“I trust very much the capacity of Italy to be international,” said Matteo Marzotto, the newly named president of Fiera di Vicenza, to the press on opening day of the VicenzaOro Winter show Jan. 18. In a press conference with Corrado Facco, Fiera di Vicenza’s managing director, the men outlined plans for the fair and fairgrounds, which are undergoing a multimillion dollar revitalization plan that started in 2011. Some of their goals: to give the upgraded and expanded fairgrounds a stronger international image and a top-level exhibition space that attracts many different groups—not just jewelers—to Vicenza.
Additionally, while many Italian vendors have focused on promoting pieces that are made in Italy, Marzotto wants to take that idea to the next level by calling attention to items are “well made in Italy,” he explains. “Made in Italy is too general,” he said. “Italy makes even bad things, so we have to be scientific in this and promote the Italian lifestyle—eating, drinking, and wearing fashion—to sell the image of Italy and its heart, soul, and attitude through its design energy. Lifestyle is the way we have to move toward, and for jewelry to be perceived as a fashion product and a lot more glamorous.”
Not surpisingly, Marzotto’s resume is rich in fashion brand experience, including a five-year stint as chief operating officer and chairman of Valentino and chairman of Vionnet.
And starting in Jan. 2015, the VicenzaOro fairs will debut a new name and concept: the Boutique show, which will feature six distinct communities—named Icon, Essence, Creation, Look, Essence for gemstones and findings, Expression for packaging, and Evolution for technology—on the show floor redesigned to better meet the needs of buyers. Sections were defined in collaboration with Fiera’s own TrendVision independent research center and in accordance with buyer demand.
“This is a bottom-up strategy, putting ourselves in the shoes of buyers,” explained Facco.
Shows will still take place three times a year (January, May, and September), though the format of the May edition is still a work in progress.