Hot 100 2013: Ari Sagal and Raoul Sagal

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Taking Marco Bicego to Harrods and Harvey Nichols, boosting sales 40%.

The very individual Sagal brothers Ari and Raoul leave you feeling unsurprised that they have created their very own corner of the jewellery industry.

Raoul says: “We launched a small unknown brand called Marco Bicego into the UK in 2005 and within eight years the brand is now an international success and a well-known name in the UK with shop-in-shops in Harrods and Harvey Nichols and it is now stocked by leading jewellers all around the UK.”

Last year it stepped up a gear and turnover leapt up a whopping 40%. “This year so far we are up 20% on last year and we are happy with the consistent growth.”

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Having opened up their new HQ in St Albans this year they have only underlined their uniqueness in the trade. The Old Brick Barn that also operates as their showroom reflects the brothers’ sense of style. It also shows their way of doing things refuses to be pigeon holed. In fact, it’s about more than just jewellery.

“We would like to think that we are in line with the fashion world as well as the world of art so we try to be pioneers of trends and styles,” says Raoul. “Obviously, the brands we choose to bring to the UK represent this.”

Among those other brands is a new stablemate. “We are about to launch another fantastic brand from Italy, Adolfo Courrier. His Pop Art-inspired collections, all 18ct gold, are beautifully made and stunningly presented. We are so excited to have the opportunity to work with such a talented designer and hope to build a very strong brand in the UK and abroad.”

More ambition from this mould-smashing jewellery distributor. The future as they see it continues to offer opportunities as the UK trade modernises.

“Although the UK jewellery industry is far more modern than it used to be not long ago, and catching up with Europe, there are plenty of opportunities for jewellers to offer a more fashion or lifestyle environment at their stores and provide a bit more of an exciting shopping experience for the consumer. After all, jewellery is fashion.”

The duo are in the creative world as a whole, both love music, art and photography. They say their alternative careers would be rock stars or DJs (though Ari is actually a qualified architect) and the bottom line is they are just fun, and they can see the value of making retail fun too. Raoul says he is happiest when “with our friends and family, preferably on holiday and preferably on a sailing yacht”. And Ari? “When Raoul is on holiday.” Cheeky.

Ari Sagal and Raoul Sagal were named CMJ Business Big Shots in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2013, in association with The Company of Master Jewellers. To read a digital version of the book in full online, click here.
 

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