The Damiani jewellery company devotes plenty of space to men’s jewellery, which today more than ever is experiencing a period of splendour. The Maison offers exquisite and elegant creations made of sought-after materials with assertive taste, including modern bracelets in the very latest style and several models of necklaces, practical key rings for the modern man and tie pins, wedding rings, cufflinks and handy money clips for the more traditional gentleman.
We ask company president Guido Grassi Damiani some questions about these works of the jeweller’s art, which arise from a strong, unconventional idea that reflects the brand’s personality: what is this?
It’s our Made in Italy approach, based in Valenza, birthplace of the very best Italian jewellery tradition. My grandfather Enrico started designing and producing jewellery with diamonds in 1924, creating small masterpieces for the noble families of the period. For many years, in fact, we were suppliers to the Italian royal family. We sell artisan products, handcrafted one by one. We need knowledgeable consumers who understand and appreciate this, and who recognise the quality of our items.
What’s the philosophy that inspires you?
An enormous passion that’s been with us for three generations. Our main sources of inspiration are tradition, excellence and the savoir faire accumulated over our 90 years of history. Damiani was founded in 1924 by our grandfather Enrico, a highly skilled master jeweller who was able to pass on his art to our father, and later on we in our turn learned everything from him. We’ve been very lucky and we’d like to do the same for our own children.
Do you have a style icon?
Sophia Loren, who was one of our first ambassadors. She’s an extraordinary person, and we’ve worked with her for many years. You can feel her presence in a room the moment she arrives, even if you don’t see her. The weaving together of classically romantic styles with vintage allure, yet revisited, corroborated and given new lustre by the dynamic effects of innovative techniques, breathes life into creations of contemporary design that achieve utmost balance. An example is the ring of the D.Icon collection: ceramic and diamonds, with the counterpoint of the D in pink gold. You feel a duty to give your exquisite handcrafted creations a touch of contemporary glamour.
What’s the key factor that links tradition and innovation?
Our pieces are classic and contemporary at the same time. Although they’re bound to a strong artisan tradition which ensures exceptional quality, our creative team prioritises innovation in design, while respecting tradition and our origins. Innovation is extremely important for our firm. We’ve always been pioneers in marketing and communication too. Back in the 80s we were one of the first Italian firms to understand the value of brand ambassadors in advertising luxury products. The Damiani group controls several other highend jewellery labels such as Salvini, Bliss, Calderoni and Rocca 1794, as well as the latest brand, Venini, acquired in 2016.
How successful have these mergers been? Absolutely outstanding.
Consider Venini. It’s a unique firm that boasts a tradition of excellence, creativity and Made in Italy craftsmanship. These are the key values that have always guided the firm, alongside a deep passion for art. From the outset, Venini has been able to count on the local availability of the ancient and exclusive know-how of Murano. These are the very strengths which have always distinguished the Damiani family and group, combined with a profound passion for an art, that of the jeweller, which is handed down from father to son.
We have something in the pipeline, but we don’t like to comment until it’s completed… The Damiani brand is highly internationalised and invests in ambitious large-scale develop- ment schemes, with a view to building an iden- tity geared to the development of a new export share in Japan, Russia and the attractive Middle Eastern market of the United Arab Emirates.
What’s the secret of the brand’s success?
The brand identity is enormously important; it’s the guarantee of design, quality and the origin of the raw materials, as well as style and exclusivity. It’s constructed day after day with a lot of hard work, passion and consistency. In Damiani jewel- lery, intrinsic value is really important, especially when we’re talking about certi ed and guaran- teed precious stones, as ours are, and it’s the brand name that endorses this. At Damiani we give our clients the option of exchanging their solitaire for a higher-value ring, even years later, recognising the initial value of their purchase.
By Anna Lorito