By  on January 31, 2005

LONDON — Van Cleef & Arpels has planted its glittering flag on Bond Street with an intimate boutique designed by Anouska Hempel.

The 3,240-square-foot store at 9 New Bond Street is designed like a snug, luxury home. There are two-seater sofas, silk cushions and small wall cabinets where the current and vintage Van Cleef collections are on display.

The 1,296-square-foot retail area covers the ground floor and first floor, and is awash in shades of mauve, eau de nil, mother-of-pearl and black.

Hempel said she was aiming to create a mood of “glamour, femininity and sensuality,” and wanted the store to look like an apartment, with intimate lighting and elegant domestic furniture.

Hempel, famous for her boutique hotel interiors that include London’s Blake’s and The Hempel hotels, has redesigned other Van Cleef units in Monte Carlo, Geneva, Beverly Hills, Palm Beach, Osaka, Paris and St. Moritz. The London store is her latest project for the brand.

While in the past there was a small Van Cleef store on New Bond Street, that was closed in the early Nineties. Until now, Van Cleef has only had one retail unit in London, a concession at Harrods that opened in 1996. The Bond Street store used to be occupied by jeweler Mouawad.

“We looked for the past two years and once we found it there were a few hiccups along the way,” said Alan Grieve, director of corporate communications at Compagnie Financiere Richemont, which acquired the luxury jeweler in 1999. “But we were committed to having a stand-alone store in London. It’s part of how we want to move ahead with the brand.”

Grieve said the company is pleased with Van Cleef’s performance.

“Our objective is not to grow it at a runaway pace,” he added. “We want to maintain it as an upmarket brand and make sure we have stores in all the right places.”

He declined to give any sales projections for the new store, which had a soft opening last month.

Richemont said in the third quarter ended Dec. 31 that sales at Cartier and Van Cleef combined rose 12 percent at constant exchange rates. Both brands benefited from a handful of “exceptional sales” of high-priced jewelry pieces during the run-up to Christmas.

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