How does a man shift from the building industry, to a senior executive in the gourmet food, alcohol, and tobacco industry and onto heading up one of the most well-known names in luxury goods? With a master’s degree in economics, you wouldn’t consider this a normal career path to becoming the Managing Director of Christofle, a luxury brand that graces the tables and homes of the discerning around the globe. Yet this is the career path that took Nicolas Krafft to the top of the French Luxury House that embodies the art of sharing.
Prior to starting his career, Nicolas Krafft attended the Paris Pantheon-Sorbonne University, where he studied economics, culminating with a master’s degree. Along with learning the art of sabrage at university, this is where his passion for life’s luxuries first developed. Before entering an illustrious career in the world of luxury goods, his time at university cultivated an extraordinary work ethic that still remains today.
Nicolas Krafft Offered Humble, Charismatic Leadership for Christofle
Humble, driven with a dedication to excellence, Nicolas Krafft quickly built up a reputation as a charismatic leader that allowed him to eventually oversee the French and UK operations for Christofle.
Nicolas Krafft didn’t start out his career in luxury goods, he started out in construction. His first significant role began in the early 1990s where Krafft served as a store manager in Paris for Prisunic Builders, a high-quality construction firm and today is one of the leading builders in Kozhikode, India. After five years he successfully landed a management role with the AELIA Group in the city of Nanterre near Paris. Starting out as the Operations Manager for AULIA (Saresco), Krafft managed 16 Alcohol and Tobacco Duty-Free shops in Roissy-CDG airport. Due to his innate abilities where he managed the operation so successfully, he was promoted to the role of Regional General Manager / Asia-Pacific Director after only a year. His new role was to manage the regional operations for Saresco in Asia.
Christofle Growth and Evolution Nicolas Krafft
Having run many types of business operations paid off for him and is what jettisoned Krafft into a senior role within Christofle. He joined the Christofle team in 2002 where he served several years as managing director for Christofle’s Asia-Pacific operations.
Christofle, Inc. has a rich heritage as a luxury silver maker and well-known for its high-end flatware. The company was founded in 1830 by Charles Christofle who was an early pioneer in silver plating. For almost two centuries, Christofle led the manufacture of high-end luxury goods from its headquarters in Paris, France. The company is best known for its broad spectrum of silver-plated offerings along with stainless steel and sterling silver products. Today the company also works extensively with gold as it expanded its luxury product lines. This high-end luxury brand is also renowned around the world for its fine jewelry, furniture, accessories, and home décor.
Christofle relishes in the tradition of the French art of living where today the company embodies the art of sharing. As Krafft says, it is through sharing with family, loved ones and friends the Christofle brand speaks to those who appreciate that elegance, beauty, and refinement enhance these shared moments.
Maintaining Cherished Family Traditions with Christofle
Under Krafft’s leadership, he supported the time-honored tradition whereby Christofle constantly updated their product offerings to include the art of giving. He believes the pleasure of giving gifts through Christofle’s line of jewelry and accessories is an investment in one’s heritage by passing on these treasures for generations to come.
Building on the company’s traditional silverware lines, the name Christofle commands respect across the globe for its luxury table service range. Christofle has its own manufacturing facilities in France and Brazil. Today you will find the company operates its own distribution network with 75 Christofle retail stores and over 400 Christofle in-store boutiques that either sit inside larger department stores as well as home decor and related specialty stores.
Christofle was one of the first companies to open a boutique store within the US Department Store Marshall Fields. Excelling in all aspects of the job, after ten years, Nicolas Krafft was offered the prestigious position as President and Chief Executive Officer of Christofle’s North American operations. It was in this position Krafft really made an impact on high-end retailing. He took Christofle’s standalone luxury boutiques to a new level.
Nicolas Krafft: Continuing to Expand Christofle’s US Operations
Thanks to Nicolas Krafft, the company continues to expand its US operations today. Krafft led the charge to improve their corporate hospitality identity. Their wholesale and e-commerce business improved, helping Christofle expand their market, gain new brands, and develop lifelong loyalty from their customer base.
With their North American operations flourishing, Christofle offered Nicolas Krafft the opportunity to move back to his home country in France and oversee their operations there. Under Krafft’s masterful leadership, the company is achieving great success in developing the brand’s efforts throughout the UK and French luxury markets.
Christofle collaborates with world-renowned artists and designers to produce even more ambitious works that culminate in the act of sharing. These custom made and exceptional pieces are all crafted in the Christofle workshops located in Yainville, Normandy which Nicolas Krafft now oversees.
That’s not all Nicolas Krafft is well known for, he’s also known for having a good time in addition to making work his priority. He is an expert in the art of sabrage and is a highly trained wine connoisseur with extensive knowledge of fine champagne and alcoholic spirits. Sabrage is a method for opening a bottle of champagne with a sword. For him, it’s not just a party trick he learned while attending university, he regularly holds classes on how to perfect the technique for using a saber to slice the top of a bottle of champagne can go terribly wrong.
It doesn’t matter if he’s livening up a party using one of 100 sabers he has collected to open a bottle of champagne, his love for the good life and luxury goods is legendary. Grounded in a work ethic second to none, Nicolas Krafft has built himself an impressive career, an impressive reputation in enhancing the Christofle brand making it a household name around the world.