VICENZA, Italy — Be more global. Tighten the relationship between the fashion and jewelry industries. Increase visibility of the Vicenza Oro trade fair.
These were among the mandates set forth by Matteo Marzotto, the newly appointed president of Fiera di Vicenza, as he opened the winter edition of the six-day Italian jewelry show.
“First of all, we have to be international,” said Marzotto, underscoring the need to hike investment to enhance visibility of the fair. He also stressed developing high-end services for buyers and exhibitors.
Marzotto said he’d like to see a deeper exchange between the jewelry and fashion industries, and that he’s willing to team with the Italian Fashion Chamber to organize events and activities.
“All the major fashion brands are expanding with jewelry lines, so this makes sense,” he said, noting this collaboration might serve to promote the high quality of Italian production. “I think the concept of ‘Made in Italy’ is too general — I prefer to talk about ‘Well done in Italy,’ putting the focus on the excellent and unique skills of our manufacturing.”
Marzotto also offered a preview of the new 161,464-square-foot pavilion, which the Fiera di Vicenza will inaugurate this month. “It’s a very versatile space with incredible acoustics, so we will be able to host a series of events, including concerts, sport competitions and summits,” he revealed.
A total of 1,500 brands were showcased at Vicenza Oro, which wrapped up Jan. 23 and reported 30,000 visitors and a 6 percent increase in buyers from outside Italy to 7,763 individuals compared with January 2013.
In particular, organizers noted an increase in buyers from the European Union, Russian-speaking countries, Turkey, the Middle East, the Americas and Asia, including Japan, Hong Kong and China. The number of Italian buyers grew 1 percent to 8,653.
Facing the difficulties of the domestic market, Italian jewelry companies showcasing their spring lines at the fair highlighted the growing importance of internationalization.
“Increasing our presence abroad is a necessity,” said Lanfranco Beleggia, chief executive officer of Bros Manifatture, which acquired the Rosato brand in 2011.
The company initiated a retail expansion plan, which includes flagships in Azerbaijan, Malaysia, Singapore and Korea. Rosato is also targeting the German market, along with the U.S., where the label aims to enter key department stores in California, Florida and New York via directly controlled distribution.
Exports are supporting the business of Italian jewelry label Stefan Hafner. “The situation in the Italian market is quite dramatic,” said Pierpaolo Caratelli, the firm’s Italian sales manager. “Legislation on the traceability of payments in Italy has blocked Italian and international customers’ jewelry purchases.”
Caratelli said sales in Italy’s luxury ski and seaside resorts, including Capri, Porto Cervo, Taormina and Cortina, dropped between 35 and 40 percent in 2013. For spring, Stefan Hafner expanded with Acqua, a line with more affordable prices. Acqua’s bracelets, rings and earrings embellished with semiprecious stones wholesale from 500 euros, or $675 at current exchange, to 3,000 euros, or $4,000.
Counting on a solid business in the U.S., Russia and the Middle East, Vicenza-based jeweler Roberto Coin, which sells its collections at 800 points of sale around the world, opened a store in Rome, which might be followed by another in Florence. “Markets have to be tackled when they are suffering,” Coin explained.
“Before the economic crisis, women used to go straight to Bulgari, Cartier, Pomellato and Damiani, but now they are not sure of what they want, so they look for something different.”
A wide offer is crucial for the brand’s success, said Coin, noting that last year the company introduced 1,200 styles. For spring, Coin developed a range of Fifties-inspired earrings and rings embellished with agates, and introduced Pois Moi, a group showing square-shaped rings and bracelets, also embellished with diamonds, with dimpled gold for a textured effect.
The brand also launched a more opulent limited-edition line of white, yellow or pink gold bangle bracelets, also available with diamonds, celebrating the Chinese “Year of the Horse.”
The fauna theme also returned in another limited-edition capsule dedicated to elephants and in the Garden collection, where insects and little animals are combined with flowers on bold rings mixing gold with precious multicolor stones.
Nature was a major inspiration at the fair. Pasquale Bruni revamped its Liberty collection introducing Alejandra, which includes a gold ring showing a big butterfly with perforated wings embellished with diamonds.
At Misis, flowers and animals also took center stage, as in silver-plate rings decorated with feminine mother-of-pearl pink peach flowers, or a white agate necklace with a silver turtle enriched with zircons.
Combining jewelry with textiles, Calgaro launched “Filamour” bracelets, earrings and cuff links made with an elastic silver yarn and embellished with mother-of-pearl buttons, while F.lli Dinacci showcased a swimsuit, manufactured by Italian label Yamamay, which the Neapolitan jeweler decorated with 900 precious stones including rubies, emeralds and diamonds, and 450 grams of 18-karat gold. The swimsuit, worn by the winner of Miss Universe 2013, is priced at 1 million euros, or $1.35 million. “We are currently working with Yamamay on an exclusive collection of underwear enriched with gold and diamonds,” revealed ceo Flavio Dinacci.
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“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia