Rule Breakers: Nayla Hayek

Success is rarely a product of following a formula, and these leaders in business, fashion and the arts have certainly broken the mould.

With an estimated net worth north of US$3 billion, Nayla Hayek could easily sit back and enjoy her personal pastime of raising Arabian horses. Instead, the horse-breeding authority and international judge also makes headlines in her other realm of expertise: watches and jewellery. Hayek took over as the chair of the Swatch Group when her father, Nicholas G. Hayek Sr. – who created the conglomerate of brands that includes Blancpain, Breguet and Omega – died in 2010. In 2013 she orchestrated the US$750 million purchase (and assumption of up to US$250 million of pro forma net debt) of the jewellery house Harry Winston, and a year later she acquired the world’s largest flawless blue diamond at a Christie’s auction. Today, Hayek is known for giving, too: in 2015 she announced a corporate partnership with amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research – the largest sponsorship in the organisation’s history.

Business and pleasure

There are many commonalities between one’s work life and personal passions. In both, you will find that it begins with a love and desire to create something meaningful. When you are deeply involved with something, whether it be in business or your personal life, you have the opportunity to really nurture it and watch it develop into something truly magical right before your eyes. It is an incredibly fulfilling and rewarding experience.Harry Winston was founded by a man who turned his lifelong passion for precious gemstones into a remarkable legacy that will continue to be celebrated for generations to come. When we first acquired Harry Winston, our main priority was – and still is – to preserve the integrity of the brand and reinforce the core principles it was founded upon. Harry Winston is timeless, and 40 years from now, it is my hope and intent that the Harry Winston name continues to reflect its rich heritage and remains synonymous with the same principles – an unparalleled reputation for the ultimate in rarity, elegance and creativity.

What’s in a name

Harry Winston is more than a brand; it is an icon. The power of this house is in its name, in its history, and this is the basis for how we will help shape its future. For more than 80 years, Harry Winston has imparted a renowned design legacy that continues to transcend generations. With more than 100,000 unique designs, the Winston archives are more than just a beloved part of our history; they are an incredible source of inspiration and allow us to continue in our founder’s tradition of creating impeccable jewels from the world’s most exquisite gemstones.

Looking ahead

Millennials are incredibly important to the future of luxury brands. Having grown up during the technology age, they are interested in more than just luxury goods: they are interested in the history behind the product, the origins of the design, the quality, the craftsmanship, and the overall brand experience. Today’s consumer is also seeking jewellery and timepieces that have an intrinsic value, both emotionally and practically, and offer a one-of-a-kind experience.

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