Dinh Van is a contemporary jewelry brand created in 1965 by Jean Dinh Van a jeweler who grew tired of making panthers and flowers for crowned heads and aristocrats.

On the sidelines of the first anniversary of its CITY WALK Boutique, the brand’s Managing Director, Thierry Vasseur, sits with Signé to talk design, jewelry, and expansion.

The brand’s Dubai Boutique is celebrating its first anniversary, how does it feel?

I am so proud of the accomplishments that have marked each step of this extraordinary journey. After this incredible year, our brand continues to be recognized as a go-to destination for all jewelry lovers, thanks to our outstanding team and intuitive service standards. We are grateful to our valued guests and loyal customers in the Middle East for their ongoing trust in us.

Can you tell us more about the brand?

Dinh Van was created in 1965, and it was originally a women’s brand. The founder, Jean Dinh Van, after working for Cartier decided to set up his jewelry line with a particular goal in mind, for women to buy jewelry by themselves and wear it every day. It was an avant-garde way of seeing things in the sixties. The Dinh Van pieces are comfortable to wear and are created to be the perfect pieces for a casual chic look.

How would you describe the brand’s designs and inspirations?

We always go back to our Parisian roots; Jean Dinh Van always had a contemporary style. In the sixties, brands like Yves Saint Laurent or Pierre Cardin launched their first ready to wear collections, and the French design scene was booming. One of the brand’s main inspirations is the Bauhaus movement and the idea that simplicity is the real luxury. Our pieces look simple but making them requires a lot of expertise and patience.

The brand was initially targeting women and later men; can you tell us more about this transition?

There no logic or explanation behind this move, it is customer logic. The thing is that our jewelry is design oriented and our products are pure, simple and almost unisex. We don’t use little hearts or flowers in our designs, so it appeals to men and women alike.

What are some of the Dinh Van’s iconic models?

We have a wide array of products, but some of the iconic ones are the square wedding bands, the handcuff bracelet, and the keyhole bangle.

How does the brand differentiate itself from its competitors?

We don’t want to be a mainstream brand, we know that we don’t appeal to everybody and we are fine with it. We want to stay in our niche.

I would say that we are primarily a design jewelry brand. Since our inception we created pieces in gold and silver, we started with these materials and today we are still using them. We recently introduced carbon fiber, and we are trying to add new material to drive innovation in the jewelry industry.

What is brand’s strategy to gain market shares in the Middle East?

We want to do it step by step. Regarding communication and marketing, we are investing in digital since the region is digital-oriented. We want to create monthly in-store experiences such as events to showcase the brand’s product and philosophy. The idea is to create traffic around the boutique and then expand our retail network in the region. At the moment we have a store in CITY WALK, a counter in Galeries Lafayette in Dubai Mall and we are also present in Bahrain while our Qatar boutique will open soon.