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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Two Young Italian Jewelry Brands Bring Bold New Designs to the US

Italian Design Ltd. Snow White Red Apple Ring

Even the Italian jewelry industry needs new blood to bring innovative ideas to its storied design and craftsmanship tradition. Two new companies have heeded the call and more recently brought their new designs to the US by way of Las Vegas jewelry week.

Italian Design Ltd. and Qayten J.E.T. have little in common except a desire to bring a modern approach to the great tradition of Italian jewelry craftsmanship and design.

Italian Design Ltd. Snow White Red Apple Ring opened to reveal Snow White.

Silvia and Alberto Prandoni, the sibling founders of Italian Design Ltd. are proud of their Italian design heritage. However, they are equally influenced by traditional bespoke and limited editions jewelry created by international luxury jewelry houses, such as Bulgari, Van Cleef & Arpels and Tiffany & Co. The four-year-old company produces jewelry with innovative designs and precious materials (particularly colored gems) that tell intimate stories.

Italian Design Ltd. Lava Earrings made with irregular-shaped fire opals.

“We want to go back to haute jewelry design choosing stones and materials of absolute quality, interpreted with an original design that will adapt to and reflect individual personalities,” said Alberto Prandoni, the company’s CEO. “We create unique pieces or a limited number of up to eight pieces. We propose color variations and modifications to perfectly satisfy the desires of those who turn to us for our customization capabilities.”

There's also a good bit of whimsy and versatility incorporated into their jewelry. Some pieces are designed to be worn several ways. For example, the top of the “Snow White Red Apple Ring” opens to reveal Snow White. The ring can then be converted to a necklace and other uses. 

Italian Design Ltd.  Circus Ring can be worn multiple ways.

“We design rings, bracelets or necklaces as if they were living objects with their own personal stories,” he added.

“Our approach enables us to reach the individual and to interpret his or her requests,” Silvia Prandoni said. “It is certainly a less direct path but one that gives great satisfaction.” 

Qayten Paisley Collection earrings

Qayten is a company I have written about previously. I first met the founders at Baselworld 2013. It specializes in using modern technology to create contemporary three-dimensional pieces that are both beautiful and easy to wear. In fact the name defines the company. Qayten, is Sanskrit meaning “origin” and the abbreviation J.E.T., stands for “Jewellery Estetica Technology.”

Maddalena Allegretti, marketing and sales manager, says this means its creations “fuse aesthetics, technical innovation and forward-thinking design while honoring the traditional techniques at the heart of jewelry making.”

Qayten TT Bracelet made with rare, ethically sourced Indonesian wood.

The Bologna-based jewelry brand uses all types of materials, from 18k gold and platinum, diamonds and colored gems, natural Akoya and South Seas pearls; and even with rare woods that are ethically sourced.

“Our jewelry is modern now and for years to come,” she says. “It’s sophisticated with high perceived value, high quality of materials, including rare collectible materials.”

Qayten diamond Bologna necklace.

Founded in 2012 the firm’s first trip to the US turned out to be quite fruitful in terms of exposure. Its Bologna necklace received two honors at the Couture Jewelry Show in Las Vegas: First Place in the “Diamonds above $20,000 Retail” category and First Runner Up in the “Debuting” category.

“The calling cards of this brand are invisible connections, en tremblant settings, she says. “This is jewelry that demands to be touched, turned over in the hands and admired as much for its technical mastery as it’s visual.”

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