With a strictly Italian vocabulary, a sincere smile, and an air of gratitude—either due to the fact that daughter Eugenia now works alongside him or because he’s rekindling a long-dormant relationship with American retailers—Pasquale Bruni couldn’t be a more delightful interview subject. As he bubbled on in that romantic-sounding native tongue that I can’t understand but nevertheless enjoy listening to, an associate translated: “We’re relaunching in the U.S. in April.”
American buyers approached Bruni about sales despite his 10-year absence from the United States, owing to a variety of business and personal reasons. (JCK featured one of his new designs in 2011.) According to the designer, the line will debut in the spring in five Neiman Marcus and four independent stores. He once had a robust fan base in Florida and Texas, as well as strong support from onetime Mayors’ CEO Sam Getz, so he’s hoping to regain some of that old glory. The jewelry is made in his factory in Valenza, Italy, and he reached out to a small number of potential U.S. clients before this fair. Bruni already has 150 accounts in Italy, as well as flagship stores in Rome and Milan; he’s hoping to open an outpost in the United States as well. Fun fact: Russian consumers are currently his biggest the biggest buyer of his designs. His latest collection, Mandala, features colored gemstones in 18k gold styles reminiscent of stained glass windows; suggested retail prices start at about $2,000. Expect to see a jeweled watch from the designer come Baselworld 2013.
Gemstone and 18k gold bracelet from the Mandala collection
Gemstone and 18k gold earrings from the Mandala collection
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