Success stories are common among Creative Academy students. The Master Program is tailored to help its talented young designers find inspiring work opportunities, be it with the Maisons, by launching a brand or working independently. Here are some highlights.
Julien Gurtner, from Switzerland, attended Creative Academy’s 10th edition of the Master Program in 2013. He did his internship at IWC Schaffhausen in Switzerland. Since March 2014 he works in Schaffhausen as an IWC watch designer, in charge of one of the families of products within the IWC portfolio.
Haruka Usui, from Japan, attended the 10th edition of the Creative Academy Master Program in 2013. After her internship at Montblanc in Hamburg, Germany as assistant to the Design Studio Manager, Haruka was hired by the Maison as a designer of leather goods, and is based at the Montblanc leather factory in Florence, Italy.
From France, Arnaud Fillon’s Creative Academy Master Program training in 2007 helped land him a job as a watch designer at Piaget. After two years, he returned to Paris to work as a high jewellery designer in Cartier’s Creation Studio, where he collaborated with a talented team, gaining legitimacy and expertise. Still with Cartier, Arnaud now designs high jewellery for the leading Maison.
Yijun Song, from China, attended the 6th edition of the Master Program in 2009. After his internship as assistant to the accessories designer at Cartier’s Creation Studio in Paris, he was hired as an accessories designer himself. He currently spends most of his time at Cartier, where he is highly appreciated, both for the quality of his work and his attitude and geniality.
Marianne Déspre, from France, attended the 7th edition of the Creative Academy Master Program in 2010. She did her internship at Van Cleef & Arpels, Paris and she ended up staying at the prestigious Maison where she now holds a position as designer. She currently leverages her expertise to create, draw and design Jewellery and High Jewellery pieces of Van Cleef & Arpels.
A student of Creative Academy’s class of 2012, Cristina Novati, from Milan, now works at Jaeger-LeCoultre. As a jewellery watch designer, Cristina participates in the entire creative process from start to finish. The skills she acquired at the Academy helped launch her career, which thrives thanks to passion for her work and her appreciation for the beauty of craftsmanship.
A student of Creative Academy’s 6th edition of the Master Program in 2009, William Rogge, from Belgium, did his internship at IWC Schaffhausen in Switzerland. He was Visual Merchandising & Accessories Designer then was promoted to Global Manager of Visual Merchandising for IWC, overseeing global visual merchandising, displays, POS decoration and mobile exhibitions. Currently William is Visual Merchandising Concept Manager of Jaeger-LeCoultre.
A Student of the 2nd edition of the Master Program in 2005, Ivan Martin Martin, from Spain, did his internship at Officine Panerai in Milan, following which the Maison hired him as a designer. He currently works as senior designer at Officine Panerai, upholding the Maison image. He is responsible for product creativity, from design briefs to the development of innovative designs that perpetuate the image of the brand.
Ilka Smyreck, from Germany, attended the 1st edition of the Master Program in 2004 and did her internship at A. Lange & Söhne, where she worked for two years as a watch designer. Since 2006, she has held the position of senior designer at Officine Panerai in Milan. Responsible for the creation of new products, her job ranges from design briefs to the development of innovative pieces that perpetuate the image of the brand.
Italian Lionello Recchia completed the 10th edition of the Creative Academy Master Program in 2013. After studying at the Creative Academy, Lionello did a 3-month internship at Vacheron Constantin in Geneva, Switzerland. He then joined the Maison Giampiero Bodino as a designer in February 2014 and his main responsibilities were to propose new designs, give life to creative ideas, design final gouaches and follow the making of the jewels. In 2018, Lionello moved to Cartier where he is High Jewellery Designer.
A Student of the 2009 Master Program, Maxime Geib, from France, did his internship at IWC Schaffhausen in Switzerland. In 2012 he was hired at Van Cleef & Arpels as a designer specialized in watches ensuring the materials and color selection of the products were in accordance with technical constraints, while applying his expertise toward creating, drawing and designing the Maison’s timepieces. He is also in charge of analyzing information that conditions product creation. Today he is Senior Designer within the Maison.
A Student of the 2010 Master Program, Valéry Aubert, from Switzerland, did his internship at A. Lange & Söhne, Germany, following which he was hired at Jaeger-LeCoultre where he’s currently Senior Designer and in charge of the Duometre line. He develops products, starting with hand drawings and finishing with high realistic renderings. His mission continues with press presentations during SIHH, as well as assisting with publications and photo shootings.
Swan Lucia Kim, from USA, attended the 2006 Master Program. In 2010, she was hired as High Jewellery Watch Designer at Cartier in Paris and, in 2014, she became High Jewellery Designer. Her main role is to enhance precious gemstones into unique design pieces, following the production process from start to finish. Her designs are inspired by everything from the physical to the most abstract and she is particularly influenced by the Cartier DNA.
A Student of the 2011 Master Program, Sun Min Lee, from South Korea, did her internship in the Leather Goods department at Cartier. Afterwards she was hired by the High Jewellery Watch department and later transferred to the traditional watch department. She creates new aesthetics for traditional and jewellery watches, including Métiers d’Art. Each creation goes through the process of hand-sketching and technical drawing with illustrator, then Photoshop and the final watercolor rendering.
Christopher Lopes, from Switzerland, attended the 12th edition of the Creative Academy Master Program in 2015. After his internship at Cartier, Paris, he was hired at Piaget, Switzerland in the Jewellery Design Studio. He now works in a creative role, presenting new ideas on high jewellery, special orders and entry-level products realizing his proposals with sketches, gouaches, Illustrator and Photoshop.
As part of the Creative Academy Master Program training in 2010, Adriano Spilimbergo, from Italy, interned at Jaeger-LeCoultre. Upon completion, the same year, the Swiss Maison hired him as a designer evolving today into the role of Senior Designer. Albeit challenging, Adriano describes the experience in Creative Academy as life changing. He brings new watch designs to life from first concept to final realization, working with the team to achieve the best results.