Xavier Rousseau might be described as an updater. For 12 years, he was involved in Les Must de Cartier, including the development of the Santos watch (which he still wears) bracelet cartier love occasion, leathers, crystal, silver, china and scarves.

He next worked on the design team at S cartier pink gold love bracelet. T. Dupont, bringing out new lines of cigarette lighters and pens. Then, in March 1988, he was hired by the new owners of Chaumet, the French jeweler, to rejuvenate its image.

''They want a new style,'' he said on a recent visit to the New York shop on East 57th Street. ''They want a younger style, fresh, modern and feminine.''

In addition to designing Chaumet's most expensive jewelry in a less elaborate, more contemporary style, Mr. Rousseau has brought out a collection of simple gold pieces for less than $1,000. Some have discreet stones; others are unadorned sculptural shapes.

Mr. Rousseau has also expanded the Chaumet range to include watches, lacquered pens and small leather goods in the company's new trademark color, navy blue. He is responsible for the new navy blue boxes and shiny white wrapping paper cartier love bracelet knock off. In addition, he has redesigned the jeweler's Place Vendome boutique in Paris as a prototype for new boutiques around the world.

''We have completely repackaged Chaumet,'' said the 37 year old designer, who studied art at the Ecole Boulle in France. ''There was no coherence. I have a marketing approach. I see the total picture.''

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