When Flower‘s Margot Shaw first married in 1981, her bridesmaids all went in together for a gift that would last a lifetime—a beautiful Baccarat crystal decanter. “Even at a young age, my friends and I knew and appreciated the elegance and the quality,” she says. So you can imagine what a treat it was for her to chat with Jim Shreve, president and CEO of Baccarat North America, which you can watch above. Here are a few highlights from their conversation:
Art for Your Table
“Whether it’s a butterfly, a glass, a prestige piece, or a chandelier, it’s art because everything is handmade by artisans in France,” says Jim. Even today, everything in the collection is made by hand in Baccarat, France, in the original factory, which dates back to 1764. And if there’s a flaw, even the tiniest air bubble? The piece is destroyed and returned to the kiln.
Jim is known as the “fresh wind” at Baccarat, bringing a new perspective to the company. However, as we find out, he loves the timelessness of Baccarat as much as anyone. More than 25 years ago, he invested in six Baccarat Vega Glasses for his dinner parties, which he still uses today—and every day. Shortly after joining Baccarat in 2016, he had an epiphany about the objects in his life from his RIMOWA luggage to his iPhone, both of which are more expensive than a Baccarat glass. Now he enjoys his crystal every day with orange juice, smoothies, water, and whiskey.
Or, as Margot puts it, “Don’t put your crystal in your silver closet—and don’t put your silver in your silver closet either. Bring it all out.”
A Vase that Practically Arranges for You
“My husband’s the gardener. I cut and arrange. These are just hydrangeas from right outside. It was so easy. This is one of the best apertures of any vase I’ve ever worked with,” says Margot of her Baccarat Eye Vase in clear, which sits on the table beside her during the interview.
The Most Challenging Color
By popular demand, Baccarat recently brought back one of the most challenging colors in its repertoire—black, seen below in the Papillon Lucky Butterfly from the Reflections Collection. “Black crystal is very difficult to make,” Jim says. “It has to get to a certain temperature, and before it gets to that temperature it will be brown, and if you get it too hot, it won’t be black—it will fall apart.”
High-fashion collaborations include collections with Chrome Hearts as well as Virgil Abloh, artistic director of Louis Vuitton. Along with a chandelier, a vase, and a glass, Abloh designed a chain length—a Louis Vuitton classic and a technical feat for the Baccarat artisans to render in crystal.
And, while plans are currently on hold during covid, a Lady M cake truck that serves its sweet treats on Baccarat crystal is ready to roll in California. How deliciously marvelous!
Sponsored by Baccarat. Learn more at us.baccarat.com
Martha Stewart and Kevin Sharkey, coauthors of Martha’s Flowers: A Practical Guide to Growing, Gathering, and Enjoying, create arrangements using their favorite Baccarat pieces.