioneered online sales, being the first Swiss watch and jewelry brand to emphasize its own e-commerce platform starting in 2008, according to the release.

“Philippe Charriol’s business and personal lives were intertwined, and he operated at full speed every day, even up to his final day, pursuing his entrepreneurial dreams as well as his personal passions such as motorsports, which he pursued at an almost professional level for the past 25 years,” according to the release. “He was a true epicurean, fascinated by more refined pursuits including architecture, culture, and arts – the latter being of particular interest to him, as he created the Philippe Charriol Art Foundation in Hong Kong which for more than 20 years gave annual awards to young artists to pursue their education in the arts.”

He is survived by his children, Coralie (creative director), Alexandre (visual director) and Laetitia, and his spouse Marie-Olga Charriol (PR director), who support the Charriol management team.

He will be laid to rest in a family funeral service in Marseilles, and his life will be celebrated at a memorial service in Paris at the end of March.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Failed Fashion Jewelry Chain Is Coming Back

It will operate primarily as an online brand.

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Jewelry and accessories retailer Charming Charlie may have gone bankrupt and closed its 261 stores, but you can expect to see the brand resurface in coming months.

Charlie Chanaratsopon, founder of the company, is acquiring its trademarks, internet properties and other intellectual property for about $1.23 million, the Houston Chronicle reports. He was approved to buy the assets following a bankruptcy auction.

He plans to revive Charming Charlie as primarily an online brand. It will have only a few permanent brick-and-mortar stores, which will open early next year.

The company’s main advantage is its 10-million-strong customer base, said Chanaratsopon, former CEO of Charming Charlie.

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“In this age of retail, we still see an opportunity for the brand to thrive in the online ecosystem,” he said, according to the Chronicle.

The company said in July that it was closing all of its stores in connection with its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed July 11.

Read more at the the Houston Chronicle

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Online Jewelry Brand Raises $6.2M in Funding

Ross-Simons has taken a majority stake.

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CRANSTON, RI — Luca + Danni Inc., a online jewelry brand based in Rhode Island, has closed on $6.2 million in funding, with Ross-Simons Inc. becaming the majority investor in the deal.

PJC, a Boston-based VC Fund and early investor in Luca + Danni, will retain a stake in the company.

The investments “create a powerful partnership between an iconic jewelry company and three-year-old digital brand,” according to a Luca + Danni press release.

Fred Magnanimi, founder of Luca + Danni, will remain as CEO and board member.

“I started this brand to honor my family’s 50+ year heritage in US made handcrafted jewelry and help others embrace the journey of life as I learned to do after losing my brother to leukemia,” said Magnanimi. “With the amazing resources and strategic support of Ross-Simons and PJC, I am confident we will help millions embrace their own journey and continue to build our community.”

Ross-Simons, also based in Rhode Island, has a long history in retail and direct-to-consumer jewelry sales.

“Luca + Danni is a digitally native brand rapidly taking market share in the jewelry space,” said Jim Speltz, president of Ross-Simons. “Our resources, product expertise, and go-to-market experience matched with Luca + Danni’s powerful brand will foster meaningful growth in the evolving e-commerce world.”

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She Woke Up Without Her Engagement Ring. Guess Where Doctors Found It …

It all started with a dream. (Story with video.)

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A San Diego woman woke up without her engagement ring, and she immediately remembered a dream she’d had the night before.

One where she’d swallowed her engagement ring.

Jenna Evans immediately told her fiance, Bob Howell, and they headed to urgent care. She told the story in a Facebook post that has gone viral, garnering 62,000 shares as of Sept. 16.

She ended up seeing a gastroenterologist, who performed an upper endoscopy.

“Everything went great, they found my ring just beyond my stomach in my intestines, retrieved it and gave it to Bobby, not me,” she wrote.

She also divulged a bit about the dream that got her into the predicament.

“I was having a dream that Bobby and I were in a very sketchy situation involving a high speed train and bad guys (I have very exciting and vivid dreams) and he told me I had to swallow my ring to protect it; so I popped that sucker off, put it in my mouth and swallowed it with a glass of water riiiight about the time I realized what I was doing,” she explained. “I assumed this too was a dream, because WHO ACTUALLY SWALLOWS THEIR ENGAGEMENT RING, so I went back to sleep.”

The ring was made by Simone Jewelry Designs in Houston. CBS8 reports that it includes a 2.4 carat diamond.

Watch a news video about the incident:

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