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Designer Van Cleef & Arpels (Crème de la Crème)

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Founded in 1906 by Alfred Van Cleef and his brothers-in-law Charles and Julien Arpels on the Place Vendome in Paris, Van Cleef & Arpels is one of the worlds most prestigious and innovative jewellers. They are renowned for their creative designs and techniques, using only the highest quality gemstones, such as the Mystery Setting also known as Invisible Setting, in which the prongs are hidden underneath a gemstone. The House has always given form to these recurring motifs through inventive, very complex and continuously evolving techniques. The Van Cleef & Arpels touch asymmetry for a sense of life and movement, metamorphosis as a guiding principle in transformable jewellery, and a mingling of the transparent and the opaque. Van Cleef & Arpels immediate success prompted the founders to expand to important seaside resorts in France as well as abroad. New York City became their first location in the United States in 1939. Maria Callas, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Onassis, the Maharani of Baroda, the Royal family of Egypt, the Shah of Iran, to name just a few, were all devoted clients of the firm and regularly wore their most astonishing creations. Today, the radiant glamour of Julia Roberts, Kristin Scott Thomas, Sharon Stone, Zhang Ziyi and Uma Thurman is lit up by the jeweller. With 49 boutiques all over the world, the firm is still regarded as one of the foremost contemporary jewellers, maintaining the tradition of excellent craftsmanship and original designs.

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House of francheska top 10 business in the south west region of the uk barclays trading places award 2008

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