The renovation and expansion of the Van Cleef & Arpels flagship on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue brings the space to 6,000 square feet, double the original size. Sun streams in through additional, larger windows and there’s a lighter color scheme compared with the dark wood of the previous incarnation.
This story first appeared in the December 13, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
There’s a new mezzanine with a library, VIP room and bridal area. The brand has also taken over the second floor, which previously housed workshops and offices, for events and lectures. A walnut table and light fixture made of 744 pieces of curved and beveled glass — the number of the store’s address — are the focal point of the room, which will be used to entertain and educate customers.
Alain Bernard, president and chief executive officer of the Americas, declined to discuss volume projections, but said the maison will be “one of the most important boutiques for Van Cleef & Arpels in the world,” noting that it has been operating during the construction.
A striking element of the renovation is a sculptural staircase covered in solid brass pyramids, enclosed in curved glass with walnut and polished brass handrails. Other design elements are more subtle, such as the fern pattern on the custom wallpaper and the brass skyscraper-shaped decorations near the floorboards. The Art Deco-inspired redesign was conceived by designer Patrick Jouin and architect Sanjit Manku, who created interiors for the company’s maisons in Paris at the Place Vendôme and Hong Kong at Landmark Prince’s. The library features volumes that archive all the transactions since Van Cleef & Arpels arrived in the U.S. in 1939. The new bridal salon has the widest range of bridal offerings in the company.