French luxury giant PPR, the owner of Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, has bought Chinese jeweller Qeelin for an unnamed sum.
“Qeelin uniquely translates Chinese inspiration into fine contemporary jewelry design and shows strong growth potential in China and beyond,” François-Henri Pinault told WWD. “We thus have great ambitions for the brand and will make it benefit from our expertise and know-how, so that it can speed up its development.”
Qeelin was founded in 2004 by creative director Dennis Chan and French entrepreneur Guillaume Brochard as “an international Fine Jewellery Brand blending Chinese inspiration & French Craftsmanship.
“The brand’s lines include the Ling Long collection — traditional bells tied to newborn babies’ ankles and used to “ward off evil” which have been given a luxury twist in diamond and silver. The brand’s Yu Yi ‘Chinese longevity lock’ features white gold, diamonds and rubies.
The Qeelin brand was founded to bring “modernity into China’s arts and craftsmanship as well as letting the world discover the best of China” and has attracted Maggie Cheung, one of Chan’s muses.
“The brand is small in view of its size but big in view of the potential of the Chinese and Asian markets,” said Alexis Babeau, managing director of PPR’s luxury division.
PPR apparently has plans to accelerate growth with the brand, alongside its current jewel brand Boucheron and watch makers Girard-Perregaux and Jean Richard.
Qeelin currently boasts three European stores, seven in China, and four in Hong Kong, as well as a presence in multibrand boutiques.
There is no information on the size of the deal, which sees PPR take a majority stake in the company, and should be finalized next month.