VicenzaOro, the jewelry industry’s first show of the year and Italy’s leading trade show, closed Wednesday after welcoming more than 35,000 visitors (the highest number in the last 10 years) from 26 countries, including a 30% increase in the number of attendees from the United States compared with 2019.
Despite ongoing concerns about falling diamond prices, the recent spike in the gold price, and continuing uncertainty over the incursion of lab-grown diamonds into the marketplace, jewelers exhibiting at the fair showed their optimism in the form of scores of new collections.
“The VicenzaOro show is always a place to see popular trends in fine jewelry,” said attendee Scott Saunders, senior vice president of business development at London Jewelers, a luxury retailer based on New York’s Long Island. “What we noticed this year was personalization and inspirational words on jewelry from many companies. Love, amore, grateful, dream, and other words were used in bracelets, rings, and necklaces with stones, colored metal, and diamonds. Initials as well were seen in many forms. Classic bold gold and diamond jewelry also were strong trends this year.”
Italian designer Roberto Coin singled out his new retro-inspired Rock & Diamonds line as his favorite for 2020. “An elegant and unusual design that represents the rock era of the ’70s and diamonds are like the bubbles of that period,” he said. “It was a very happy and bubbly time.”
The Vicenza fair has thrived in recent years, despite the public challenges facing other B2B events such as Baselworld. Many industry watchers attribute the show’s success to its diversified roster of exhibitors, including numerous companies based outside of Italy, such as Bangkok’s Mousson Atelier and Lydia Courteille from Paris.
The show’s focus on small yet innovative designers, another critical success factor, was evident in the Design Room, a curated selection of 12 companies, including two U.S.-based firms, Paolo Costagli and Netali Nissim.
“It is the starting point where we can see designs coming in for the next years,” said Marco Carniello, jewelry and fashion division director of the Italian Exhibition Group, the show organizer.
One of the prevailing business trends at the show was a preference for more affordably priced jewelry that consumers could justify buying more often. Designers at the show met that demand by using special techniques to provide a voluminous look, yet with less gold weight.
Vicenza-based jeweler Nanis, for example, uses an ancient engraving technique to create unusually light gold pearls. The brand has also focused on creating transformable pieces, such as the Ivy necklace, that offer women endless possibilities. “The jewel must adapt to women and not vice versa!” said Laura Bicego, creative director of Nanis.
Another fair staple was timeless jewelry, such as the Eka MiaLuce bracelet in Fope’s new collection of flexible bracelets using a patented system of tiny gold springs hidden in a mesh design.
While gold takes center stage in Italy, pearls also made a splash. Danat, a new exhibitor from Bahrain, emphasized the revival of the natural pearl industry. “We are here to increase awareness globally to the rarity and uniqueness of natural pearls,” said Layal Bushehri, marketing manager of the Bahrain Institute for Pearls & Gemtsones (Danat).
In a nod to the exponential growth of the vintage watch and jewelry segment, the show featured a brand new concept, dubbed VO Vintage, Jan. 18-20.
Top: In exhibiting Spanish jeweler Damaso’s latest Moon collection, simple lines combined with geometric shapes showcase diamond-studded gold bangles. Moon bangles in pink and white gold with diamonds, Damaso.Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine