Tatler Malaysia

Timeless Jewel

Rachel Ng gets to know Nicolas Luchsinger, the new president of Van Cleef & Arpels Asia Pacific, who delves into the reason the maison, and its jewellery, has his heart

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When i first met Nicolas Luchsinger in the private room of Van Cleef & Arpels’ Singapore store at ION Orchard, he struck me as a very affable chap. Soft-spoken and exuding a rather calming aura, the newly appointed president of Van Cleef & Arpels for the Asia Pacific region, does indeed prove my hunch right a short while later, as Singapore bustles to life around us that early Thursday morning. Surrounded by the gilded and decoupaged walls of the store, I delve a little into his past and come up surprised. How did a law degree and master’s holder end up becoming the regional president of a jewellery maison? “I am a lawyer,” he says with a chuckle. “There is a phrase in French that says, ‘With law you can work in every field but it’s not easy to leave law,’ but to be honest I think it is very good training.” What about his passion for jewellery? A pensive look settles over his face as he reminisces about his introducti­on to the glittering world in which he is held willingly ensnared, “I knew I really had a passion for jewellery since I was 12 years old when I didn’t even know much about gemmology yet. I started asking for jewellery books for my birthday and Christmas. When I grew up

and had to study something, I had to make a choice—my family members were mostly lawyers. So, I did law and I don’t regret it. I loved reading law, but as soon as I could escape it, I did and I was lucky to find my way to where I am today.” An internship with Christie’s auction house eventually culminated in a career with Van Cleef & Arpels, a decision that Nicolas remembers as being akin to something out of a dream. We can thank him for his appreciati­on of the arts and antiques, for without it the vintage collection­s available in Van Cleef & Arpels today would not exist for our viewing (and purchasing) pleasure. Perhaps it is fate that drew Nicolas to Van Cleef & Arpels but ultimately it was his trust in the brand’s values that kept him loyal to the maison. His statement is one of conviction and trust in the jeweller: “We’ve been very faithful to the history of the maison in the last hundred years and I want it to stay like that. All the decisions we make today, it’s done with long-term goals in mind and staying true to our roots. You learn that to be true to yourself and always giving your

“Every new collection of jewellery is like a transposit­ion of the past into the future”

best are truly important traits—much like how our craftsmen dedicate themselves to the finest details of every piece we produce.” Thus the maison often looks to their past first when it comes to designing new pieces. “Every new collection of jewellery is like a transposit­ion of the past into the future. But we always stay true to our DNA, so we always try to find the theme and transform it to become contempora­ry.” Having worked with and seen so many extravagan­t and opulent ornaments, I was curious to know if he had any favourites. “It’s a piece I have absolutely no idea of its location today. You know we do a lot of special orders, and for the wedding of the Shah of Iran, he was married three times, but the first time he was married to an Egyptian princess, Fawzia. There’s a beautiful picture of her by Cecil Beaton where she looked like a Hollywood star and she’s wearing an amazing breathtaki­ng diamond necklace. That’s my favourite piece.”

 ??  ?? NATURE’S TRIBUTE Van Cleef & Arpels designs ns take a leaf from om nature and their heir 100-year-old archives to create reate timeless beauty uty
NATURE’S TRIBUTE Van Cleef & Arpels designs ns take a leaf from om nature and their heir 100-year-old archives to create reate timeless beauty uty
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 ??  ?? PROUDLY PRESIDING Nicolas Luchsinger has come a long way from a law degree to his position at the helm of Van Cleef & Arpels Asia Pacific
PROUDLY PRESIDING Nicolas Luchsinger has come a long way from a law degree to his position at the helm of Van Cleef & Arpels Asia Pacific
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 ??  ?? The princess Fawzia Fuad is pictured here in a photo by Cecil Beaton wearing one of Nicolas’ favourite Van Cleef & Arpels pieces
The princess Fawzia Fuad is pictured here in a photo by Cecil Beaton wearing one of Nicolas’ favourite Van Cleef & Arpels pieces

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