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Italian Design and more at Cortina and Vicenza

Italian Design and more at Cortina and Vicenza

20 December 2012

By Cynthia Unninayar

A perfect location to showcase luxurious Italian Style at the exclusive About J show was the prestigious resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo, nestled in the heart of the magnificent Dolomite Mountains. Following this by-invitation only event was VicenzaOro Fall, the second in the city’s trilogy of trade fairs.

Diana Ring by Chiemento & Brooch by Vendorafa
Diana Ring by Chiemento & Brooch by Vendorafa

The luxurious Grand Hotel Savoia in the village of Cortina d’Ampezzo, the Queen of the Dolomites, was the setting for the exclusive About J event in September, which brought select retailers from around the world to see the products of 23 luxury Italian and international brands.

“We chose this unique location in the Dolomites for this year’s About J since the UNESCO World Heritage site of Cortina d’Ampezzo is a fitting venue for the exclusive and unique business meeting of the international jewellery community,” explained Roberto Ditri, chairman and CEO of Fiera di Vicenza, organizer of About J and the trilogy of Italian jewellery trade fairs, VicenzaOro Winter, Spring, and Fall.

Technically sophisticated ring evoking movement in 18K gold and gemstones from the Rugiada collection by Mattia Cielo.
Technically sophisticated ring evoking movement in 18K gold and gemstones from the Rugiada collection by Mattia Cielo.


Among the exhibitors at About J event was Mattia Cielo, president of his eponymous Italian brand: “We have been exhibiting at About J for four years, since it started, and this year was the best ever. Strong orders and interest came from North America and the Middle East.” Similar sentiments were echoed by British designer, Rodney Rayner: “The show has been very good, and we have had several orders from buyers from around the world, including North America, Dubai, and Azerbaijan.” Strong interest was also reported by Ricardo Vianna, president of Vianna Brasil, one of two Brazilian brands at the event. “We are happy with the show, and made a lot of good contacts to follow up at the VicenzaOro show.”

Diamond bracelet in the Siberian Tiger Limited Edition collection by Roberto Coin.
Diamond bracelet in the Siberian Tiger Limited Edition collection by Roberto Coin.

And follow up, buyers did. After About J, VicenzaOro Fall welcomed some 20,000 buyers from more than 109 countries, coming to see the products from 1400 exhibitors, mostly from Italy, but also companies from 30 foreign nations. After a few difficult years, the sector was looking for positive signs of encouragement and confidence, and the show seemingly did not disappoint. Pilar Coin, marketing director for Roberto Coin, stated: “We found a revitalized and optimistic business climate despite the difficulties that Europe is experiencing. We can put this result down to the enormous work that Fiera di Vicenza is doing with the VicenzaOro brand.” Eduardo Bruner, marketing & creative director of Brazilian brand, Brumani, said, “I found About J extremely interesting and it was a leisurely way to work and make contacts with the buyers. We were very pleased with the results at About J and VicenzaOro Fall.” Roberta Scanavin, CEO of Scanavin indicated: “It was the best edition of the year. We recorded ten new customers, including two from the USA, confirming that the market is recovering. We are extremely satisfied because 90 percent of the jewellery we sold was in gold.”

Cuffs by Crivelli & Bangle by Fope
Cuffs by Crivelli & Bangle by Fope

As usual, buyers’ groups came from around the world, including a contingent from the recovering USA market. Among them was retailer Richard Eiseman: “I enjoyed the About J introductory event and was very impressed by the efficiency and organisational skills of the VicenzaOro staff who made it possible for us to appreciate Italian style and design. We will take home the gemstones and jewellery we selected here, which cannot be found in the United States, and present them to our extremely alert customers.” U.S. retailer, Alfredo J. Molina, was also impressed with the two events: “A symbolic change is needed. We have to concentrate on quality and the socalled ‘wow’ effect. We have to astound, dazzle, and make a reasonable profit as the same time. We have to transform the business into a sector that sells emotion. Fiera di Vicenza is able to astound.”

Santagostino, Opera Omnia & Ponte Vecchio
Santagostino, Opera Omnia & Ponte Vecchio

More Than Just a Trade Fair

As part of its ability to “astound,” the fair is continuing strategies to improve not only the fair itself but also to promote Italian design around the world. “We are proceeding with the four pillars of our strategy: new infrastructures, new organization of the events, new organization and development of the network,” summarized Ditri. In May 2012, the fair sponsored two major global conferences: The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) and the World Diamond Council (WDC). It also organized an important debate about Corporate Social Responsibility, as part of the World Jewellery Forum with a wline-up of noted panellists.

