As a serial entrepreneur, it’s no secret that Seth is a big fan of Johann Rupert. Add to that his love for the salmon-pink FT Weekend broadsheet, and there is just no way you’ll be missing this rare interview with the Richmond supremo.
Titled “Johann Rupert: the man on a mission to save Europe’s artisanal skills“, and nestled in the ever-popular ‘How To Spend It’ section, it’s a fascinating insight into what goes on behind the scenes.
Off we go, then:
A convivial evening, good company and good wine inevitably lead to the loosening of tongues, the airing of strong opinions and the general setting to rights of the world. So it is easy to imagine the scene after dinner as Johann Rupert, controlling shareholder of luxury goods conglomerate Richemont, which includes Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Panerai inter alia, sat chatting with designer Marc Newson. A shared love of great design and lasting quality led conversation to their favourite shop, G Lorenzi, on Milan’s Via Montenapoleone
With the widest imaginable range of bladed objects, nail clippers and everything from cigar cutters to shoehorns, Lorenzi is a favourite shop of many a discerning man. Or rather, it was until early 2014, when it closed. “We both sat crying in our wine,” recalls Rupert. As well as tears, there were probably strong words and there might even have been vows to take a stand and “do something”.
I think we can all relate to crying into our wine.
One more passage before I leave you to read this in your own time:
Rupert consented to a rare interview at his family home in London. At 3pm one extremely sunny July afternoon, I walk through an anonymous Belgravia gateway and into a low, rambling house built around little quadrangles and gardens, in one of which, seated at a table, is one of the kings of modern luxury. Shirtsleeves rolled up in the heat to reveal a discreet but complicated platinum Vacheron Constantin around a powerful, sinewy forearm, the “boss” (as one of his closest lieutenants refers to him) is on fine form, comfortably settled in a mood of benign informality.
Any sense that he is the corporate incarnate has been left at the office. Family members come and go; a friend who came for lunch stays for tea. Over the next five hours, as the sun makes its searing journey across the sky, we talk about the history of luxury, its state today, how it became an industry and how it can have a human future.
If you’re a fan of the finer things in life, or you aspire to, then there are few minds better to pick than Rupert’s.
You can read the full FT Weekend article here. Better yet, you can subscribe, and have the goods delivered to your door. We’ve hooked up a special 2ov discount for readers, you see.
Spicy – so how do you get in on the goodness?
Email Bradlee Louw (sorry Brad) at email@example.com, with the subject “Hook me up with 2oceansvibe’s FT Weekend special”, and he will do the rest.
Then you can look forward to a quality paper, delivered to your door, every weekend. Regale your friends with your extensive knowledge on the pressing matters of the day, or keep your family at bay with a double page spread strategically opened from across the lounge.
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