Family as the most precious jewel

Family as the most precious jewel

Interview with Søren Lynggaard

Jewellery made by hand is always a statement. Jewellery that reflects the wonders of nature and the poetry of life also tells a story and thus becomes a timeless jewel that is passed on from generation to generation. A treasure as unique as it is imperishable, as fascinating as it is rare, as beautiful as it is exclusive, or simply put: a piece of jewellery by OLE LYNGGAARD COPENHAGEN.

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Unique and thus perfectly suited to the Arlberg, the Danish brand is synonymous with exceptional creativity, high-quality craftsmanship and a passionate family that has kept the company on the road to success for 60 years now. What is the secret behind the traditional brand that even excites the Danish royal family with its filigree creations? And why do old traditions play just as important a role in jewellery production as nature as a source of inspiration? Questions that La Loupe had answered by Søren Lynggaard, CEO and son of founder Ole Lynggaard, during a nice conversation among many other things.

“The strength of a family business is that you don't have to make short-term decisions.”
Søren Lynggaard

Portrait Sren Lynggaard BW

“To build a luxury brand, you cannot compromise on quality or craftsmanship.”
Søren Lynggaard

L.L./ Looking at your company’s values, it’s hard not to notice that these are practically identical to those of the region around Arlberg: passion for quality, design, craftsmanship, and detail. What is your connection with Lech Zürs?

S.L./ I love the region around the Arlberg. I took my first holiday here in 1996 and have been coming back at least once or twice a year ever since. It is the family atmosphere in the hotels and shops as well as the good food that is hard to forget (*laughs). The cooperation with Juwelier Huber also plays an important role for me. Our two companies are very similar, especially in terms of values. There is a lot of passion in the people you meet here and I wouldn't want to miss that in any case.

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L.L./ For you, OLE LYNGGAARD COPENHAGEN is more than just a brand, it’s your family. What are the strengths of a family-run business in general and yours in particular?

S.L./ The strength of a family business is that you don't have to make short-term decisions. We don't have to make investors happy, only ourselves. We can think long-term to do what is right for the brand. This reality makes it easier to run a luxury brand. We can also react more flexibly to opportunities, such as making a tiara for an exhibition in Copenhagen. My sister Charlotte, our designer and creative director, insisted on making the tiara, even though we were very busy at the time. So we spent more than 400 hours in our workshop to make a beautiful tiara. A tiara that was first praised by our Queen and later worn by Crown Princess Mary on Her Majesty's birthday. In the end, making it was a super good idea: because that's how our successful leaf collection was born. If we weren't a family business, we wouldn't have been able to take the detour from the timetable and the opportunity for the brand to go in new directions would have been lost.


L.L./ Among the most impressive features of your jewellery are its extraordinary design language and inimitable quality. Where do you find inspiration for your collections and is there a special history behind the development of one of your creations?

S.L./ For many of them there are long stories, such as the idea behind the elephant or the snake collection – inspired by Tutankhamun's tomb in Egypt. To tell them all would go beyond the scope of this article. I'll just say one thing: we don't have to make up stories. We have the stories.

L.L./ Choosing jewellery, buying it and maybe giving it to others is a very personal and private thing. Huber in Lech provides the perfect space you can even access in ski boots. Is this the kind of framework you want for your collections?

S.L./ I'm very impressed with all Juwelier Huber shops, but especially the one in Lech, where you come in ski boots. Our jewellery is very wearable. It's not just for a special occasion, but something you wear every day. So you can also wear OLE LYNGGAARD jewellery while skiing. And I think you get that attitude when you enter the Huber shop. It fits perfectly with our brand

L.L./ Not only jewellery lovers are passionate about your elegant accessories – nobility, too, knows and appreciates the quality of your work. The brand is the official purveyor to the Danish court. What does this particular accolade mean for the company’s image?

S.L./ The stamp as the official purveyor to the Danish royal family gives the brand the respectability of being an enduring company that has not just been around since yesterday, but for 60 years, of which we have been working with the royal family for at least 50 years. The fact is that in the rest of Europe, 60 years stand for a brand that is relatively young and probably still in its infancy.

"There is a lot of passion in the people you meet here and I wouldn't want to miss that in any case."
Søren Lynggaard
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“We don't have to make up stories. We have the stories.”
Søren Lynggaard

L.L./ Winter of 1960, Ski World Champion Egon Zimmermann jumps over a ruby red Porsche 356. The moment was captured by photographer Hans Truöl and with this jump, Zimmermann proved his daring and trust in his own skill. You are a passionate Porsche driver and skier yourself. Would you say that you, too, are daring and courageous enough to explore unchartered territory?

S.L./ I think if you ask my sister, maybe a little too much sometimes. I like to push the boundaries a bit now and then. That's what got me a broken leg a year ago, the week before I was going skiing. I think I broke my leg three days before skiing because I jumped over a pier while kitesurfing. And as you can see, I have a black eye because I crashed my motorbike in Australia last week. Nevertheless, I know my skills and I don't risk anything unnecessarily, but sometimes you get hurt. That's what happens.

L.L./ Hard to imagine: they say that up until the company’s 40th anniversary, you yourself never owned any jewellery. Is there some truth in that legend?

S.L./ Yes, that's right. For the 40th anniversary, we made a small necklace with a ring that I wore for many years. Ten years later, for the company's 50th anniversary, we added a small bracelet with a little snake. Today I actually wear quite a lot of jewellery.

L.L./ Be it design, production, or marketing – at OLE LYNGGAARD COPENHAGEN creative traditions are passed down through the generations. What is it you would like to pass on?

S.L./ I think what's really important for our brand is that we continue to focus on quality and handcrafted design. That's in our DNA. Our name is on every piece of jewellery we make. So it's important that we maintain those things. That's also why we don't want to grow too fast, because our biggest problem is finding capable hands to make our jewellery. Finding skilled labour, increasing by 50 per cent or more is impossible. So we try to grow by ten to 15 per cent every year. And we have managed to do that in the last 30 years. In this way, we have been able to maintain our excellent quality. To build a luxury brand, you cannot compromise on quality or craftsmanship. That is not an option.


Skiing and jewellery go together because …
S.L. / ... women also love a perfect match when skiing.

My first piece of jewellery …
S.L. / … was a small ring I wore around my neck.

When I’m in Lech Zürs, I can’t do without …
S.L. / … to visit the Huber shop and ski the Weisser Ring.

I learned from my father …
S.L. / ... to respect people. All the links in the chain are super important.

I like to tell people of …
S.L. / … our history. I think we have a beautiful history.


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© Huber Lech
Inside story

In 1963, goldsmith and jewellery designer Ole Lynggaard opened his very first workshop in the Hellerup district north of Copenhagen's city centre, laying the foundation for a traditional brand whose excellent reputation extends far beyond the country's borders. OLE LYNGGAARD COPENHAGEN operates six flagship stores in Copenhagen, at Copenhagen Airport, in Stockholm, Munich, Paris and Sydney and has a network of 200 high-end retailers around the world. A team of 160 highly specialized employees – including diamond experts and master goldsmiths – bring the creative minds’ playful drawings and experimental sculptures to life.

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