Story of Eakan
At 18, Raphaël went to Belgium to study at the Ecole des Arts et Métiers in Namur, which is not as good as the Ecole du Louvre but is more rock’n’roll. From the very first week, he knew he had found his place. He felt at ease in front of a workbench; he would be a jewellery maker.
When he left school, it was only natural that he should head for Antwerp, which would be the first stage of his journey of initiation into the jewellery workshops of the great capitals.
When a client, who was none other than Quincy Jones’ wife, suggested that he come and see her in Los Angeles, he went for it! His journey continued in Los Angeles, where wealthy Americans spend fortunes on precious decanter stoppers. He spends almost two years experimenting with jewellery making in a country where social rights are a dirty word. The jewellery is soulless, like the Italian boss, and he misses the old continent.
He takes his return ticket, this time to Paris, to work in workshops of the Place Vendôme. Chanel, De Grisogono, Cartier, Van Cleef… fabulous pieces land on his workbench. He learns the hard life of the craftsman-salaried worker pressurised by the schizophrenic demands of the big houses, speed and excellence.
In 2006, he met Johanna during a weekend in Antwerp. And then the planets aligned. Johanna is from Nice, like him. After business school, she came to jewellery by passion and by chance, like him. Lightning struck them both. Raphaël left Paris and went back to Antwerp. Raphaël and Johanna begin a new chapter in their lives, which will be together from now on. He makes jewellery for Martin Katz and Tiffany (the big ones), and she gets an eagle eye and builds up her expertise as a diamond dealer. Five years pass, and everything is going well, so much so that little Sacha shows up. There was no question of raising a baby far from his grandparents and the light of the south, back to the roots!
It was finally time to start his own business. Raphaël found a small shop on rue Tony Allard in Cannes, ideally located in this coveted area between the Croisette and rue d’Antibes. His workshop is hidden in the mezzanine. We are in 2012, and the craftsman-jeweller Raphaël DANTZ is born.
When his daughter Mia was born, what could he offer her? His hands took over from his imagination. As a cabinetmaker would have made his child’s cradle, he created a miniature ring the size of Mia’s finger, a replica of Johanna’s engagement ring, a mini-ring impossible to wear on the finger, a talisman to be passed on, to be worn next to the skin, to be put on a chain. The Eakan collect was born, the essential by Raphaël Dantz. Raphaël has brought out several models of emblematic rings in their miniature form; the Sacha signet ring and the Arman square ring have been added to the Mia mini solitaire.
His latest Metropolitan collection, set with baguette diamonds, references the skyscrapers of modern metropolises. More graphic, Metropolitan hijacks the lines of contemporary architecture to play the ray of light in the precious material, just as Eakan hijacks the symbolism of the traditional solitaire.
Raphaël likes to make jewellery that makes sense.
The ideas come to him in his workshop; he has to realise them before they disappear into the limbo of everyday life.
Raphaël DANTZ, the artisan jeweller, has become a creator, and all he has to do is follow the thread to design the rest.