VICENZA — The latest outting of the jewelry trade show Vicenzaoro saw an increase in international visitors and Matteo Marzotto, president of organizer Fiera di Vicenza, is focusing on content that is “fresh, cultured and updated” to help keep buyers engaged.
Among the tools offered by the trade show organizers, Marzotto cited the trend book, which collects a forecast of the jewelry trends for next year, as well the revamped VO+ magazine, which offers a glamorous overview of the industry. Marzotto also mentioned the new “Skin: the surface of the jewel” temporary exhibition hosted at Vicenza’s Museo del Gioiello until May 1.
The latest edition of the six-day trade show, which closed on Jan. 27, registered a 5 percent increase of visitors compared with the previous season with 19,381 buyers visiting the fair. The show hosted 1,500 brands coming from 31 countries.
The number of international and Italian buyers increased 5 and 4.3 percent, respectively. In particular, the trade show saw the number of buyers from the Middle East, Egypt, Iran and the U.S. increase, while the number of retailers from Russia, China and Hong Kong declined.
“Russia and the former Soviet Union countries registered a sharp slowdown but we are confident in a quick recovery,” said Damiani president Guido Damiani. “We have opened a branch company and a new store in Moscow, where we’re also hosting a big event in mid-February.” According to Damiani, the brand is also posting a double-digit growth in both Italy and Japan. “In this moment characterized by economic and financial turbulence, I think customers are more and more looking at brands when it comes to investing in a jewelry piece,” said Damiani, who said diamonds are among the company’s bestsellers. “We are also very satisfied by the sales of the Icon collection, including fashionable pieces with ceramics which are sold at more affordable prices.”
Pasquale Bruni is also expanding its offering of pieces positioned in the affordable luxury segment. At Vicenzaoro, the brand introduced “Petit Garden,” a collection of pieces ranging from 1,500 euros, or $1,644 at current exchange rate, to 12,000 euros, or $13,150. This includes rings available in three sizes and in two variations — pink gold with Champagne diamonds, or white gold with brown diamonds — which can be mixed and matched, as well as flexible bracelets and necklaces in gold. The brand, which has just debuted a pop-up store at Paris’ Galeries Lafayette open until mid-March, also launched “Make Love,” a collection of earrings, pendants and rings crafted from gold and embellished with diamonds. Featuring traditional symbols, such as the heart, star and flowers, the range retails from 1,780 euro, or $1,950, to 6,870 euros, or $7,530.
Roberto Coin celebrated the Chinese Year of the Monkey with “Cheeky Monkey,” a series of pieces featuring animals, including a pink gold precious ring covered with brown diamonds. For a more graphic, Sixties-inspired look, the Vicenza-based jewelry maker also presented “Carnaby Street,” a collection of pendants, earrings and rings where pink gold is combined with black jade, malachite and mother of pearl. In addition, Coin brought to Vicenzaoro “Maharani,” an upscale one-of-a-kind 110-carat diamond necklace valued at more than 600,000 euros, or $657,000.
Exclusivity was also at core of De Simone’s offering. At the fair, the Neapolitan jeweler showcased a necklace featuring identical maxi turquoises, as well as another necklace made of Aka coral and diamonds. “We are going to bring this last one to the trade shows in Asia because that market is extremely interested to this kind of product, and in particular to the Aka coral,” said Fiammetta De Simone, one of the three siblings of luxury coral jewelry firm De Simone, who also put the focus on the new “Love” collection, including pieces featuring asymmetric coral hearts combined to white gold and diamonds.
De Simone praised the support which Italy’s Foreign Trade Commission offered to the jewelry manufacturers located in the Torre del Greco region, in the Naples area, which will be allowed to showcase their creations at the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gems and Pearl Show, running March 1-5 in Hong Kong. “ICE is aware of the importance of the Torre del Greco compartment, which can play a relevant role in the economic development of Southern Italy,” De Simone said.
Flamboyant was the mood at Mattioli, which according to chief executive officer Licia Mattioli expects to close the fiscal year with revenues of 25 million euros, or $27 million. The Turin-based company introduced “Fireworks,” a range of rings, ranging from 10,000 euros, or $10,900, to 15,000 euros, or $16,400, where the combinations of precious gems, including pink tourmaline, sapphires, aquamarine and manganite, with black and white diamonds create a sparkling effect evoking fireworks.
Among the companies presenting for the first time at Vicenzaoro, Di Gregorio presented a wide collection. Founded in Milan last year, the label, which operates a corner in Dubai, as well as a shop-in-shop at Brian & Berry department store in Milan, is focused on offering customization services. “We organized the company with the goal to offer each client the chance to order customized products,” said Di Gregorio head of marketing and sales Laura Sorrenti, who highlighted that while the requests coming from Italy are mainly of minimalistic items, especially diamonds, international customers, in particular from the Middle East, are more directed to upscale, eye-catching creations.
In the expanding Glamroom area, collecting brands offering more affordable, fashionable collections, Aonie presented a range of earrings, pendants and bracelets crafted from Portuguese ceramics and nine-karat gold embellished on one side with a letter of the alphabet and the other with a drawing recalling a word starting from the letter shown on the other face. Each piece comes with a booklet featuring the brand’s special alphabet. Founded in 2008, the brand sells it collections in about 100 stores located across Europe and Japan.
While Aonie focused on a very feminine, sweet look, Manuel Bozzi, showing at Glamroom as well, showcased a range of silver and stones men’s rings dedicated to music icons, such as Jim Morrison, as well as to animals, including a style featuring the head of a rhinoceros. Bozzi’s creations, which retails at about 300 euros, $325, are mainly sold in Russia, Italy and Northern Europe.