Success stories

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.

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She left Japan when she was 17 years old to follow her passion, jewelry design. She joined the Creative Academy Master program in 2018. She did the internship at Van Cleef & Arpels. At the end of the internship, she was hired as Gouacheur for the Jewelry Department.


Manfredi Calamai from Italy, very passionate of Watches, attended the 13th edition of the Creative Academy Master Program in 2016. At the end of the Master, he did his internship in IWC. He worked within the Maison for 1 year. He then moved to Montblanc in 2017. In 2018 he joined again IWC as Watches Designer where he is still participating with his talent in the design process of the Maison products.


A student of Creative Academy’s class of 2016, Alix Charrier, from France, started her internship in Baume & Mercier. She worked within the Maison for almost three years. In 2019 she decided to move to Piaget, where she is now working as Watches Designer.


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.

Haruka Usui

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.

Ivan Martin Martin

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.

Marianne Despré

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.

Ilka Smyreck

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.

Lionello Recchia

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. Since 2019 he is Jewelry Designer in Cartier


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. Today she is Accessories Designer within the Maison.


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.


Andrea Di Giuseppe completed the 2017 Creative Academy Master Program. After studying at the Creative Academy, Andrea started his internship in Jaeger-LeCoultre where he stayed for 9 months. He then joined the prestigious Maison Buccellati where he has been working as Jewelry Designer since 2019.