February 5, 2024
French jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels is highlighting its unique origin story in honor of an annual observance.
To promote its collections in time for Valentine's Day, the maison is asserting its romantic brand identity, commissioning animated visuals capturing the journey of modern relationships from French artist Tom Haugomat. Marketing is strengthened by the story of Alfred Van Cleef and Estelle Arpels themselves — together, the couple charted the company's path, living out the value of a shared connection.
The label states that love has influenced its creations from the very start.
Founded in 1906, the company’s establishment followed the 1895 wedding of Estelle Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef. Ms. Arpels’s father was a precious stones dealer, while Mr. Van Cleef’s was a lapidary and diamond broker.
Complete with archival photographs of their matrimonial ceremony, tales of the couple’s relationship back the seasonal effort.
The business’s first product to be included in the 1906 sales records was a diamond heart. From that point on, Van Cleef & Arpels continued to craft jewelry for engagements, expressions of love and weddings, like that of Princess Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco.
These pieces of the brand’s identity are in the limelight for Valentine’s Day.
“A Romantic Journey,” the latest video from Van Cleef & Arpels, frames this history with a contemporary lens.
Set in a Parisian garden, a couple is shown walking together. They watch boats float by and lounge beside a sparkling fountain.
One of the romantic partners places a box on a miniature wooden ship. They let it float to the other person, who finds a Van Cleef & Arpels engagement ring inside.
The 0:30 second-long clip is animated, extending a marketing tactic the label has applied in the past (see story). Others in luxury have been opting for the medium, especially during this past holiday season.
LVMH-owned German luggage brand Rimowa was among the brands to do so (see story). Like Van Cleef & Arpels, it positioned its merchandise as key players in interpersonal relationships and even milestone moments.
The exercise, like this latest instance, added an emotional draw to the advertised products.
Luxury and love stories
Traditional dynamics are shifting as many couples decide to not get down on one knee (see story).
However, Van Cleef & Arpels is revealing more than just its wedding and marriage-specific items. Earrings, necklaces, bracelets and personalization services are also included in the Valentine’s Day marketing assets.
A range of styles is offered, with an emphasis placed on mix-and-match options and individuality.
Van Cleef & Arpels presents a romantic journey
The luxury house states that to honor the uniqueness of every relationship it serves, it combines high-quality precious stones and core inspirations. These muses include nature, dance and couture.
Centering its marketing on romance through savoir-faire and jewelry design could speak to its consumer base, which increasingly is opting for timeless and vintage looks (see story). Using diamonds, rose gold and other materials not confined to contemporary aesthetics, Van Cleef & Arpels might be able to find the balance between, honoring its storied heritage and leaning into the future.
Announced in 2023, the maison is hosting an exhibition in South Korea that touches on the subject (see story). Before heading to China and Saudi Arabia, “Time, Nature, Love” is live now, running through April 14, 2024, at Seoul’s D Museum.