MILAN — With private equity firm Clessidra SGR’s acquisition of a majority stake in Buccellati last year — and the subsequent arrival of new chief executive officer Thierry Andretta — the Italian jewelry company has been busy modernizing its artisanal image and plotting future growth.
“It’s a time of expansion, but also a kind of restart for the company,” said Andretta, noting that Buccellati has been focusing on making its jewelry more accessible to a wider range of customers, while remaining on the high end of the market: engagement rings in the new Romanza collection, for instance, range from between 7,000 and 8,000 euros, or about $9,755 to $11,148 at current exchange, to 30,000 or 40,000 euros, or $41,806 to $55,740, depending on the materials used.
Since about 70 percent of its offering comprises one-of-a-kind pieces, to achieve its goal of greater accessibility, Buccellati has concentrated on developing its line of watches and five core “families” of jewelry, in a range of materials and levels of detail. During a presentation in Milan on Tuesday, Andretta said this strategy had allowed the company to lower its starting prices by 15 to 20 percent, which “positions us more competitively in the world of haute joaillerie.” In addition, the five jewelry families will appear in international advertising campaigns, reinforcing brand recognition, and a new Buccellati logo is in the works.
At Baselworld this year, Buccellati introduced a gold-engraved, diamond-encrusted iPhone case and iPad Mini holder inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings of the sun, and the items are a taste of the company’s future foray into technological accessories, said creative director Andrea Buccellati, whose designer daughter Lucrezia dreamed up the pieces. “We’re now developing other products based on the concept of technology, obviously with all the characteristics inherent to Buccellati’s DNA,” he said.
Andretta said response to the tech accessories had been enthusiastic, notably in the U.S. “There is a client base in new markets and new niches in the world of haute joaillerie that doesn’t have hard and fast rules and isn’t fixated just on beautiful earrings and rings and necklaces, but is willing to enter new terrain,” he said.
The company is looking into further expansion in the U.S. market — where it already has four flagships, in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Aspen, Colo. — and also in Hong Kong. In Dubai, Andretta said Buccellati is considering joint ventures or directly operated stores, owing to the city’s high volume of tourists, whereas in the rest of the Middle East, where most customers are residents, the firm is considering partnerships with local partners.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye