VICENZA — While Italian Exhibition Group’s steps toward a public listing were abruptly interrupted last December, the uncertainty and instability of the market couldn’t slow down the run of its six-day jewelry trade show VicenzaOro, which closed here on Jan. 23.
With Baselworld going through a restructuring phase, VicenzaOro continues to gain ground in the jewelry trade show scenario thanks to its increasing international appeal. While 60 percent of the companies presenting in Vicenza were Italian — the country is actually the third largest jewelry manufacturer in the world after China and India — 60 percent of the visitors attending the show came from international markets.
In particular, the show saw double-digit increases, around 10 percent, of buyers from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the U.K., Spain and Northern European countries, while, despite the issues related to duty taxes, the presence of visitors from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia rose 24.2 percent. The show also marked a return of Russian and Ukrainian clients, whose number was up 10.4 percent over the same edition last year.
“Enhancing the trade show’s experience has been our focus and I think this strategy is bringing great results,” said Marco Carniello, director of VicenzaOro’s jewelry and fashion division. “The B2B business component remains at the core of what we do, but it’s not necessary anymore. People who come here need to enjoy a full, exciting experience, discovering our artistic and cultural heritage, our food, our hospitality.”
For this reason, the trade show continued to invest on special events hosted in Vicenza’s landmarks, but also developed a schedule of activities for the sector’s specialists. In particular this season, the company invited executives from jewelry giants, including Bulgari, to discuss the issue of sustainability in the sector’s supply chain.
“Compared to other segments of the luxury industry, jewelry is lagging behind when it comes to dealing with sustainable protocols, especially regarding processing wastes,” Carniello said. “This means that it’s extremely important for medium and small-sized companies to hear and follow the example of major brands.”
Capri-based jewelry label Chantecler debuted in Vicenza in January with an extensive booth located in a secluded area of the trade show.
“Since we decided to not show in Basel this season, we wanted to give VicenzaOro a try and we are satisfied with the results,” said Chantecler export sales manager Layla Bellezza. “We opted for a quiet location, for a separated space where we could be able to fully showcase our collections and at the same time enable our clients to fully immerse themselves in the distinctive atmosphere of Chantecler, which is deeply rooted in our native Capri island.”
The colors and the festive aesthetic of the Mediterranean luxury destination was not only reflected in the airy and charming interiors of the booth but especially in the eye-catching and precious collections presented at the trade show.
In particular, among the novelties, Chantecler expanded its Chérie range with reproportioned, smaller sautoir necklaces and rings crafted with precious pearls, onyx, red and white coral, as well as turquoise.
“These new creations are significantly smaller and easier to wear compared to the original pieces of the Chérie range,” Bellezza said. “The goal is to offer a more casual, urban look and to enable women to wear many of them at the same time, creating charming color matches.”
Given the smaller dimension, the retail price of these new pieces is about 30 percent lower compared to the bigger designs, which are sold from 25,000 euros to 47,000 euros.
In addition, one of Chantecler’s most successful lines, “Pailettes” welcomes new rings and earrings embellished with a cascade of the range’s iconic confetti-like details that inject movement. The already existing creations, such as versatile long chain necklaces, were also presented in the new “Capri” light blue tone.
Another new entry at the show was Paris-based Lydia Courteille, who animated the Design Room area with her flamboyant and imaginative creations. Inspired by a recent trip to Guatemala, she reworked a wide range of local cultural references collected on the road to develop the “Nuevo Mundo” bold and colorful line of one-of-a-kind pieces. A Mayan temple was reproduced on a ring including emeralds, diamonds and rubies, while the traditional masks of San Simon inspired a gold bracelet enriched with sapphires, diamonds and tsavorite garnet.
A former art and antique dealer, Courteille also creates flashy and sumptuous rings, injected with gothic touches, which are crafted with antique gems and cameos.
“The fair was good. Our intent was to get in touch especially with Italian clients and we are currently negotiating with a possible local partner,” said the designer, who traditionally skips Basel, “which is too expansive,” and attends JCK, “where we meet all our American clients.”
A numerous delegation of Japanese visitors made a comeback at Roberto Coin’s booth after several seasons, noted a company’s spokeswoman. Their presence might be stimulated by the recent free trade agreements signed by Japan and the countries of the European Union last year, which is facilitating the trading of products among the different markets.
Roberto Coin, which recently inaugurated a new store at the Dubai Mall, expanded his Princess Flower romantic and feminine collection with several pieces, including covetable cuffs crafted from gold, which is treated by hand to obtain tactile textures. Twine techniques kept the pieces lightweight, while flowers in diamond or mother of pearl added precious and delicate touches. They contrasted with the urban, graphic and modern look of the “Rock and Diamonds” collection, which introduced new semi-rigid rings and bracelets, where the gold, diamond and black onyx structures move with the body guaranteeing a highly comfortable fit.
The next edition of VicenzaOro will take place Sept. 7 through 11. The trade show’s parent company IEG expects to close 2018 with revenues of 155 million euros, up 18.3 percent compared to 2017. According to the company, IEG is expected to go public this year.