Jewellery Outlook

Van Cleef & Arpels opens first store in Italy
July 12, 2009 – Paris-based fine jewellery house Van Cleef & Arpels has defied the global recession to open its first store in Italy, in the chic Via Montenapoleone area of Milan.
Stanislas De Quercize, President
of Van Cleef & Arpels

The store on Via Pietro Verri, just off Via Montenapoleone, one of Milan’s premier shopping streets flush with top-end jewellers and fashion houses, opened on June 24 and is attracting wealthy clients visiting from Italy and around the world, said Van Cleef & Arpels’ president Stanislas De Quercize.

“The footfall will be universal,” De Quercize told Jewellery Outlook in a telephone interview from Paris. “The global rich, Europeans and Asians, are visiting Milan, capital of culture and design.”

Van Cleef & Arpels, founded in 1906 in a boutique on the prestigious Place Vendome in central Paris, is a top fine jewellery brand, whose creations have adorned some of the world’s most glamorous women such as the Duchess of Windsor, Marlene Dietrich, and Madonna.

Envol ring, white gold and diamonds
“Van Cleef & Arpels stands for timelessness and creativity,” De Quercize said.

Unique features in jewellery are at a premium during an economic downturn.

The Mystery Setting, which was perfected in 1933 in the midst of the Great Depression, and quickly adopted by Van Cleef & Arpels, who established exclusive rights over it in France, the United States and a number of other countries, is one of the distinct attributes of Van Cleef & Arpels’ finest jewels.

The Mystery Setting permitted gemstones to be connected without revealing any metallic links.

No trace of the setting can be seen on the visible side of the jewel, which looks as though it has been directly sculpted from a precious stone.
Charms watch, white gold and diamonds

De Quercize said the present recession was a vital opportunity to prepare for the recovery.

“We know that economic crisis is part of the world in which we live,” he said.

“We cannot avoid economic crises. It’s a question of what to make of them. Each crisis was an opportunity to rebound.”

Van Cleef & Arpels has survived four major economic crises since it was established – two world wars, the Great Depression, and the period of student unrest in France in 1968 – and each time has responded with new initiatives to take the company forward.

Despite the tough global retail climate, Van Cleef & Arpels’ Jardins and Alhambra collections are selling well globally and are set to flourish in the new Milan boutique, De Quercize said.

Van Cleef & Arpels now forms part of the Richemont group, along with other luxury brands including Cartier.