Founded in Paris in 1862 and world-famous for its macarons, Ladurée is more than a delightful heritage pastry maker, it’s also a tea room and restaurant brand that has branched out into producing Ladurée candles and eponymous cosmetics. (The colorful cosmetic bags that form part of the elegantly eccentric cosmetic range Les Merveilleuses Ladurée also make ideal jewelry pouches.) Purchased by the Holder family of France in 1993, Ladurée has a jewelry-loving CEO named Elisabeth Holder who is a graduate of the European Business School in Paris. Holder caught up with this writer over dinner in Los Angeles to discuss the mélange of fine and talismanic adornments that she wears, and how wearing these affects her daily outlook and emotions.
“I do believe that jewels can carry energies, and protect us like amulets or talismans,” Holder noted, just before Ladurée macarons were served for dessert. (The tiny and colorful sweet treats consist of crunchy almond-flour shells filled with creamy ganache in seductive flavors like blackcurrant and violet, rose petal, pistachio, and salted caramel, which happens to be the company’s international bestseller.)
Roderick: As Ladurée’s CEO and Image and Innovation Director, your style seems as artistic, colorful and eclectic as your range of macarons. How would you describe your taste in jewelry and your overall style?
Holder: Although I am French, I am very much a mix between Paris and L.A.: chic and chill.
Roderick: Chic and chill translates very well internationally. Can you please briefly describe the jewels that you wear every day to work?
Holder: I wear my wedding ring, which is a slender ring with diamonds, and another thin ring that is rose gold from Chrome Hearts. Both of these were gifted to me by my husband. I also wear an assortment of bracelets: A mix of vintage bracelets that I stole from my Mum, gifts from my brothers, and souvenirs from places like Greece, L.A and my trip to Navajo Park this summer. Everything I wear contains a touch of love and good energy. I wear two thin gold necklaces. One says “love” and is from FEATHERSTONE and is a gift from my Mum. The other one is a Dior “rose des vents” or compass rose which was a gift from my Dad, so I always carry my family with me.
Roderick: What is your favorite type of gold: 14-karat gold, 18-karat gold or 22-karat? Why?
Holder: My favorite is 18-karat rose gold.
Roderick: Do you own and/or ever wear platinum jewelry? If yes, please describe the pieces.
Holder: I don’t have any platinum jewelry yet, but I will one day, for sure. I think it is very chic.
Roderick: Do you wear fashion jewelry, also known as costume jewelry or bijoux de fantaisie? If yes, what are your favorite pieces?
Holder: One of my favorites is my Goossens Leo astrological medallion which I wear around my neck on a gold chain. [Author’s note: Since the 1950s, the Paris-based House of Goossens has created highly luxurious costume jewels for its eponymous collections, as well as for global brands like Chanel and Saint Laurent. Goossens also has a long history of creating mirrors, chandeliers, sconces and other “jewels” for interiors out of rock crystal and other fine materials.]
Holder: There’s also my gold-plated whistle necklace on a long chain from Victoria Beckham that has a working whistle, which can be useful sometimes! I also love Aurelie Bidermann’s rings, bracelets, necklaces, etc. I have a few pieces of hers that are very easy to wear. I often wear various vintage pieces, too.
Roderick: Do you ever wear jewels that friends or family made for you? If yes, please describe.
Holder: I wear one gold necklace I designed: my lucky star. I also wear a ring that I designed with my mum for my 18th birthday. The stone that is in this ring was given to me by my mother.
Roderick: Do you believe that jewels provide talismanic protection and do you wear and jewels for good luck?
Holder: Yes, I really do trust in the energy of jewels. I wear my lucky star necklace, I wear gifts from my family, I have a Greek evil eye bracelet and I wear Navajo bracelets for protection.
Roderick: Please tell us what is your secret jewelry desire?
Holder: I will tell you about the jewelry that’s on my Valentine’s Day wish list. I love many of the Chrome Hearts designs. Their jewels are rock n’ roll and sexy. I would love to own a gold neck chain and add some of their charms to it.
Roderick: According to the company website, there are 90 Ladurée restaurants sweetening Europe, the United States, Asia and the Middle East. I was surprised to see that there are even Ladurée locations in Azerbaijan, India and Kazakhstan. If you had to choose just one piece of jewelry to take on a business trip abroad, or to a desert isle, what would you wear?
Holder: Please, don’t make me choose! But if I had to choose just one thing to wear on a business trip, I would take one piece that I believe would protect me. On the other hand, when I go on vacation, I usually don’t wear many jewels, just the bare minimum.