Founded in 2012 in Paris with the support of Van Cleef & Arpels, L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts spreads jewelry culture to the widest possible audience. Encouraged by the success of its traveling school sessions organized in recent years in the Middle East, L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts has decided to firmly establish its presence in the region. L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts opens its fourth permanent international campus at Dubai Design District (d3).
The arrival of L’ÉCOLE takes Dubai’s efforts a step further, providing creative minds the opportunity to sharpen their skills and craft original, innovative designs. Sophie Claudel, Director of L’ÉCOLE Middle East answered questions:
What history do you have with the Middle East?
It goes back to when I worked for a London architectural firm as an art consultant. One of the projects won by the agency was in Doha, Qatar where I went to design a whole program of art in a public space. So, everything is new, it’s a great adventure! When I first came to Dubai to get a taste of the Emirates, I was immediately hooked. It’s a vertical city and I’m drawn to living up in the sky. Plus, there is a multiculturalism here that generates an absolutely incredible fluidity.
How’s progress going on this final stretch toward the Fall opening?
We’re making great strides! We were only 2 when we started a few months ago, and we’ll be soon 17. When you post an ad in this region, you receive 200 high-level applications, it’s extraordinary. We are building our network very fast, with potential partners in the cultural field as in the higher education sector. The response is unanimously positive, from Zayed University, DIDI, to Al Safa Library or Alserkal Avenue, to name but a few. We really feel warmly welcomed and part of a community of friends and partners who want us to succeed as much as we do.
L’ÉCOLE now has five addresses: two in Paris, one in Hong Kong, one in Shanghai and one in Dubai. In Paris, L’ÉCOLE’s historic campus is located in a private mansion called the Hôtel de Ségur, built at the beginning of the early 18th century by architect Jacques V Gabriel. It is a stone’s throw from the Place Vendôme, the historical heart of the French jewelry universe for over a century. Its second Parisian home is located in the Hôtel de Mercy-Argenteau, one of the few 18th century buildings preserved on the Grands Boulevards.
A second school opened in the fall of 2019 in Hong Kong, in Western Kowloon, right in the heart of the design district. Facing Hong Kong Bay, within the K11 Musea complex, L’ÉCOLE has its premises in an airy, light-filled space designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto. In September 2023, L’ÉCOLE inaugurated its third permanent campus in the heart of Shanghai. L’ÉCOLE China chose the Twin Villas as its home, two beautiful Art Deco villas that are a symbolic landmark in the historic neighborhood that is the former French Concession of Shanghai.
In 2023, L’ÉCOLE extends its presence in the Middle East with the opening of a new campus in Dubai, place of cultural effervescence and a popular destination for contemporary art lovers. Moreover, since its inception, L’ÉCOLE travels abroad, to America, Asia and the Middle East, for travelling programs that last two to three weeks. L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts therefore contributes to the promotion and visibility of jewelry culture on an international scale.