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Parisian Jewellery Arts School Opens APAC Base in Hong Kong

Supported by French high jewellery maison Van Cleef & Arpels, L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts brings exquisite craftsmanship and culture of jewellery to Asia.

L’ÉCOLE set up its very first overseas permanent school outside of France in Hong Kong in 2019, bringing along their knowledge and expertise of jewellery to Asia. Established in Paris in 2012, L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts is a one-of-a-kind institution supported by Van Cleef & Arpels to share the art of jewellery and gemstones with general public through education and cultural programmes.  

“Before we decided on Hong Kong, we had already been here three times in five years to run our nomadic school, which was extremely well-received. We were impressed by the interest and demand by the market here to build one’s own piece of jewellery, as well as to learn more about its art,” said Élise Gonnet-Pon, Managing Director at L’ÉCOLE Asia Pacific. 

Located in a flagship shopping centre in Tsim Sha Tsui, L’ÉCOLE currently offers around 20 themes across three major disciplines, namely art history of jewellery, savoir-faire (craftsmanship of jewellery making) and the world of gemstones. During the pandemic when physical meet-ups are being restricted, the school hosts free webinars called Live Online Conversations, inviting cross-disciplinary experts to put jewellery into a broader perspective in a one-hour dialogue. Younger connoisseurs can as well join its children and teenager creative workshops to experience jewellery art and craft. Thematic exhibitions will also be hosted regularly to explore jewellery history and craftsmanship. Its latest exhibition “The Art of Gold, 3,000 Years of Chinese Treasures” features over 50 gold masterpieces from the local Mengdiexuan Collection, showcasing the ancient goldsmithing techniques in Ancient China.

APAC’s vibrant cultural hub   

According to Gonnet-Pon, Hong Kong is an obvious choice for setting up L’ÉCOLE’s first permanent school in Asia Pacific, “Hong Kong is a cultural hub, and there is a will of Hong Kong as a city to position itself as a leading arts and cultural city in APAC. With the development of West Kowloon Cultural District, the newly reopened Hong Kong Museum of Art, as well as the unique blend of business and culture here, I would say that all the stars are aligned for us to open our second campus here in Hong Kong.” 

She added, “having a permanent campus here in Hong Kong, in the heart of Asia Pacific, opens a lot of doors and opportunities to further explore the diversity of jewellery arts in all the civilisations and cultures, from Greater China to Southeast Asia, there are many beautiful jewellery traditions that we hope that we will be able to further explore from Hong Kong.” 

Visiting Hong Kong for the first time in 2005, Gonnet-Pon enjoys the city’s creative energy the most. “Hong Kong is one of the cities in the world with the highest number of entrepreneurs; to me this is a positive sign when it comes to working and living in Hong Kong. There is endless possibility, and Hong Kong people hardly takes ‘no’ as an answer as they would try their best to find a solution. I find this proactive attitude fantastic. As an expat, I also find it very easy to settle in Hong Kong,” she concluded.


Fast Facts

  • Founded in 2012 with the support of Van Cleef & Arpels, L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts sets up its first overseas permanent school in Hong Kong in 2019
  • L’ÉCOLE also travelled to the US, Middle East and Japan as nomadic editions

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