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The Copenhagen native and former Burberry executive is tapping into the Danish brand's heritage and broadening its product offering. He wants Jensen to be known not just for its sculptural, minimalist jewelry, but also for its objects for the home and its heritage pieces.
"Our strategy is to pull back and work more with our roots — especially in silver," said Garde Due. "We have 104 years of history, and the beauty of the brand is its timelessness. We have pieces designed in the Forties and Fifties that look just as modern today."
Although jewelry still represents 50 percent of sales — and there are no plans to change that — Garde Due said his overall aim is to shift from a jewelry and watch universe to one featuring the Scandinavian lifestyle.
He also wants to pump up the brand's presence in the U.S., and has hired former Burberry executive James Crespo as president of operations there.
Garde Due is no stranger to the power of brand heritage. Before joining Jensen last November he was senior vice president, international sales at Burberry. He worked with former Burberry chief Rose Marie Bravo since 1998, and helped to resurrect that brand.
Previously, he worked for Celine in Paris, Tokyo and New York.
Among the vintage designs Garde Due plans to relaunch for fall is a silver pitcher by Henning Koppel, a Danish designer who worked with company founder Georg Jensen. Koppel is known for his curving, organic shapes and spare aesthetic.
He will also reintroduce the Daisy design for jewelry, which previously came in silver or gold and enamel. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark received the original black-and-white Daisy from her mother when she was born in 1940, and wore it as a brooch on her wedding dress in 1967.
Garde Due plans to manufacture the Daisy in the fashion colors of each season and sprinkle them with diamonds for pendants, brooches, earrings and bracelets. He unveiled the latest incarnations of the Daisy at the Baselworld watch and jewelry fair last week.