Chloë Goutal, an aspiring musician turned bauble designer, launched fine jewelry label Toni + Chloë Goutal in 2015 with her mom, Toni. It’s clear why stars are over the moon for the duo’s revamped Victorian-era treasures.
How did you get started as a jewelry designer?
It was super random! I grew up on the Upper East Side of New York, and in high school, I was focused on music, originally studying Italian opera and later shifting my focus to pop and rock songwriting. I was accepted into the BFA theater program at USC, and at that point had no doubt in my mind I was going to be an actor. When I was 21, I visited one of my best friends in London and wound up in a small antique shop. That’s where I spotted my first Victorian crescent. I absolutely loved it, splurged, and bought it for myself. When I got back to NYC, I went into my jewelry box and strung the crescent on an old chain. That summer, in the Hamptons, people stopped me on the street, in restaurants and shops to admire my necklace and inquire where I’d gotten it. I called my mom to tell her, and she had the idea of going back to London to see if we could find a few more Victorian crescents, and even stars. Five years later, here we are! I couldn’t be happier or more passionate about what we are doing.
What appeals to you about celestial motifs?
I always loved astrology and its symbolism. I think that’s what drew me to the first crescent I bought. Later on, learning more about what crescents and stars actually symbolized throughout time, especially in the Victorian era, I fell in love with the idea even more.
What drew you to Victorian jewelry aesthetics?
I’ve always loved and admired my mom’s taste, especially her jewelry. I didn’t know it growing up, but as I got older, she explained that all her favorite pieces in her collection were from the Victorian era. I love how imperfectly perfect Victorian jewelry is — stones were cut in candlelit workshops, every single piece was done by hand, and nothing was mass-produced. The idea that every piece is one of a kind, and knowing the amount of work that went into each piece, is just so romantic to me.
Tell us about your family’s fashion and beauty roots.
One of my aunts started a perfume company, Annick Goutal. Two other aunts, Marie-France Cohen and Dominique Swildens, started children’s clothing brand Bonpoint. Years later, Marie-France opened Merci, another store in Paris.
How do you modernize historical pieces for today?
Even though most of the chains we use are also antique, when paired with these brooches and pendants, a transformation occurs — the piece becomes hip and cool. One of my favorite things is how wearable the pieces are. They can be worn with jeans and a T-shirt or with a gown.
What inspired your new “Love Line” rings collection?
In 1907, [jeweler] Alphonse Augis engraved a portion of a poem written by Rosemonde Gérard in 1889 into a medallion, or love token, using + and – symbols. These were then passed between loved ones all over Europe. The verse translates to: “For, you see, each day I love you more, Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.” To revive the tradition, we’ve attached original love tokens to antique wedding bands.
Dove’s necklace by Toni + Chloë
How would you describe your personal style?
I love wearing simple, beautiful, quality clothing, and dressing up an outfit using jewelry. My favorite brands right now are The Row and Saint Laurent.
Which celebs have been spotted in your line?
We’ve had some amazing women wear our jewelry! Gigi Hadid, Priyanka Chopra, Viola Davis, Camila Alves, Ashley Graham, and Christie Brinkley were definitely “Oh, my God” moments. And Dove Cameron and Olivia Culpo wearing our line on The Daily’s [NYFW Issue 1] cover is such an honor.
Who are your dream customers?
I’ve been obsessed with Kate Moss for as long as I can remember, so that would be pretty major. Dua Lipa would definitely be a dream client; I love how feminine yet badass her style is. If Michelle Obama even contemplated wearing one of our pieces, I would probably faint.