Kika Prette bijouterie apm monaco

APM Monaco: Meet Kika Prette

Published on March 25, 2024Updated on March 27, 2024

Let’s get creative with... Kika Prette from APM Monaco 

With its 400 boutiques all over the world, APM Monaco promotes the Monegasque identity and values internationally through an original vision of jewellery, intimately linked to fashion and the latest trends. Meet Kika Prette, a true visionary and creative director of APM Monaco jewellery. 

Luxury, jewellery and fashion according to APM Monaco 

Kika Prette: In fashion, there is a whole range of choices, from luxury to what we now call fast fashion, for example, with a huge number of contemporary proposals, at all price and quality levels... In short, a very wide range. But in jewellery, I didn’t find that at all: that diversity, that evolution of trends, that “fashion” aspect. It was really just “jewellery for an occasion”. So, the brand concept developed around that. And that is its positioning today: much closer to fashion than to traditional jewellery. Hence the need for recurring collections, or collections that are grafted onto a theme.

Shooting APM Monaco Thylane Blondeau et Baptiste Giabiconi

How do you approach this aspect of your collections? 

Kika Prette: All our collections have a theme. In-store playlists, shop decorations, muses, production: we imagine a universe to create harmony.


A case in point?  

Kika Prette: If we’re working on a “rock” theme, we’re going to think about a collection that corresponds to this aesthetic, this culture, through designs that are a little edgier, jewellery with black, grey and more rock ’n’ roll patterns. Then we’ll ask ourselves the question of the muse we imagine for this collection, and move on to the creative stage around the shoot and the visuals for the communication. And finally, there’s the music that will be played in the shops, and it’s all of this that will be relayed on all the social networks, on YouTube, etc. All in all, it really is an entire campaign, delivered from start to finish.

Shooting APM Monaco à l'Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo
Boutique APM Monaco

Is taking fashion codes and applying them to the world of jewellery the secret of your success story? 

Kika Prette: A secret that’s already been revealed loads of times [laughs]! That is the core concept of the brand and what we’ve been able to bring to the world of jewellery. It’s our DNA. Just like being a Monegasque, for example.


Is Monaco an integral part of your identity? 

Kika Prette: Of course! Personally, I grew up in Monaco and the Principality represents the fundamental values of the brand, those that we want to pass on, both here and abroad. In the shops, this is reflected in the use of wood, teak and navy blue, with finishes that evoke the South of France. Likewise, the vast majority of our campaigns are shot in Monaco: whether through them, or through our muses or collaborations, we naturally retain this DNA. Even in terms of collections, we have “Yacht-Club” collections, nods to Monaco... There is always a natural link with the principality or its codes. Because at the end of the day, these are our values.

“That’s the core concept of the brand... It’s our DNA”.

Are there any emblematic features of Monaco that catch your eye? 

Kika Prette: There have been lots of them, depending on the theme. Two years ago, for a collection, I drew a toile de Jouy for the decoration of the boutiques, with all the monuments, all the key places in Monaco: there was the Yacht Club, the Rock, the Place du Casino... There’s always a reminder of this Monegasque identity in everything we do. As for the photo shoots, it’s just obvious to do them in Monaco! Whether in the collections themselves, or in their design and support, Monaco is always very, very present. 

“There’s always a reminder of this Monegasque identity in everything we do”.
Sac en toile jouy APM Monaco

What are some examples of shoots that have particularly impressed you?   

Kika Prette: We work hand in hand with the Société des Bains de Mer, and we’re very proud of that. It’s part of the brand. A few years ago, we were given access to the private rooms of the Casino Monte-Carlo for a photo shoot with Chiara Ferragni, which turned out beautifully. We also did a reshoot of the VIP area, which is also splendid, with Thylane Blondeau and Baptiste Giabiconi. And we’ve had repeated access to the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo and the Monte-Carlo Beach Club... 

“We work hand in hand with the Société des Bains de Mer”.
Shooting APM Monaco au Casino de Monte-Carlo

Another Monegasque landscape that inspires you?  

