While Bäumer is the type of jeweler who emphasizes design over materials, he’s delighted that in his arsenal of gems are two Vuitton diamonds with patented cuts—a rounded-cut flower and a pointed-cut version—that mirror the shapes of the house’s monogram motif. The stones, which boast between 61 and 77 facets, are extremely rare. “There’s only one place you can find these diamonds, and it’s at LV,” he says, a big smile spreading over his boyish face.
The monogram shapes also register subtly in a laser-cut gold lace Bäumer created to use on the bib necklace, as well as on earrings and rings. He says he relishes the chance to play with other Vuitton hallmarks, from the gold and brown color combinations to the hardware on trunks. Still, it’s hard to pin Bäumer down to a specific design aesthetic. He collects everything from 19th-century tie pins to the Campana brothers’ furniture and has to pick his way through the myriad objects cramming his offices—a rare Art Deco chair here, a framed but not yet hung contemporary photo there. Meanwhile, Vuitton’s travel roots should give Bäumer plenty of fodder for future collections, for which he plans to take a wardrobe approach, creating jewels that correspond to everything from a bikini to a couture dress.
And how will he measure his success at Louis Vuitton? In the same manner as at his own firm. “If you’re a jeweler, you’re selling love, feelings, happiness, so the more you can cater to this, the more of a jeweler you are,” he says. “When a woman gets jewelry and glows, then you’re a great jeweler.”