By  on June 29, 2009

MILAN — Eager to make a push in Italy, Van Cleef & Arpels has opened a store in the heart of Milan.

Similar to its other 35 outposts worldwide, the two-level store was designed to reflect the welcoming and warm atmosphere of a luxurious home, furnished with light green silk sofas, gray moquette, dark wood and lacquered details.

Hanging on the walls of the floodlit store are framed photos of Grace Kelly, Carole Bouquet and Maria Callas wearing the house’s baubles. On the ground level of the 1,835-square-foot unit, which is dotted with six windows, is the successful Alhambra collection, a range of entry-level pieces and watches. A VIP room and high jewelry and high watch collections are on the first level. A first-year sales forecast was unavailable.

“We want to concentrate on growing in Italy and this store is a starting point because we feel Milan is very close to our sensibility,” said Helene Skinas de Bourbon-Parme, head of marketing and communications at Van Cleef & Arpels.

To celebrate the launch, Van Cleef & Arpels created four one-of-a-kind clip brooches inspired by composer Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” concertos. Each pin features a white gold nymph wrapped with colored festoons whose stones reflect the colors of the season.

A cascade of white diamonds represent winter frost, and spring is a burst of pink sapphires that encircle the long-limbed nymph waltzing around a 4.4 oval pink sapphire. Autumn equates harvest season with the nymph sitting on a 9.8-carat cabochon ruby and surrounded by ruby and diamond foliage while swirls of degrading yellow sapphires twirl around the summer version. The foursome will be sold as a set for an undisclosed price.

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