The fair’s high profile also captured world attention with its “Andrea Palladio International Jewellery Awards”—the Oscars of the jewellery world—which have been presided over by such notables as Gianmaria Buccellati and Nicky Oppenheimer. To encourage young designers, VicenzaOro Fall held its second edition of “Next Jeneration,” an international competition for under- 30s designers from international schools of design. The theme for 2013 is “Porte Bonheur. Contemporary amulets and lucky charms.” [The deadline for project entry is March 1, 2013.] The “TrendVision Jewellery + Forecasting” project is Fiera di Vicenza’s independent Research Centre. Drawing on social, cultural, political, and environmental factors, TrendVision proposes the most significant megatrends with spin-offs on contemporary jewellery design, production, and distribution.

Ring by Palmiero & Bangles by DiGo
Ring by Palmiero & Bangles by DiGo

With the aim of promoting Italian jewellery around the world, the Fiera di Vicenza has formed partnerships with some of the world’s major trade associations and shows. These alliances include the Dubai World Trade Centre, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council in India (GJEPC), T-Gold International (aimed at promoting exportation of Italian technology to China, Brazil, and India), and Reed Exhibitions (JCK show). Among other projects is the North American Buyer Cultivation Initiative, whose objective is to promote brand awareness and customer loyalty in the American retail market in collaboration with leading independent retailer organizations.

Bangles by The Fifth Season & Rings by Garavelli
Bangles by The Fifth Season & Rings by Garavelli

Italian Design

The theme of this year’s show was “Creativity 5.0,” an illusion to the web 2.0 concept, but taking it to a higher level. It involves reinventing strategies for companies in terms of product and process innovation, new distribution strategies, and better communication with consumers.

Creativity was certainly not lacking at the fair. In addition to fine gold designs, many booths showcased a variety of colourful jewellery, evoked by gemstones or by enamel work, especially in floral designs, although blackened gold was still a favourite. In response to continuing high gold prices, stylish silver pieces were seen nearly everywhere. Coming in the white metal or treated with a variety of colours or gold finishes, they clearly offered an alternative value.

Charm by Rosato & Ring by Bonato
Charm by Rosato & Ring by Bonato

Charm-maker Rosato was back, this time under the umbrella of Bros Manifatture, parent company of Brosway, which decided to re-launch it at VicenzaOro in a sumptuous “experiential” setting. “For a brand with such a strong Italian-made heritage, how could it not be re-launched during the most important fair in the world,” mused Lanfranco Beleggia, CEO of Bros Manifatture. The brand remake involved eliminating the ambassadors (previously, Rosato employed Demi Moore and Liz Hurley) in favour of creating stories with its attractive little charms. Coming in both silver and a gold line, with or without enamel, the pieces show a surprising amount of detail, and will be marketed “in Italy and abroad through offline channels with carefully selected distribution in order to be ready for the future, depending on demand, for online sales,” explained Beleggia.

VicenzaOro Winter will be held in January 19 to 24, 2103.

VICENZAORO – The Jewellery Boutique Show starting from September 23 TO 27. - 11 July 2017
Fiera di Vicenza will feature its presence at the JCK Show Las Vegas - 27 May 2016
Sea Jewels in The Vicenza Jewellery Museum - 30 March 2015
Vicenzaoro - New format, continued success - 10 February 2015
Vicenzaoro January 2015: New format, continued success - 5 February 2015
Fiera di Vicenza launch the "Museo del Gioiello" - 5 January 2015
VicenzaOro Fall – Trends and More - 22 October 2014
VicenzaOro Italian Club Glamroom @ JCK Las Vegas 2014 - 28 May 2014
Creating Origin, Passion, and Beliefs - 21 May 2014
VicenzaOro Spring 2014 – New Frontiers in Jewellery - 20 May 2014
VicenzaOro Winter 2014: Decidedly Positive Signs - 19 March 2014
Dazzling designs in Venice and Vicenza - 19 December 2013
VicenzaOro expanding its worldwide presence - 30 October 2013
New VicenzaOro 2014 calendar presented - 30 September 2013
VicenzaOro Italian Club promotes made in italy jewellery overseas - 11 June 2013
VicenzaOro Winter 2013: positive signs for italian brands - 28 May 2013
May’s edition of VicenzaOro Spring to be held from 18 to 22 May 2013 - 8 April 2013
Vicenzaoro at Hong Kong International Jewellery Show 2013 - 12 March 2013
VicenzaOro 2013 - “The Future. Now.” - 7 January 2013
VicenzaOro and T-Gold in Dubai - 30 November 2012 provides the global jewellery markets with the latest jewellery, haute joaillerie and luxury creations, all the news and decisive trends and colours in fashion. Europa Star - CIJ Women’s Watches & Jewels - the Trends & Colours magazine, is circulated worldwide to reach the top international retailers and end buyers of fine jewellery in more than 100 countries.
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