Condé Nast Germany now owns a 46 percent share in European online luxury jeweler RenéSim.
“[Condé Nast is] the perfect partner for us,” says site co-founder and managing director Maximilian Hemmerle. “We are a quality-oriented high-class jeweler. They have the same philosophy with their own products.”
Fellow co-founder Georg Schmidt-Sailer says the company was looking for “a strategic partner who really had a long-term outlook—not a short-term Internet strategy, but one more oriented toward strong brands.”
Condé Nast Germany has owned stock in the jeweler since 2011, and Schmidt-Sailer says “it is possible” it might eventually take a majority share.
While a magazine publisher investing in an online jeweler may seem unusual, Hemmerle says it’s becoming increasingly common. “In Europe, all the big publishing companies have gotten into e-commerce sites,” he says. “Publishing companies are all looking at different models if they are going to survive in the future.”
But he adds that the site doesn’t expect preferential treatment as far as advertising rates or editorial. “The editors who create the content are pretty careful,” he says. “They always tell us how important it is that we don’t get special treatment.”
What Condé Nast does bring to the table, Schmidt-Sailer says, is knowledge of the worldwide luxury arena. “They know the market, they know our target groups, they are in every relevant market,” he says.
And while the site is expanding in Europe, America is “not a focus,” says Schmidt-Sailer, though that could change eventually.
RenéSim is a high-end custom jewelry site, named after Hemmerle’s grandfather, famed Van Cleef & Arpels designer René Sim Lacaze.