Hot 100 2013: Pia Tonna

On building the Fabergé of tomorrow under the ownership of Gemfields.

It is with a degree of coyness and modesty that Pia Tonna says she was “fortunate enough to have been involved in Gemfields’ global launch of Mila Kunis as the company’s brand ambassador”.

The elfin Hollywood actress became the face of jewellery this year, smouldering out from glossies, dailies and screens alike, draped in the ethically sourced stones that she says makes the company such a joy to endorse. The star even told Vogue: “They opened their doors wide and just said, ‘Go ahead’. They’ve been so great at letting me be a part of anything and everything I’ve been able to. I chose them in the same way that they chose me and I have honestly never worked for a better company.”

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Pia seems to agree, after all what attracted her to the company? “It was their modern, forward-thinking culture. I really respected Gemfields’ stance on business, with the company’s dedication to creating new standards within the coloured gemstone industry, nurturing relationships with local communities, as well as its passion for coloured gemstones and fine jewellery.”

And following the company’s acquisition of the world’s sexiest bit of brand heritage in Fabergé she has moved over to work on the opulent 1842 founded house. “My move over to Fabergé has returned me to my luxury roots and for me, it is the most revered name in jewellery history, our challenge now is to build on this illustrious heritage and to create tomorrow’s Fabergé.”

So what is she doing about that? “We have just recently shot the new Fabergé marketing campaign that is set to break at the beginning of October and which will showcase just a few of the many new and exciting products that Fabergé is planning to launch over the coming year. There are many other exciting things coming up over the next few months but other than that, my lips are sealed.”

You do get the sense that serious – and secretive – things are going on. Fortunately Pia is a little more open about herself. “I am affable but at the same time I am a stickler for details and efficiency and can also come across as being quite stubborn at times, but it is just that I am very passionate about the things that I believe in and need to be convinced that some other way is better before being able to shift my direction or change my approach. My team tell me that I am approachable even on the most hectic of days, on the smallest of decisions.”

She loves to travel and retreats to her Istanbul apartment whenever she can to experience the bustle at the naval of the world. But of course she returns to the centre of the jewellery universe to have her pieces made. “I love our Zambian amethyst, so much so that I designed an amethyst cocktail ring and commissioned it through Hatton Garden. I wear this all the time. I am waiting impatiently now for my new aquamarine and sapphire cocktail ring – aquamarine is my birthstone.” Having seen Gemfields’ profile skyrocket she deserves it. And no doubt she will have similar results with Fabergé.

Pia Tonna was selected as a CMJ Business Big Shot 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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