Baccarat North America President and CEO Adam Banfield shares his multi-faceted vision for the future of the brilliant brand.
Hailing from a luxury beauty background where he worked with buzzy brands like Aesop and Byredo, Baccarat North America President and CEO Adam Banfield clearly has vision. Here, the native Australian checks in to share his plans to keep a 260-year-old brand fresh—and, most importantly—what’s on his wishlist this holiday season.
Baccarat is world renowned for its crystal. What else should people know about the brand?
It has a historic reputation as the crystal of kings, czars and maharajas, but it’s also made an indelible mark on the pop culture lexicon. There are countless references from prolific artists, such as Drake, Nas, 50 Cent, or Usher, featuring our tumblers in a music video. It’s wild.
It’s attracted some serious brand collaborators, too, from Virgil Abloh to Saint Laurent, Dior and Chrome Hearts, and our Baccarat Rouge 540 fragrance with Maison Francis Kurkdjian.
What were you surprised to learn about Baccarat after joining?
Aft er a recent trip to our factory in Baccarat, France, I was most awestruck by the manufacturing process. There is this incredible marriage between old and new.
There are more MOFs (Meilleur Ouvrier de France—the highest awarded craft speople recognized in France) working at Baccarat than any other French creative house. The craft speople are sometimes third- and fourthgeneration employees. It’s a legacy and sense of pride and belonging that I’ve never experienced before.
You come from fashion and, most recently, beauty. What should people keep in mind when choosing a fragrance?
A fragrance is uniquely your own and will smell differently on you than someone else. My best advice is to test and explore a range of fragrances and go with the one that stirs something visceral within you.
Baccarat has become synonymous with its signature scent, Baccarat Rouge 540. Why do you think its success has been so pervasive?
I truly commend Maison Francis Kurkdjian for the success of this particular fragrance. The juice has a heady, lingering scent that has caught on with every age group (special thanks to Gen Z for making it the TikTok sensation it has been). But beyond the scent, there’s so much tying it back to the brand—for example, 540 degrees Celsius is the temperature at which 24k gold powder in crystal turns Baccarat’s unique shade of red, or “rouge.” It also helps that it’s completely unisex and seasonless.
Do you have a current “favorite child”—a style from the Baccarat collection?
The Harmonie XL tumbler—our largest tumbler in one of Baccarat’s most iconic styles. It’s noteworthy not just because of its silhouette and design, but because of the sheer scale of the thing... Like good art, it doesn’t exist passively—it makes itself known. I hope my wife, Lynda, will see this in time for Christmas…
Men are notoriously hard to buy for. Because this is the Giving Issue, what’s your advice for buying gifts for the men in your life?
Men might not typically have overly complicated tastes, but they’re very considered. So, get him the best version of something he’ll proudly use every day.
What’s next for Baccarat here in North America?
In the coming months and years, you’ll see Baccarat continue to extend beyond the world of crystal with totally immersive experiences, new collaborations, unexpected activations and more.
Photography by: PORTRAIT BY BRANDON SCHULMAN