Taking Over The Jewelry Market One Alhambra at a Time?
Van Cleef & Arpels aficionados take note… prices are going up 5% across the board beginning today. The United States already is seeing the hike with other countries rising now or soon.
What does that mean for shoppers? That Sweet Alhambra pendant in yellow gold with mother-of-pearl is now $1420 and the 10 motifs Vintage Alhambra necklace in yellow gold with mother-of-pearl is $7750. But, at least from the U.S. website and from reports of in-store shoppers, supply also is limited. Even those who were trying to beat the increase weren’t always able to find their desired pieces.
As you may recall, in 2017 Van Cleef & Arpels both decreased and increased U.S. prices. Read: Van Cleef & Arpels Drops Prices It also raised prices in April 2018. For point of reference, the 10 motif Vintage Alhambra necklace with mother-of-pearl referred to above was $7160 after the 2017 hike. Now, as you can see, it is $590 more.
Van Cleef & Arpels (or VCA as it is commonly referred to by its adoring fans) is the leading favorite jewelry house for collectors here at PurseBop. The French jewelry Maison is famous for its feminine, exquisite and often whimsical jewelry designs and for pieces that embody the uniqueness and superiority of VCA’s craftsmanship.
A deeper look at the legendary house seems pertinent. Just how much do you know about your famed haute joaillerie maison? @el4bz takes us through the history and success of the brand.
A Brief History
In 1896, Alfred Van Cleef was helped by his father-in-law to start a jewelry business but it wasn’t until 1906, that Alfred Van Cleef, along with his brother in law Charles Arpels, founded the Maison of Van Cleef and Arpels, a boutique in Paris. The boutique was one of the first jewelry stores to be opened in the coveted area of Place Vendôme, opposite Hotel Ritz. The location of the boutique proved to be very lucrative and attractive due to the the echelon of guests staying at The Ritz – European aristocrats, international business tycoons and the like. Place Vendôme soon became the epitome of wealth and luxury. Over the decades, Van Cleef & Arpels went on to open a multitude of stores all over the world winning accolades on its way to success and recognition.
In 1999, Richemont Group, a Swiss based tobacco and luxury company, acquired 60% controlling interest in Van Cleef & Arpels, increasing it to 80% in 2001 and finally, acquiring the remaining 20% interest in 2003.
Did you know Richemont owns some of the world’s leading luxury brands such as Cartier, Montblanc, Piaget, Chloé, Panerai, Net-a-Porter, Alfred Dunhill, to name just a few? Yes, believe it or not, both Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels are subsidiaries of the same parent company, Richemont!
Its Iconic Designs
Van Cleef & Arpels prides itself in putting out jewelry designs that are impeccable, embody unparalleled craftsmanship and eye to detail and yet are whimsical and enchanting at the same time. A few of its iconic designs that deserve special mention are the much loved Alhambra launched in 1968, the flower inspired Frivole collection in 2003, and the ever popular and feminine Perlée collection, launched in 2008.
The motif design of Alhambra has become legendary, symbolizing luck, love, fortune and health. To this day, the white mother-of-pearl design remains one of the brand’s bestsellers. The Alhambra pieces can be worn with both casual and formal clothing giving it exceptional versatility.
The newer Frivole collection also is designed to transition from day to night and can be worn in many different ways. This nature inspired collection is another winner for the luxury maison.
The Perlée collection, with its uniquely identifiable design in the form of the beaded borders quickly rose in popularity and over the years since it’s launch, many additions have been made to the Perlée line. There’s truly something for everyone in this line.
Their Immense Fan Following
Since it’s inception, the enchanting and whimsical designs of Van Cleef & Arpels have caught the attention and fancy of royalty and celebrities alike. In 1966, the Iranian government asked Pierre Arpels to design the coronation crown for the empress. After the marriage of Princess Grace (Kelly) and Prince Rainier, Van Cleef & Arpels was appointed as the jewelers to the court of the Principality of Monaco and it remains so to this day.
Hollywood stars were not far behind in embracing the exquisite designs of the brand. Legendary actresses like Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor, to name a few, were true fans and had enviable collections to showcase their love for this iconic brand. Today, the popularity of Van Cleef & Arpels is soaring to new heights from its jewelry adorning celebrities on the red carpets to being worn by fashionistas everywhere. Needless to say, the versatility of the pieces along with the immaculate craftsmanship has captured the hearts of many, celebrities and mere mortals alike.
An Impending Price Increase
All great things come with a caveat. The company has everything going for it – immense popularity, iconic designs that have their audience enthralled, new designs in the pipeline, strong financials – but to maintain its prestigious hold, competitive position and to account for rising costs, a price increase seems to be imminent. Van Cleef & Arpels is scheduled for yet another price increase in the near future in the United States of America, September 24th to be more precise. If you have specific pieces on your wishlist from the jewelry maison, now would be the time to add them to your jewelry collection before the prices go up.
We would love to hear from you, our audience, your thoughts on the impending price increase and what, if any, Van Cleef & Arpels pieces you would like to purchase before the price increase.