Legends of Van Cleef & Arpels

    Renée Puissant & René Sim Lacaze


    Van Cleef & Arpels’ pre-war style was defined by a formidable artistic partnership. Renée Puissant, the daughter of Estelle Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef, became the Maison’s artistic director following her husband’s death in 1926. René Sim Lacaze was a talented draftsman and designer who joined the company in 1922. Together, they forged a creative heritage which endures to this day.

    No artist herself, Puissant relied on Lacaze to commit her flood of ideas to paper. Working from his initial sketches, she would contribute her own detailed suggestions. 

    The resulting creations were born out of this aesthetic dialogue between two complementary personalities.

    From 1926 to 1939, they positioned Van Cleef & Arpels at the forefront of jewelry design.

    An aesthetic dialogue between two complementary personalities.

    Renée Puissant - Van Cleef & Arpels
    Renée Puissant

    The pieces they created have made an impact on the history of modern jewelry. The Japanese-influenced Panier Fleuri brooch reflects the more figurative style adopted by the Maison during the mid-1920s. While, the Collerette they designed in 1937 for a well-known French socialite is as dazzling today as it was then, with its rows of cushion-shaped rubies interspersed with baguette-cut diamonds.


    If you are interested in this theme, you may also like :Louis & Hélène Arpels: A Sense of Style