Venice Hosts VicenzaOro’s 2013 About J Buying Event

The Italian port hosts VicenzaOro’s exclusive About J, Sept. 4–7

Early this month, 197 buyers from 39 countries will descend on the storied Italian city of Venice for an exclusive buying event known as About J. Just don’t expect jewelry to be the sole draw.

“Going to Italy enables you to see how the Italians are dressing,” says Lisa Vinicur of Diane Glynn Distinctive Jewelry in ­Jenkintown, Pa., a member of the show’s advisory council, which is made up of 10 leading U.S. retailers (and three industry organizations) tasked with helping to foster trade relations between American buyers and Italian jewelry manufacturers.

“It’s a wonderful environment to shop in,” Vinicur says. “We go to get a heads-up on what’s trending.”

About J has long been a platform for Italian style in its myriad forms. Promoted by Fiera di Vicenza—the organizers of the VicenzaOro show, whose fall fair opens immediately after About J closes, on Sept. 7—the sixth edition of the invitation-only event will provide a handpicked selection of jewelers the opportunity to buy and sell haute couture designs amid the neo-gothic splendor of the Hilton Molino Stucky, a palatial property located on Venice’s Giudecca Island.

The show will feature 34 exhibitors, including the usual Italian suspects—Mattia Cielo, Roberto Coin, and Stefan Hafner—as well as a number of international designers, such as Brazil’s Brumani, Houston-based Sutra, and London-based Sarah Ho.

First-time exhibitor Kara Ross, from New York City, says showing at About J gives her the chance to capitalize on the momentum her new fine jewelry collection, Petra, earned in Las Vegas. “I’ve been working since [the Couture show] on building out the line,” she says. “It had such a good reception—both press and stores—that I really want to build it up.”

Beyond providing a luxurious venue to do business with some of the world’s leading jewelers, however, About J appeals to some buyers for even more basic reasons.

“My wife is Italian, my favorite motorcycle is Ducati, and my favorite car is Ferrari,” says Tom Duma, owner of Thom Duma Fine Jewelers in Warren, Ohio. “All things sexy and awesome come from Italy—and we’re looking forward to seeing the jewelry too.”