Style / April 2017

The Most Rakish Menswear Stores On The Planet: Mad Lords

The Rake visits one of Paris’ best-kept secrets, Mad Lords jewellery, and hears from its founder Serge Muller about how he is rewriting the rulebook on sartorial accessorising.

What is it that makes something precious? That’s the fundamental question that drives Serge Muller, founder and curator of Parisian artisanal jewellers Mad Lords. Muller seeks not just to produce or to sell things that are beautiful, but things that are unique, that are personal, that invest in the wearer a sense of meaning. “I had the conviction that we all belong to tribes,” says Muller.  “Once you belong to such an organisation, the most powerful way of expressing it is wearing jewels - an aesthetic symbol of this belonging.”

Muller comes from creative stock - his father an art photographer, his uncle a painter and friend of Cezanne, and his daughter also a budding artist  - and has always had a fascination with jewels and their heritage and historical importance. After three decades working in investment banking, he decided it was time to pursue it. “I wanted to go back to my family DNA: art and craftsmanship. The investment banking was not bringing anything material to anyone, so I decided to end that career and build my own universe around art jewellery.”

Mad Lords derives its name from its clientele, Muller tells me. “It means although they all belong to a certain elite, all of them refuse the most restrictive codes and want to express their aesthetic difference - i.e. being mad.”  Muller himself is, perhaps, the platonic ideal of this philosophy - possessed of a louche, distinctly Parisian charm and with a permanent twinkle in his eye, he is immensely charismatic; passionate about the beautiful, the arcane and the absurd in equal measure. His eagerness to play with or subvert established codes is what lends his jewellery curation its voice and its strength. “At the end of the day, a designer or a design is selected if we feel it brings something drastically new to the art jewellery universe. It’s definitely much more of a love story with our jewels than a simple product selection. We need to fall in love with a piece if we decide to carry it.” 

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