We don’t have much expectation when it comes to a Place Vendôme jeweler and the CEO’s favorite contemporary artist. As much as these purveyors of ultra-expensive stones, watches and occasion pieces have stayed au courant and even managed to snag a slot on the embattled Haute Couture calendar by securing the Thursday after the shows as Haute Joaillerie day, we still feel that this world is all about old-school and old-fashioned rituals. After all, the buyer of a five-million-euro necklace is more likely to stay at a suite in the Ritz than to go to a rave in Ibiza.
Let’s face it, the proximity to the Ritz hotel is the main reason why all the top jewelers have set up shop on Place Vendôme. Speaking to Nicolas Bos, President and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels, on the phone recently while he was vacationing in the Caribbean we got the distinct notion that also Place Vendôme is moving forward and things may change when he said that his favorite artist is German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans. Yes, Tillmans, the avant-garde artist who has been as far away from the mainstream as you can imagine. Or for that matter, far from Place Vendôme.
When we started Achtung Mode in 2003, our first photography editor was Gregor Hohenberg, at the time fresh off his internship with Tillmans in London and thus to our minds supremely qualified for selecting all of Achtung Mode’s photographers. But again, Bos is a man on a different mission. He has a passion for the arts, theatre and literature and has been working with Richemont throughout his entire career, working at Cartier first for ten years, then at Van Cleef & Arpels. He is a man of culture who manages to fuse business and creativity.
Van Cleef & Arpels flagship store opening in Munich
After opening in Sydney this year and then Tokyo later, Bos is about to embark on a German adventure in Munich with the opening of a flagship store on Maximilianstraße. As the brand has a strong presence at Tefaf, the art and antiques fair in Maastricht, they realized that a lot of serious Van Cleef & Arpels collectors come from Germany; even if they like to keep a low profile which is typical for the rich in Germany. Hence, Bos decided to open in Munich and increase the Van Cleef & Arpels links in what he calls “Italy’s most northern city”.
This article appeared first in Achtung Mode Nr. 34 (September 2017).