Hot 100 2015 BUSINESS BIG SHOTS: Michael Hakimian

Michael Hakimian, chief executive officer, Yoko London.

2015 is the second year that Yoko London chief executive Michael Hakimian has made it into the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 thanks to another spectacular 12 months for the specialist pearl company, including securing Bergdorf Goodman in New York as a stockist in November 2014.

“It marked a real high point in the brand’s growth in America, which is currently our strongest market,” Michael reveals. “It is a legendary department store and their discerning audience is the perfect fit for our diverse collections.”

This development is just one of the ways in which Michael is taking Yoko London to the next level; both globally and on home soil. “We are happy to gradually grow our presence around the world, collaborating with fi nest quality partners who believe in our vision for the brand,” he explains. “With every year that passes the brand is gaining more and more momentum, and we aim to make the most of this.”

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This year, the brand reached an even bigger audience by partnering with the EE British Academy Film Awards — a move that saw its precious gemstone, diamond and pearl designs worn by some of the world’s biggest stars. “We dressed a number of young celebrities across the various events, with many of them selecting our more contemporary designs such as our ear cuffs. This was a wonderful way for us to demonstrate how pearls can be an extremely fresh and modern gem,” Michael recalls.

Yoko London is a modern brand that is proud of its history. Founded in 1973 by Michael’s father, the company now employs his sister, brother and Michael’s daughter, who looks after marketing and PR. He adds: “My work life can be very demanding on my time, and I travel extensively around the world every month whether it’s to source pearls, visit new or existing clients or attend jewellery trade shows. When I’m not working I try and spend as much time as I can with my family and we all have a great love for travelling.”

Some of Michael’s team have worked within the company for more than 30 years. He says: “They all work tirelessly for the brand. I can honestly say that they all feel like family to me.”

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