CHICAGO — A busy jet-setting schedule didn’t stop Italian luxury jewelry designer Mattia Cielo from visiting Winnetka boutique Neapolitan Collection before flying off to Puerto Rico and then Doha.
“Traveling all over the world, you find boutiques that all seem the same. Sometimes, you find boutiques that are more like a gallery, like here. It’s this kind of environment we feel most comfortable in,” said the Vicenza-based Cielo, who visited the North Shore boutique recently to meet with the sales team and educate them about his jewelry.
Cielo, who grew up in the jewelry business — his father, Sergio, of Cielo Venezia 1270 fame, is the largest importer of pearls in Italy — shuns fashion trends in favor of timeless design. “The life cycle of jewelry is much longer than fashion. Our job is to evolve the collection,” said the former banker turned designer, whose celebrity fans include Eva Longoria and Gwen Stefani.
Cielo is steadfast about pushing the boundaries of jewelry design by fusing technology, using materials like titanium and carbon fiber, with traditional gold and diamonds.
In a world where everything needs to be done yesterday, his approach is very European.
“When you do timeless design, it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years. The overnight ideas are gone overnight — or in a day,” Cielo said. “I like to believe what I’m doing is innovation, but we are on the soldiers of giants. Last century was the great jewelry designers like Fabergé.”
Cielo launched his line in 2007 and in addition to Neapolitan Collection, his retail accounts include — Bergdorf Goodman, Masterpiece by King Fook in Hong Kong and Takashimaya in Tokyo. In 2014, sales doubled over the previous year. The company is in the process of opening a public relations office in Los Angeles to work on building celebrity relationships.
The jewelry retails from $6,000 for a ring to $25,000 for a diamond-accented gold bangle.
Kelly Golden, owner of Neapolitan Collection, has carried his collection since November and has already placed two reorders. She has about 30 of his pieces for sale.
“I was immediately taken with Mattia’s line,” Golden said. “His bangles look like traditional hard bangles but when you put it on, it’s like putting on an elastic rubber band. There’s a comfort level without losing any of the design. These are pieces you can wear to a black tie or go to work. It’s hard to find that balance.”