“It is still a bit early to speak about our 90th anniversary of FRED in 2026; but I can assure you that it will be spectacular and very FRED,” explains Charles Leung, CEO of the Parisian high jewellery brand FRED.
For almost a century, the luxury high-jeweller has forged their own path as one of the premiere maisons offering informal relaxed glamour for the modern women.
Or the Pretty Woman, after one of the maison’s most signature creations, a diamond and ruby necklace worn by Julia Roberts in the iconic 1990 cult-favourite rom-com.
In the brand’s 86-year-history, contemporary jewellery and creativity infused with joie de vivre challenges the traditional codes of high jewellery, appealing to the wanderlust of the jet-setting society and upper echelon through an astute commitment to heritage and heirloom.
Now, for the first time ever, FRED are stepping out of the boutique and into the Palais de Tokyo to celebrate their legacy with a brand-new retrospective that pays homage and commemorates the man behind the brand, Fred Samuel.
‘FRED, Joaillier Créateur Depuis 1936’, or ‘FRED, Jewellery Creator since 1936’, tells Samuels’ story in new light, from his humble origins in the French capital to being dubbed the “the most beautiful pearls in Paris”.
“The house is so infused with Fred Samuel’s vision and personality, that today it is as if he is still here, present every day,” the maison’s Vice-President and Artistic Director, Valérie Samuel.
However, the name Fred Samuel holds more weight to Valérie than most, with the artistic director Fred’s granddaughter.
“The house is named after him, Fred, so every day we are reminded of Mr. Fred, as his clients or friends called him with affection and respect,” Samuel tells us.
“And on a personal note, being his granddaughter and the first woman in this line of jewellers, it is both a great joy and a great honour to be able to continue his vision and to make it shine internationally, especially in Australia where many people live for the passion of sailing, as was the case for Fred Samuel and his sons.”
In its essence, the retrospective embodies FRED’s (and Mr. Fred’s) unique approach to design and signature icons that have found its way around the necks of some of the most prolific and memorable moments in popular culture.
“In the past 86 years, FRED has always been a unique Parisian high jewellery house—inspired by the vision and philosophy of our founder Fred Samuel, infused with French Riviera informal glamour and effortless chic,” Leung explains.
“The exhibition, which is the first retrospective of the house, tells the story of 85 years of history and creative audacity at FRED. It is a journey through the ages where we will discover different aspects of the company’s know-how—gold work, enamel work in the 1960s, hard stone work in the 1970s. We will encounter many styles through this exhibition, which will reveal the richness and eclecticism of the creations throughout the 20th century and up to this day,” Samuel adds.
For Australian fans of FRED, visiting the famed Palais de Tokyo may not be on the cards, but thanks to the maison’s iconic creations, touring FRED’s archives is as simple as popping on your favourite classic film.
From Emily In Paris’ heart-shaped motif necklace in the Saint Tropez episode, to its stint in the 007 flick Casino Royale, FRED’s history is intertwined with exceptionally powerful women, like Valérie herself.
“I think FRED’s youthful and playful yet timelessly elegant designs combined with top quality gems and highest level craftsmanship from France suit very well women living in the present,” Leung adds.
“Indeed, some of the most beloved leading female characters in the most memorable romantic comedies and TV series always show their independence, determination, courage and sense of humour. They are beautiful in their own natural, charming way. Like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman with FRED’s high jewellery diamonds and rubies necklace when she was only 23 years old.
“FRED’s jewellery style is original, fun and daring, absolutely perfect for modern women.”