MILAN — Sharra Pagano marks its 50th anniversary this year with an event in Milan tonight.
To be held at the beautiful Vigna di Leonardo [Da Vinci’s vineyard], at the Renaissance villa Casa degli Atellani, a few steps away from the artist’s Last Supper, the cocktail event will present some of the designs that have made Sharra Pagano a trailblazer in costume jewelry — or, more precisely, fashion jewelry, pointed out owner Giuseppe Fredella.
Founded by Lino Raggio in Milan in 1969, Sharra Pagano built its reputation at the same time as the Italian ready-to-wear brands were becoming international fashion names. Over the years, Sharra Pagano worked with designers from Giorgio Armani and Walter Albini to Franco Moschino and Enrico Coveri.
Fredella is nothing but respectful of the past of the brand, clearly in awe of the thousands of archival and current Sharra Pagano designs stored away in the brand’s atelier and showroom in central Milan. But he is also keen to revamp the label and even expand into new categories. This would also be a return to the brand’s origins, as Raggio had already developed a line of swimsuits, foulards and eyewear.
Sharra Pagano broke ground with the use of resin in its jewels, but the designs range from a metal flower necklace with rhinestone inserts under the Muses Haute Couture Collection, to the cascade of rhinestone models that are part of the Hollywood Soiree Capsule Collection, or the Fireworks line, an explosion of colorful tiny sticks in glass, crystal and rhinestones in necklaces, earrings and a bracelet reminiscent of fireworks.
There are also Neoclassic cameo charms, tiaras and necklaces worn by Maria Callas or Renata Tebaldi at the La Scala theater, Art Nouveau flowers and animals and pieces inspired by Art Déco.
“They are unique pieces, all crafted entirely by hand and we also do made-to-measure,” said Fredella, who is a fiscal lawyer based in Milan. In the city, he is looking for a location to open a flagship, after Sharra Pagano’s landmark store on Via Spiga closed. “We want to reposition the brand in the fashion world, to say we are here,” Fredella said.
Sharra Pagano has never been discontinued and Raggio has over recent years sold mainly to fashion stores and private customers and did not stop creating jewelry for designer brands. “We still count around 400 editorials per year,” Fredella said proudly.
“There used to be almost 44 companies in the sector, but Sharra Pagano is one of the few still in business,” Fredella said. “Low-cost labor and low-cost costume jewelry dented businesses and impacted the category, changing the scenario. We are among the few still standing.”
Retail prices range from 120 euros or 150 euros to 600 euros.