Italian jewelry house Damiani has tapped Laura Manelli as its new managing director. The position has been vacant since 2008, after the departure of Giulia De Luca.
In her new role, Manelli will oversee the business unit of the company, which is controlled by siblings Guido, Giorgio and Silvia Damiani — the founding family’s third generation.
In particular, Manelli’s goal is to consolidate Damiani’s positioning and to further expand its international presence, with a focus on the Asian market, where the manager matured a strong experience over the years.
Manelli kicked off her career in Giorgio Armani’s retail business area, prior to holding executive roles in a range of luxury companies, including Versace, Fendi and Sergio Rossi. Most recently, she was chief executive officer of men’s wear firm Billionaire Italian Couture.
Founded by Enrico Grassi Damiani in Valenza, Italy, in 1924, Damiani, which is publicly listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, operates 70 monobrand stores and its collections are sold at more than 500 jewelry boutiques in the world. In addition to its own namesake jewelry label, Damiani has invested in jewelry firms Salvini, Rocca, Calderoni and Pomellato. The latter is now controlled by Kering.
Last year, the Damiani family acquired a majority stake in the Venini company, known for its colorful and artistic glass designs, and a leading firm in Murano, the glass production hub in the lagoon of Venice. The acquisition is part of the Damianis’ strategy to invest in and develop historic luxury brands. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Venini SpA has 80 employees and exports globally, listing Europe, Asia and North America as its main markets. The Venini Museum exhibits 45,000 designs, 6,000 photographs and 4,000 works of art. Venini pieces are exhibited at the Fondation Cartier in Paris, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Triennale in Milan.