When it launched in 2012, Comptoir 102 was one of the first boutique- meets-organic-cafe concepts in Dubai – and the very first with a notably French aesthetic. It has since established itself as a hotspot for chic customers and healthy food fans, and earlier this week, the boutique launched its first in-house jewellery line.
A collaboration between the store's co-founder and curator Emma Sawko and Comptoir 102 partner and jewellery designer Mathilde Danglade, who are also long-time friends, the breakout fine-jewellery brand is titled Numéro 102.
The collection puts a spotlight on opals, diamonds and turquoise stones, in designs that are striking, but at the same time speak to minimalist trends.
Sawko says jewellery has always been a defining feature of Comptoir 102. "It's something that's been important to us from the beginning," she says. "I love jewellery, it's something I've always lived with, and we already had this curated jewellery corner at Comptoir. We were also selected by Vogue Paris as one of the nine best concept stores in the world for our jewellery section."
The necklaces and rings in the duo's debut collection are ideal for stacking – as proven by both Sawko and Danglade, who each wear multiple pieces when we meet in the cafe section of Comptoir 102 on the day of the launch.
They explain that Numéro 102 is comprised of four ranges – each likely to suit a different consumer.
"We used natural, raw stones and made stories around them," says Danglade. Large turquoise stones that feature on pendants and cocktail rings are decorated with puncture marks and set with diamonds. The holes, she tells me, reflect the dots from Comptoir 102's logo. Solid rectangular pendants in gold are dotted with an array of small diamonds, and polki diamonds convey asymmetry when combined with smaller raw stones. Various shades of turquoise appear, like water droplets, and their hues are further accentuated by the jade green blocks they are displayed on. Danglade reveals that these blocks, though rock-hard, are in fact antique Chinese pillows that she collected while living in Hong Kong. "They were just perfect for this," she says.
It's this eclectic, multi-spirited vision that is immortalised in the fine-jewellery pieces, which range in price from Dh800 to Dh10,000.
They will likely strike a chord with Dubai's well-travelled consumers. The jewellery was all handmade in Jaipur, although, save for the polki diamonds, there's nothing about this collection that speaks to its country of origin, since traditionally, Indian jewellery is heavy and elaborate. These 9K and 18K gold pieces are contemporary and reflect the duo's whimsical Parisian charm, but with a decidedly earthy touch.
"I think what we wanted to realise through the Numéro 102 collection is something that really looks and feels the way we are. It's chic and feminine, but at the same time it's rock and timeless. It's anti-bling," says Sawko.
She also calls the pieces "skin jewellery" because they can be worn and stacked without overpowering the wearer.
The collection is available at Comptoir 102 in Jumeirah, Dubai, and Sawko reveals that they will be exploring other stockists, too – including the prestigious Hod Boutique in Paris. "We were very lucky to be approached by them – they're super-high-end, and they're taking the whole collection," she says.
The launch there will coincide with Paris Fashion Week, which starts on Tuesday.