Kika Prette: The Place du Casino, even if it’s a bit of a cliché, is still very, very beautiful. After that, there are all the water backgrounds that are typical of Monaco. Our last shoot, with Eva Longoria, took place at the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, which gave us access to a suite with a view of the port and the route leading up to the Princely Palace... This enabled us to solve a particular problem: depending on the type of muse you’re working with, public places can be quite difficult to use as a backdrop. We also did a superb campaign with Thylane and Baptiste, for the 40th anniversary collection, the YUMMY collection, on the pier, the sea wall, with the sea in the background. We also did some visuals with Charles Leclerc there. This Mediterranean vision is simply magical. We have some sublime locations, so we might as well make the most of them!

Shooting APM Monaco avec Eva Longoria

One of your muses is Charles Leclerc, the famous Formula 1 driver and champion you just mentioned. How did you make the connection between his world and yours, which at first glance might seem quite far apart? 

Kika Prette: When you come from Monaco, you grow up with the Grand Prix! Even at school, we’re immersed in this atmosphere, as the whole town is blocked off for the occasion. As a Monegasque brand, it was therefore doubly natural for us to work with Charles (who was also born in Monaco), as ambassador and muse. It also reflects our desire to open up the jewellery world through our unisex collections: men are increasingly wearing jewellery, and not just leather bracelets. We’re very proud to be working with Charles, and with AS Monaco too, because they’re great sportsmen and women, and our collections are a perfect match for them. And perhaps most importantly, through these collaborations, we are able to communicate our values, the healthy values of sport. In the end, for us and for him, it was an obvious choice.

Shooting Charles Leclerc pour APM Monaco
Shooting APM Monaco avec Charles Leclerc

Hearing you speak, we sense a closeness and a certain affinity with your muses... 

Kika Prette: Yes, we talk about a collaboration, but ultimately it’s a natural process. Charles Leclerc is part of the APM family. First of all, he’s a pure joy to work with. He’s extremely professional, very precise, very serious; and what’s more, he’s adorable. In any case, I prefer this closeness and loyalty with all our partners and collaborators: I always keep the same people around me, the same photographers, the same video team... I like to be able to work with continuity and create something strong with my teams, over and above the simple work... When we meet up for shoots every six or seven weeks, we’re so happy to see each other! It’s an extended family, really. 

“This is what I value, this closeness and loyalty with all our partners and employees”.

As artistic director, how do you analyse the emergence of new trends? 

Kika Prette: Trends come a lot from fashion in the broadest sense, from what’s in fashion at the moment. So we follow a lot of the news, not just fashion, but also artists... Sometimes it can simply be a colour. For example, one of the latest trend colours is fuchsia. There was fuchsia everywhere a few months ago. And then, of course, with Greta Gerwig’s Barbie  film, we fell back on pink. When we see such a massive trend for a colour, we have to take it into account: it’s part of our job. But above all we need to transform it, to make it our own, to make it consistent with APM, consistent with the collection we’re currently working on. To have a world where this trend fits in naturally.

Shooting APM Monaco au Monte-Carlo Beach

Your sources of inspiration?  

Kika Prette: Inspiration can come from lots of things. A trip, a fashion trend, but also simple everyday moments. For example, five or six years ago I brought out a collection called Wonderland, which was an unexpected hit. At the time, my son was three years old and obsessed with dinosaurs - they were everywhere in the house. And so... I made a collection with dinosaurs! My husband said to me: “Honestly, are you sure? Because... who’s going to want to wear dinosaurs?!” But in fact, it was in the spirit of the times... There was Jurassic World in the cinema, and dinosaurs were everywhere, in advertising and even in fashion: some brands came out with jumpers and T-shirts featuring dinosaurs. It was also the period of Game of Thrones, with this “dragons” trend. So I followed my intuition. For example, I designed a Rexy for a big green earring. When we released it, we placed it with our influencers at our events. And then everything went mad: that big green earring was snapped up before even having time to make it into the display cases! Even I was surprised, to be honest, because it all started with a nod to my son and his passion for dinosaurs... I had no idea it would be such a success.

APM Monaco graphisme
Shooting APM Monaco à l'Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo

In terms of manufacturing, are there any materials that you favour? 

Kika Prette: We mainly use recycled silver, zircons, zirconium oxides, or cultured pearls and hard stones such as turquoise and malachite.


Why did you decide to stick mainly to these two materials? 

