10 Minutes with: Yeprem Jewelry Owner John Chakardemian
May 14, 2015
If you haven’t spotted this statement-making jewelry on the red carpet yet, you may as well be living under a rock. Remember Jennifer Lopez’s jaw-dropping diamond jewelry during her 2014 World Cup Performance or singer-songwriter Rihanna’s 2014 Met Gala jewels? These are just a few of the international star sightings of the innovative, refined Yeprem jewelry. This year marks 50th anniversary of the Lebanon-based brand. I sat down with Yeprem owner John Chakardemian during his recent trip to Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills. Here, Chakardemian explains how he and his siblings have modernized the jewelry line that his father started five decades ago.
NM: What is your role within the company?
JC: My father, Yeprem, started the company. We are second generation now. My sister is the creative director, my brother is the designer and production manager and I handle the commercial side of the business.
NM: What is the inspiration behind the collection?
JC: Trying to create a new era in the jewelry industry. You have the pearls, brown diamonds, colored diamonds, colored stones, different colors of gold—but people are bored. Yeprem represents a new category within jewelry. For example, the bracelets that wrap the hand and the ear cuffs—it’s a new trend that we are creating. We’ve been able to achieve international exposure with the best stores and stars within a very short time. The best part of the success is to have collector clients. At first, some people may be apprehensive to try on Yeprem jewelry, but when they try it they get tons of compliments, and that’s when they come back again.
NM: Describe the Yeprem client.
JC: She is the young lady trying to outshine her friends or an older woman wanting to feel young again or experience something new again. Women in their late teenage years to women in their late seventies are wearing Yeprem.
NM: How has the collection evolved?
JC: My brother came up with the new designs for the company, and we quickly saw success with those pieces, so we just continued to incorporate more of these new designs into the collection. My brother’s designs added a unique, modern touch to my father’s designs. The new designs are trend pieces. There is a ton of craftsmanship and engineering that goes into each piece.
NM: Describe your ideal day?
JC: I would wake up and work out. I love all extreme sports or any kind of physical activity, and then I would go to work. I love what I do!