Just a short drive from its Newport Beach headquarters and the deep-blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, California-based jeweler Lugano’s club concept has recently opened next door to its flagship boutique in the area’s upscale Fashion Island district. Through a pair of discreet glass doors accessible via the showroom (as well as street-side), Privé is a 7,500-square-foot members-only space that features Italian furniture from Ceccotti Collezioni and Poltrona Frau, an indoor-outdoor garden area of flowers and greenery, and striking wooden columns that spread outward, onto the ceiling, in a treelike effect.
What you’ll find very little of, however, are the company’s wares. “We just have a little bit of sparkle, with two custom-made egg-shaped vitrines that showcase jewelry,” says Privé’s managing director and chief experience officer, Stuart Winston. Privé, he notes, “isn’t really about selling.” Instead, members enjoy specialized events, such as a performance by jazz trumpeter Chris Botti and intimate dinners by the world’s top chefs, including Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, and Jérôme Bocuse (who raise money to support young chefs via their nonprofit foundation, Ment’or). Wine from elite makers such as Harlan, Darioush, and more will also be part of the program, including space for personal collections. “Members have up to two shelves with refrigeration, which can hold a full case of wine,” Winston says of the storage room. “I saw the system that they use at Lokoya in Napa, and I had the artisans make it for us as well.”
More from Robb Report
And this new space is just the beginning. “We anticipate that this is the first Privé of many,” says Lugano Diamonds founder Moti Ferder, “and what will happen with time is that we’ll have reciprocal memberships between different locations.” As of its May opening, there are 50 members—a number that will likely be capped at a small multiple of that figure for the Newport Beach venue. Wondering how to get in? Requirement No. 1, naturally, is being a Lugano client, followed by serious involvement in philanthropic endeavors.
“It doesn’t mean that everybody has to give millions of dollars,” Winston clarifies. “But we really want there to be a core value in the club that everyone understands the importance of giving back and supporting the community.”
Best of Robb Report