Tatler speaks to the managing director of Van Cleef & Arpels Hong Kong and Macau about her favourite design from the French maison’s archives

Julie Clody was appointed managing director of Van Cleef & Arpels Hong Kong and Macau in September 2022. After moving to Hong Kong almost eight years ago, Clody quickly rose to the top, leading luxury brands before landing her position with the French maison. She describes Van Cleef & Arpels as a “high jewellery maison with a field of expression in art and culture, advocate of positive visions of life, savoir-faire and heritage”.

We decided to have a heart-to-heart with the leading lady in order to learn more about her vision for the maison. “As one of the leaders of a prestigious maison, I want to give back to the local community by supporting young professionals who have just entered the luxury industry through mentoring. It is very satisfying to see that they are on the right track through my guidance,” she said, talking about her vision and mission.

Read on to learn about her ideas and plans for Van Cleef & Arpels’ next chapter.

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Photo: Van Cleef & Arpels
Above Photo: Van Cleef & Arpels

What areas do you plan on developing under your leadership?

One of my plans is to enhance our client experience. I want to bring in my 20 years of experience in the luxury industry to enchant our clients, going above and beyond to make their experience with Van Cleef & Arpels one-of-a-kind. Secondly, we will continue to strengthen our position as a stand-out example of a high jewellery maison, bringing our unique high jewellery creations from our Mains d’Or, or Golden Hands [a name given to Van Cleef & Arpels’ craftsmen], in the Paris workshop to our audiences through an annual high jewellery event and other campaigns.

If you could name only one piece from the archives as a favourite, what would it be?

I have always been in love with the ballerina clips. The very first ballerina clip was created in New York in the 1940s at the prompting of Louis Arpels, one of the maison’s founding Arpels brothers, who was very passionate about ballet and opera. It was very well received by the American clients amid the recovery of the Great Depression, as the ballerina and fairy clips became a symbol of joy and hope. The ballerina clips have never gone out of style since then, as we constantly revive the design with creative use of materials, patterns and stones throughout the years. They are timeless and continue to be a representation of the maison’s signature design code.

The ballerina clips will always remain important; the worlds of dance and jewellery share many common values: both [are in] pursuit of excellence and dedicated to precision, finesse and the ability to inspire a sense of wonder. 

Are the high jewellery collections offered by Van Cleef & Arpels region-specific? If yes, how do they vary across Asia?

For us, beauty is timeless, universal and should never be bound by gender or region, hence we have never felt the need to define a collection for a target audience. At Van Cleef & Arpels, we tell our stories through a poetic universe filled with a positive view of life. And we express these stories through rich art, culture and the golden touch of excellent craftsmanship. Whomever these beautiful stories appeal to, regardless of who they are or where they come from, they become part of the Van Cleef & Arpels universe as our prized collectors. 

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