Art

L’Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels takes Dubai | Meet Alessandro Maffi

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Van Cleef & Arpels is opening its “Ecole” in Dubai from November 7th to 25th at Hai D3 in Dubai Design District. The three-week program will present a full set of classes led by professional jewelers, art historians, gemologists, and watchmakers; offering 14 adult classes around three broad themes: Savoir-Faire (know-how), Art History of Jewels, and The Universe of Gemstones.

JDEED interviewed Alessandro Maffi, Managing Director of Van Cleef & Arpels Middle-East and India to discuss about the Ecole’s program, goals and prospective.

 

 

 

 

With the opening of L’ÉCOLE Van Cleef and Arpels, the Maison takes a new step towards a successful development in the Middle-East region. What are your expectations and the house’s on this new journey?

A.M: Whilst Van Cleef & Arpels has been established in the UAE since 2006, this is the first time the L’ÉCOLE Van Cleef & Arpels will travel from its headquarters in Paris to the Middle East. Our main hope for this project is to educate the general public of the Middle East on the wonders and history of jewellery craftsmanship and to ‘give back’ to the society that has been welcomed Van Cleef & Arpels since we first opened here. From our very first day of operations, we have been welcomed by the Emirati society with open arms. Their continuous support has enabled our Maison to develop treasured relationships with individuals and institutions that provide a vital meaning to what we do.

This year, coinciding with the Year of Giving, announced by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, we are bringing to the UAE for the first time, L’ÉCOLE Van Cleef & Arpels, the first school to initiate the public into the secret world of fine craftsmanship of jewelry and watchmaking. This is a community event, through which we wish to show our gratitude to the people of the UAE for their hospitality towards Van Cleef & Arpels and all of our employees.

 

What have been the fundamentals reasons for establishing L’ÉCOLE in Dubai? Although the city is undeniably a regional hub for arts and design, are other main capitals of the Middle-East (Beirut, Manama, Riyadh…?) considered to be hosting L’ÉCOLE in the future?

A.M: We strategically selected Dubai, as a regional hub of art and design, as the location for the first Middle Eastern ‘pop up’ campus for L’ÉCOLE Van Cleef & Arpels. But Dubai’s other assets, as a hub

for international travel and the fact that we have our Middle East flagship boutique here in Dubai, led us to decide on the city as the chosen location for hosting the school.

L’ÉCOLE Middle East is not just focused on Dubai, however, it’s outlook and content incorporates the entire Middle East region. For example, we have programmed certain activities to reflect the wider region; with an exhibition on pearls and an amazing private collection exhibition from a regional collector. Yes, in short, we’d love to bring L’ÉCOLE to other GCC countries.

 
 

What have been the fundamentals reasons for establishing L’ÉCOLE in Dubai? Although the city is undeniably a regional hub for arts and design, are other main capitals of the Middle-East (Beirut, Manama, Riyadh…?) considered to be hosting L’ÉCOLE in the future?

A.M: We strategically selected Dubai, as a regional hub of art and design, as the location for the first Middle Eastern ‘pop up’ campus for L’ÉCOLE Van Cleef & Arpels. But Dubai’s other assets, as a hub

for international travel and the fact that we have our Middle East flagship boutique here in Dubai, led us to decide on the city as the chosen location for hosting the school.

L’ÉCOLE Middle East is not just focused on Dubai, however, it’s outlook and content incorporates the entire Middle East region. For example, we have programmed certain activities to reflect the wider region; with an exhibition on pearls and an amazing private collection exhibition from a regional collector. Yes, in short, we’d love to bring L’ÉCOLE to other GCC countries.

 

 
 
 

Based on the previous experiences in Tokyo, NYC and Hong-Kong and your expertise on the Middle-Eastern customer, which of the three curriculum – Savoir-Faire, Universe of Gemstones and Art History of Jewelry do you predict will be the most successful at the Dubai’s L’Ecole?

A.M: We have seen a very strong response since opening the registration for classes at L’Ecole. It is impossible to say at this stage which might be the most popular since the choice of courses is a very personal preference, I can tell you that so far, we have received high interest for all of them.

The Courses

The adult classes include:

Art History of Jewelry

  • History & Jewels
  • Wearing jewelry: Rules and Revolutions
  • Art Nouveau & Jewelry
  • Travel into the world of Van Cleef & Arpels

The Universe of Gemstones

  • Introduction to Gemology
  • Fascinating Diamond: History and Legends
  • The Diamond, a gemological exception
  • Recognize the gemstones

Savoir-Faire

  • From design to mock up
  • From the wax project to the setting techniques
  • From the French jewels to Japanese lacquer
  • Trying your hands at Japanese Urushi Lacquer
  • Trying out the jeweler’s techniques
  • Dive into the heart of a mechanical watch

The creative workshops for children and adolescents are:

  • Create your jewel
  • Create your precious clock
  • Make your treasure chest
  • The mock up, first sculptural vision of the jewel
  • Discovering the world of gems

 

L’ÉCOLE Van Cleef & Arpels in Dubai will be participating in “The Year of Giving” as declared by the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. All funds collected from course registrations during the event will be donated to Dubai Cares. Upon registration for the adult classes, students are asked to contribute a minimum donation of AED 400, 100% of which will be donated to Dubai Cares. The creative workshops for children and adolescents are free of charge.

 

Students are welcome to register via calling the Van Cleef & Arpels hotline (800-VANCLEEF (82625333)) or +97144252740, by email (lecole_me@vancleefarpels.com), or by visiting the website me.lecolevancleefarpels.com. Classes are limited, so prior registration is essential.

You can now register for one of V&A class by calling the Van Cleef & Arpels hotline (800-VANCLEEF (82625333)) or +97144252740, by email (lecole_me@vancleefarpels.com) or by clicking  here

 

Alessandro Maffi, Managing Director Van Cleef & Arpels Middle-East and India

 

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