By Amanda Eberstein
Since launching in 1984, Italian jewelry house Vhernier—which just opened its doors at Bal Harbour Shops—has become known for creating bold and sculptural pieces that blend a contemporary point-of-view with singularly old-world techniques. “It’s a different kind of jewelry,” says Vhernier president and CEO Carlo Traglio, a Milanese industrialist who acquired the fledgling brand in 2001 and transformed it into the international success that it is today.
“It’s fresh, unusual and very recognizable. You can tell immediately that a piece is Vhernier.”Unlike some traditional fine jewelry that is more delicate or precious, Vhernier is inspired heavily by the worlds of architecture, art and design, incorporating sinuous shapes and substantial volumes, highlighted by a combination of materials such as bronze, ebony, African wood and jet, paired with stones sourced from all over the world. “Sometimes we start a new collection because we find a new material,” says Traglio, who cites a recent discovery of a milky white agate, which is now being used for a reinterpretation of the Calla necklace, one of Vhernier’s most iconic designs. “Or, for example, we started working with titanium, which is very complicated and much more difficult than gold or platinum. We mix titanium—quite a hefty material—with something like diamonds, and the combination is quite stunning.”
Traglio himself is very involved with the creative process, overseeing the core design team and larger group of highly skilled artisans who work out of Vhernier’s ateliers in Velenza, Italy, a small village halfway between Milan and Turin, where every single piece is meticulously crafted by hand. This attention to detail spills over into every aspect of the brand, including Vhernier’s retail boutiques, which are present globally in 12major cities, including Milan, Rome, Paris, Athens, Geneva, Beverly Hills, Istanbul and Dubai—and now, Bal Harbour.
“I have always loved to visit Bal Harbour Shops,” says Traglio. “There is no other shopping destination like it… It’s beautiful. It’s friendly. It’s real luxury.” The intimate, 600-square-foot space is designed in Vhernier’s signature style, with sleek contemporary interiors that allow the jewelry to shine. “There is the same Vhernier DNA,” Traglio says of the design, “however, we have changed the colors a bit to represent Miami and will be using lots of leather and fresh materials.”
In addition to Vhernier’s core collection, the boutique will debut with a few top-secret pieces created especially for the store. There are several new introductions for fall, including Pirouette ear clips—an extension of Vhernier’s classic rings of the same name—Olimpia, a line of interlocking chain-like pieces available in rose gold, white gold with diamonds and full black or white diamond pavé and Rainbow, a capsule collection of 100 cocktail rings featuring vibrant stones such as citrine, purple amethyst and blue topaz, all cushion-cut and set on candy-colored titanium. “They are such a joy to wear,” says Traglio. “It’s time to have a little fun.”