Asprey & Garrard to separate and expand

Asprey & Garrard, the British royal family’s jeweler and a maker of other luxury goods, plans to separate into two companies and open new stores around Europe and the United States, it announced Tuesday.

Then-owner Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei combined the companies in 1998. Garrard had been selling jewels to the royals since Queen Victoria’s reign, and Asprey makes jewelry, silverware and leather goods for Britain’s wealthiest shoppers. It now plans to add clothing, shoes, and house wares, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

The new companies will seek to boost their overseas profiles, opening at least 30 new stores in the coming years and reaching out to younger buyers who may be put off by their blue-blooded image, the AP reported. They also plan to expand and refurbish stores in London and New York and develop a group of luxury brands.

Asprey & Garrard has already begun updating its image. Mick Jagger’s daughter Jade designs a jewelry line for Asprey, which will shift to Garrard after the split.

Madonna wore a vintage 1910 Asprey diamond tiara at her wedding last year to director Guy Ritchie, and the company also designed the sapphire and diamond necklace Kate Winslet wore in the movie “Titanic.”

Investors Lawrence Stroll and Silas Chou, who are co-chairmen of the Tommy Hilfiger fashion group, bought Asprey & Garrard last year for a reported $140 million.

Garrard was founded in 1722, Asprey in 1781.

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