Van Cleef & Arpels opens its doors to young people with its ‘de Mains en mains’ initiative

29 NOV 2023

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With a long-standing commitment to the transmission of jewellery professions and expertise, the Maison Van Cleef & Arpels is renewing its “de Mains en mains” initiative, targeted towards young people, adults in career reorientation and the general public, for a third year.

Advancing Van Cleef & Arpels' commitment to education and transmission, its ‘de Mains en mains' (from Hands to hands) initiative is taking place from 25 November to 3 December 2023 at the InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu, France. Dedicated to making the world of jewellery accessible to junior high school students, participants will have the opportunity to attend a Parcours Métiers with professional jewellery experts, as well as classes, conferences and workshops offered by L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewellery Arts. They will also be able to discover an exhibition of historical and contemporary pieces created by the Maison.

Jewellery professions contribute to a tradition of French savoir-faire that has shone throughout the world for centuries. The jewellery industry holds the prospect of sustainable jobs, and yet these fields of expertise remain little known, particularly among the younger generation.

The high jewellery Maison has been organising this initiative in Lyon since 2021 in collaboration with the French Ministry of National Education as well as numerous other partners and associations. Collège Jules Michelet was the first school to sign on to the initiative, followed by Collège Les Battières in 2022. This November, four new institutions will be partnering with “de Mains en mains”: Georges Clemenceau, Henri Longchambon and Hector Guimard, with the participation of 7th, 8th and 9th grade vocational classes, as well as Fernand Forest Professional High School, all of which focus on preparing students for professional aptitude degree programs (CAP).

The ‘de Mains en mains’ initiative came into being following the first Covid lockdown in France, at a time when many young people were struggling to define their future career choices. The Maison wanted to reach out to this population, with the aim of letting them discover jewellery professions and realise that these often-little-known occupations are accessible. Through these actions, we hope to continue inspiring vocations and opening the gates to the world of jewellery to the broadest audience possible.”
- Marie-Aude Stocker, Van Cleef & Arpels People, Development and Prospective Director


A week to explore the world of jewellery and associated professions

Participants will be able to take a glimpse into the specificities and unique savoir-faire of an expert jeweller, stone expert, polisher, stone-setter, 3D designer and artistic designer through the Professional Pathways seminars. In addition, students can round out their experience directly at the workbench, setting stones on an Alhambra motif – an iconic creation of the Maison –, polishing a Butterfly clip or crafting a Lucky Animals clip.

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Open to the general public upon reservation on the weekends of November 25 and 26 and December 2 and 3, 2023, Professional Pathways seminars give everyone the chance to attend various demonstrations and observe exacting gestures of artistic craftsmanship.

Jewellery schools and counsellors from the national employment office will be available on these dates to present the various training programs centred on these traditional fields of expertise, as well as employment opportunities. Van Cleef & Arpels chose the city of Lyon, home to one of its Jewellery Workshops, to host the initiative. This region boasts a dynamic jewellery culture, thanks to the presence of workshops and renowned jewellery schools.


Unearthing jewellery with an exclusive Van Cleef & Arpels exhibition

The exhibition “Van Cleef & Arpels, à la découverte de la joaillerie” (Discovering Jewellery with Van Cleef & Arpels) is open to the general public throughout the duration of the event, providing insights into the high standards, attention to detail and excellence required to fashion each piece of jewellery. It brings together historic and contemporary creations by the Maison, while highlighting associated savoir-faire, all amid a new decor offering visitors a twofold experience. An initial interpretation, focused on excellence and attention to detail, draws from artistic photos. Going further, visitors driven by curiosity and a taste for active participation can also indulge in a second, more light-hearted exploration, examining the decor in search of hidden content.

For its third edition, the exhibition accompanying the ‘de Mains en mains’ initiative was devised as an immersion into the Maison's creation, at once instructive, entertaining and designed for a broad audience. We are shining light on the very heart of our profession: jewellery.”
- Nicolas Bos, President and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels

From the iconic Alhambra motif to High Jewellery collections, the pieces on display reflect the excellence of Van Cleef & Arpels savoir-faire. Illustrating the Maison’s creativity and ingenuity, contemporary creations complement those from its patrimonial collection, such as the transformable Passe-Partout jewellery from 1939 and a 1951 Zip necklace.

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Partners committed to transmitting knowledge

Since 2021, the Maison organises this initiative in collaboration with a myriad of dedicated partnerships, and is supported by L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewellery Arts, which is moving to Lyon for the event. L’ÉCOLE offers a full program of classes and conferences presented by jewellery artisans, historians and gemologists.

Through yet another joint venture with Van Cleef & Arpels, four other schools dedicated to jewellery professions – the Haute École de Joaillerie de Paris, the SEPR in Lyon, the Lycée professionnel Amblard in Valence and the LPO Rempart-SEP Vinci vocational high school in Marseille – work directly with Professional Pathways participants. These institutions offer a variety of training opportunities: the Haute École de Joaillerie de Paris features programs ranging from initial vocational training (CAP) to MBAs, while the schools in Lyon and Valence offer programs ranging from the CAP to the Diplôme National des Métiers d’Art et du Design (DNMADE). Participants also receive information about the Jewellery program at the LPO Rempart-SEP Vinci vocational high school in Marseille. These four institutions alternate to welcome the general public, and some of them also host round table discussions and respond to participants’ questions.

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Detailed information on the “de Mains en mains” event is available at the following address: