President and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels Americas, Alain Bernard, was tapped for the position in April 2013 after serving as the President and CEO for the Japan region. Starting with the Maison in 2010, Mr. Bernard was charged with reshaping the business and steered the sharp rise of awareness and sales in the market. Mr. Bernard has strong roots at the Richemont Group, having joined the company in 1998 as Organization Project Manager for Cartier. In 2000 he was appointed Internet Director, and in 2002 he moved to Singapore to assume the role of Managing Director for Cartier Southeast Asia.Van Cleef & Arpels was born in Paris’ Place Vendôme in 1906, following Alfred Van Cleef’s marriage to Estelle Arpels in 1895. Always striving for excellence, the Maison has become a worldwide reference through its unique designs, its choice of exceptional stones and its virtuoso craftsmanship, offering jewels and timepieces that tell stories and bring enchantment to life. Over the years, the Maison has remained faithful to this highly distinctive style characterized by creativity, refinement and poetry. Whether inspired by nature, couture or the imagination, its collections evoke a timeless world of harmony and beauty.In 2011, the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum hosted “Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels” heritage exhibition. On display were over 350 works from the Maison including jewelry, timepieces, and precious accessories, as well as archival drawings and documents. Over 172,000 visitors passed through the exhibition, breaking the museum’s attendance record for any exhibit in its history.Presently, Van Cleef & Arpels and the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum have partnered again for the “Design By Hand” educational series. This bi-annual program showcases the pioneering design techniques, craftsmanship, and creativity behind some of the most notable brands where the human hand plays an important role in the design process. The special programs are designed for the museum’s core audiences – university students, high school students, adults and families – and feature educational conversations and workshops.