I’d already heard so much about the Italian Jewelry Manifesto, and, with the promise of seeing 50 designers and makers from Vicenza, Valenza, Arezzo, Orvieto, and beyond—right in the heart of midtown Manhattan—I decided I had to check it out for myself.
I’m so glad I did. The venue, Piazza Italia on Madison Avenue, was light, bright, and spacious. Intimidation factor: low. Energies were high, smiles were abundant. There were super-high heels and well-tailored suits. And so much gold. Piles and piles of it being worn or laid out on velvet-lined trays.
The event was not bustling when I was there last week, but I was told that many retail buyers were in attendance. The pace of my visit was easy and allowed plenty of time for discovery, questions, and conversations.
Let’s get into the pretty things I saw. I’ll start with what I think will be most helpful to readers planning to attend Las Vegas Jewelry Week next month: three Italian Manifesto designers who will also be exhibiting at Luxury and JCK Las Vegas.
There was the Arezzo, Italy-based brand Neonero (booth 21026B), which has the most beautiful gold pieces inspired by the lacework traditions of Tuscany. Light-as-air openwork unites the many, many SKUs in the collection (I fell madly in love with a pair of swingy chandelier earrings dangling strands of buttery, shimmery fringe that I can confirm are very well priced, especially for 18k).
Boccadamo (booth 23007) has a massive catalog of options, all heavy on “chic Italian lady” fashion jewelry and statement parures set with colorful cabochons.
And I’d heard about Marco Dal Maso (exhibiting with the Gioielli Group, LUX 630) from Reinhold Jewelers, who named them a must-see as far men’s and unisex jewelry when I interviewed one of the store’s executives for this story. Some men’s ranges feel kind of one-note and generic, but the options here are so elevated and diverse: braided leather; tough-luxe links; hard stones such as lapis, onyx, and aventurine; and a million unexpected details worked into the metals that make each piece feel distinctive and special.
My favorite discovery at the show came from Vicenza-based Peruffo Jewelry, where everything was an architectural, innovative, and masterfully executed delight. Maybe I just haven’t seen Italian-made jewelry in a while, but the ring below, in particular, made me giddy. I love when the jewelry is so good I have a visceral reaction!
You can’t tell from the photo below, but it moves with absolute precision as you shake your hand about (see photo at top for a sense of this).
Here are some more finds from my little vacanza in jewelry heaven below.
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