For the first time in the long history of VicenzaOro, the January edition of the jewelry trade show provided a dedicated space for a dozen international designers. By all accounts it was a welcome and successful addition to the fair.
|"Winged Beauty" earrings by Magerit|
Branded as “The Design Room” and located in the main hall of the large fair, the area was defined by neutral colors and wood tones with each designer’s space being identical. Black chairs and couches lined the edges giving people a reason to linger. The finishing touch was a logo with “The Design Room” name partially enclosed on two sides by a white line to create an open-square shape.
To fill the space the fair curated a diverse group of 12 designers from different parts of the world. Some already have an international reputation while others are either newer to the industry or have regional followings. All produce innovative designs, a well-defined aesthetic and have the potential to widespread market potential.
|18k rose gold earrings by Sutra with pink spinel, garnets and diamonds|
The designers were Netali Nissim, Federica Rettore and Qayten from Italy, Rodney Rayner, Sarah Ho and Zara Simon from the United Kingdom, Nikos Koulis from Greece, Magerit from Spain, Daniela Villegas and Sutra from the USA, Fernando Jorge from Brazil who now lives in London and Elie Top from France.
|Colorful Laguna rings by Rodney Rayner|
Rodney Rayner, a veteran award-winning jewelry designer, not only participated in the area but helped to curate the designers. He then worked with the trade fair to convince them to participate.
“We have exhibited in the past at Vicenza in the main halls, but this new concept got us much more attention,” said Rayner, who specializes in colored gemstone jewelry. “Everyone walking around took the time to look in every showcase. As an example, we personally met a new customer who asked if it was our first time to exhibit at VicenzaOro. I explained that it wasn't but in previous years they had simply walked past my booth. All the designers had a very good reaction from both press and retailers.”
|Lily Rose ring by Sarah Ho in 18k white gold with a 3.84 carat pear-shape rubellite center stone surrounded by brilliant and baguette diamonds and emeralds|
Sarah Ho didn’t need much convincing and was happy she made the decision to exhibit.
“I love the way all the booths look the same,” said Ho, whose work tells her personal story. “We felt the buyers were generally intrigued by The Design Room and wanted to see what new and exciting products are available. They really spent time looking around.”
For Italian jeweler, Qayten, it was the first time exhibiting at Vicenza for the Bologna-based brand founded in 2012.
|Qayten Happy Hours 18k rose gold and diamond earrings|
“I liked the idea of sharing a space with different companies and designers from different countries and styles, said Maddalena Allegretti, Qayten marketing and sales manager. “We received the interest of many retailers and press. It definitely was a positive experience and we’d like to do it again.”
The designers were also feted by the fair organizers. They had the opportunity to participate in the Andrea Palladio International Jewellery Awards, which were presented in the auditorium inside Fiera di Vicenza, where VicenzaOro January was held and attended a dinner at a Michelin star restaurant hosted by Matteo Marzotto, executive VP of Italian Exhibition Group, the organizer of VicenzaOro.
|Niki Lalioti, marketing and communications manager for jewelry designer Nikos Koulis, models one his earrings at their booth during VicenzaOro. Photo by Anthony DeMarco|
One of the award winners was Greek designer Nikos Koulis.
“I believe that the creation of a dedicated space for contemporary designers to showcase their collections is more efficient for buyers, media representatives and visitors since there is a coherent approach while our styles are distinct and complementary,” he said. “The outcome for my brand was positive and we met our goals for this show.”
Parisian jewelry designer, Elie Top, demonstrates one of his spherical jewel creations in his booth during the VicenzaOro trade show
Elie Top is new to fine jewelry but his name is well known in the fashion world, particularly in Paris where he was a designer of costume jewelry for Lanvin for 15 years. He describes his first collection as Mécaniques Célestes, globe-shaped pieces that open, revealing a centerpiece set with pavé diamonds, which he compares to a sparkling sun.
“It was an honor to be chosen and invited to participate,” he said. “It was very interesting to be placed close to other talented designers. The Design Room gave a true overview of jewelry creation for today. All are very différent because they are personal and pretty radical in creative integrity. It gave us the chance for great exposure, meeting journalist from everywhere, and internationals buyers. It is an important and new step in my own story.”
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