Kika Prette: It has to do with the history of the brand. The APM Monaco brand has been around for eleven years, but my husband launched the jewellery company forty years ago with his mother. It was a B-to-B business. They went to all the international jewellery fairs: Vicenza, Basel, Hong Kong, Vegas... When I first met my husband, I used to go with him to these fairs and see all these repetitive jewellery trays. So we asked ourselves: “Why not simply make a collection in silver, with a finish that tends towards very high-end jewellery?” We already had expertise in gold and precious stones. The manufacturing process has remained exactly the same, with hand-set jewellery: gold has been replaced by silver, and diamonds by zircons. We simply replaced the raw materials and the result is stunning, because the way we work the pieces is like jewellery-making, a very high-end craft.

And when the first collections came out?  

Kika Prette: People didn’t believe it, they said: “Wait! This is gold and diamonds, it can’t be any other way.” And the question that comes immediately afterwards is price. With us, the average shopping basket is around €100 or €120. We also have larger pieces that go up to €500, €600, €700. But we’re still a long way from the prices of prestige jewellery. That’s where the brand’s concept came from: a high-quality jewellery look, with luxury shops, beautiful materials, splendid locations, a very upmarket service, where you can sit down to try on a piece of jewellery, where you’re offered a coffee, with good music. And, at the same time, products that remain “affordable”, because the most important thing is to treat yourself!

“Wait! This is gold and diamonds, it can’t be any other way”.
Shooting APM Monaco collier bleu

You just mentioned that all your jewellery is hand-set: how much of APM’s work is handcrafted? 

Kika Prette: A huge part. The expertise of our teams is truly remarkable. It reflects forty years’ experience in very specific professions. When I say that everything is set by hand, I have to specify that it’s a microscopic micro-setting: each stone one by one. They are truly great craftsmen of jewellery. It’s a job that can’t be improvised. And a real commitment.

“It’s a job that can’t be improvised. And a real commitment.”
Shooting APM Monaco boucles d'oreilles bleu
Shooting APM Monaco au Casino de Monte-Carlo

In terms of commitment, how does APM Monaco take into account the challenges of sustainability and social responsibility in the design and manufacture of its jewellery? 

Kika Prette: So it’s an important issue, and one that can’t be ignored. As individuals, we’re all making an effort. But as a company, especially when you have production tools, you have to be aware of the need to find sustainable solutions. For me, there are two things at this level: the customer side and the internal side. And one can’t see the other.  


In terms of production, there are many things we do at our production sites. All rainwater and air-conditioning water is recovered. We have solar panels to recover energy... We try to do everything we can to waste less. As far as plastic is concerned, we switched completely to compostable and recyclable materials years ago. Even in our factories, we’re really trying to eliminate single-use plastic completely.

And on the customer side?  

Kika Prette: It’s another form of commitment that consists of emphasising our recycled silver jewellery proposals. “Enjoy today while respecting tomorrow” is the motto of our Wonderland programme. By returning old APM jewellery that the customer no longer wants - because fashion has changed, because they want something new - they obtain a percentage of the value of their initial purchase, which they can use to buy something else. It comes with a guarantee, professional cleaning and lifetime jewellery repairs.

“Enjoy today, while respecting tomorrow”.
APM Monaco shooting collier

One last question: what’s your favourite piece of jewellery from all the collections you’ve designed for APM Monaco? 

Kika Prette: That’s a question I get asked a lot. And, every time, I answer: it’s like asking me which of my children I prefer! In concrete terms, I’m unable to give birth to an idea or to create or draw anything I don’t like. For me, one of the most exciting moments of all those I experience as artistic director is really the start of a collection: the moment when you imagine a theme, when you say to yourself that you have to light a new flame, come up with a new idea... Doing research is what I enjoy the most, like a jigsaw puzzle that slowly takes shape until you say to yourself: “Ah, that’s it, I’ve got my moodboard and I want to have this kind of collection”. And from there, we go on to create jewellery and designs that go much further. The other tremendously exciting moment is when the samples come out, when the trays arrive with my jewellery: I want to try them on, to touch them, with the joy of having given birth to something. So it’s very, very difficult to tell you what my favourite piece of jewellery would be... Perhaps I’ll just say: the next one.

Shooting APM Monaco avec Thylane Blondeau
Shooting APM Monaco au Casino de Monte-Carlo
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