A stylish, creative, luxury jewellery brand with origins in France, it comes as no surprise to our team here at Love Luxury that Van Cleef & Arpels pieces are among the most popular with everyday and investment buyers. With designs inspired by nature, the fusion of traditional and modern living, and trends which are picked up by style icons, royalty, and famous faces alike, Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery flies off the shelves of every preloved auction house and marketplace it enters.
But what is it about the brand that gives it such a high level, coveted status? And where did Van Cleef & Arpels begin?
Who are Van Cleef & Arpels?
The origin story of Van Cleef & Arpels is as beautiful as the pieces that they create, entwined with love which brought together two masters of their own unique craft. When Alfred Van Cleef married Estelle Arpels, they brought together their connections in the world of diamonds and precious gemstones, creating a brand which stood on the foundations of unique and colourful jewellery pieces.
The original Van Cleef & Arpels refers to Alfred himself and his new father-in-law, Estelle’s father, Salomon Arpels. The company was founded in 1896 and though Arpels was only around for the first ten years of the brand’s story, with his death in 1906, his name and that of his daughter live on in the unique and coveted luxury brand today.
Where did Van Cleef & Arpels begin?
A decidedly French brand, the Van Cleef & Arpels story owes its roots to Paris – with the first boutique store opening in 1906 thanks to Alfred and the work of Estelle’s brother Charles. To cut a long story short, over the first few years of their presence in Paris, at a high-value site opposite the Ritz hotel, all three of Estelle’s brothers had joined Alfred as part of the company.
Once the boutique was up and running, the brand continued to produce jewellery that excited and delighted, and that marked unique and special occasions. Boutiques were opened in and across holiday resorts, and special pieces were designed in light of occasions – one of the first being an entry for the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts.
Who are Alfred Van Cleef and Salomon Arpels?
Alfred may have brought the boutique and the success of the brand to fruition in partnership with Charles and his other brothers-in-law, but the idea itself and the founding of the brand was down to Alfred’s partnership with Salomon.
How has Van Cleef & Arpels changed over the years?
Over the years, very little has changed in terms of the commitment of the Van Cleef & Arpels brand to its creative history and its commitment to designing innovative pieces that both match and defy common trends. While some of the spotlight products in the Van Cleef & Arpels collection are simple and stylish, others play on the concept of being “out there” and wholly unique – with notable examples being the large zip necklace worn by Margot Robbie, and the colourful four leaf clover pieces worn by other celebrities.
In looking at Van Cleef & Arpels collections and pieces throughout the years, it becomes apparent that many designs and individual stones are inspired by or directly taken from the travels of the founding family members throughout the course of their own lives within the brand story.
For example, precious stones from exotic locations are found in collections following trips to India and Thailand, and there are a number of pieces which were designed and created in acknowledgement of special occasions around the world – including jewels for the coronation of the empress of Iran in 1966.
What types of products do Van Cleef & Arpels produce?
The original union of Van Cleef & Arpels as jewellers means that the brand is very much ingrained in the luxury and designer jewellery market. However, the brand is not exclusive in its position as a jewellery seller – also designing and creating brooches, watches, and perfumes.
What makes Van Cleef & Arpels so unique in the designer jewellery market?
To look at the Van Cleef & Arpels brand compared with other designer jewellery, it becomes apparent that much of its status as a coveted and high-value brand lies in the creative spirit behind each and every collection and piece within that collection. Inspired by history, nature, significant events, and significant people, everything that Van Cleef & Arpels produces is unique and made to stand out – whether it’s a fusion of angular and curved edges or something packed with colour clashes and gemstones.
Which celebrities wear Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery?
We’ve already mentioned the iconic Margot Robbie zip necklace, and mentioned the popularity of the four-leafed clover design with celebrities around the world – but who do we consider to be the brand’s biggest fans?
The Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, has been pictured out and about in a four-leafed clover necklace. Reese Witherspoon is another known fan of the brand, Adele has been papped sporting many a piece, and even our own Emily here at Love Luxury has multiple Alhambra Piecest that many of you will have seen in our videos!
Safe to say, the brand is well-loved and popular across the market – but does it make for a good investment?
Are Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery pieces a good investment?
The short answer is yes. Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery not only withstands the test of time thanks to the high quality of each piece, but it also boasts timeless design flair and colour which only serves to increase its value on the preloved and auction market. The huge demand which, as ever, outweighs supply tenfold, further contributes to the status of this brand as a highly investable option for those seeking authentic, luxury jewellery.
Make sure, if you do invest in Van Cleef & Arpels, that you receive a formal valuation and authentication with your purchase, and always conduct your sale through a professional company like Love Luxury.