bal harbour blog

Buccellati: All in the family

Q&A
Andrea Buccellati and daughter Lucrezia Buccellati.

By Jesscia Michault

Founded in 1919, the Italian jewelry house Buccellati has built its global business on two foundation pillars: family and artisanal craftsmanship. The brand is renowned for its distinctive and elaborate engraving techniques, many of which have been inspired by nature or precious stones and materials, like baroque pearls.

Recently the brand has begun to expand even further, developing a line of luxury watches and launching a new engagement rings collection in 2014. Recently, Andrea Buccellati, the brand’s Creative Director and President, collaborated with his daughter Lucrezia Buccellati on a special Art Collection of five one-of-a-kind pieces, inspired by five pieces of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist. We spoke with Mr. Buccellati about the evolution of his company, what challenges the brand faces going forward and why Miami holds a special place in his heart.

To someone who is unfamiliar with brand, what draws people to it? Why makes it stand out from other jewelry?
Buccellati has a unique style. It is called the Buccellati style and my grandfather Mario created it. One secret of Buccellati is the techniques that our artisans use, which go back 100 years. The very old techniques have allowed us to create very distinctive jewelry.

One of the most evident ways is with the engraving. Our particular engraving is a very old art of the goldsmith that was completely lost over the years because it was too expensive and difficult to find younger generations that followed this technique. This is Buccelatti.

The second thing is that another secret of Buccellati is that for almost 100 years we have kept the creativity part inside the family, and this is very important because we grow up in our company, we grow up with our style of life. You absorb everyday something special. Each one of the designers of each generation is a little different from the other one. But you can see immediately the DNA of the brand in each design. You don’t need a sign or a signature to let you know that it’s a Buccellati piece.

What are the benefits of working in a family-run organization?
It is very difficult and at the same time simple. When you work in the family business, all the members of the family they are concentrated more on the prestige and the tradition and translating the DNA and the concept of the brand. When you go in the bigger corporations, of course, you have to respond more in the economic point of view. So family business you look for long-term investments, long-term duration of the company.

What about the jewelry industry right now? Is there some kind of material or stone or direction that you are particularly excited about?
Well the first definition of Buccellati is that the products that we sell are timeless in their design, so of course you can wear a piece of Buccellati made 100 years ago and still feel like it is modern. Today — and this is something where my daughter Lucrezia gives me a lot of input — there are different ways to wear jewelry. Before, it was a classic traditional parure set with the necklaces and rings all the same. But today, for example, when you talk about earrings, a lot of people wear only one earring, instead of two. Or they want a set that are two completely different earrings, but still look like they are connected through their underlying design.

At the end of last year, you opened a store at Bal Harbour Shops. Why is this market important to you?
The boutique in Miami was always one of my ideas and goals. I don’t know if you know this but my wife and kids were born in Miami. They are all American, born in Miami. It’s like a second city for me because my wife is from Miami. So I always thought that it was a very important market for Buccellati because everyday it becomes more international. For our kind of brand Bal Harbour is the best location and now finally we have been able to open the shop there.

What is your biggest battle, challenge or hurdle that you are facing?
Today — and this I have a big help from my daughter Lucrezia — is to bring the Buccellati style and products into the new century. It is very important to evolve the company in the concept of the products, so it is sometimes difficult to find a good solution to respect the market and respect the request of the clients and in the meantime to modernize the concept of Buccelatti. I think this is the biggest challenge.

 

Where did the original idea come from to collaborate with your daughter and to create the Art Collection?We had to create something special for the opening of the new boutique in New York. We are very close to the arts and we put together two concepts. To have some paintings, very important paintings that were given to us by the Wildenstein Gallery — that is run by the husband of my daughter by the way — at the store and to create some jewelry pieces inspired by these paintings. The concept was to start to create something that is very close to the Buccellati philosophy: art and jewelry. But what is different about these pieces is that usually the Renaissance inspires us or the Roman times, you know, very Italian classics. However, this style is more contemporary, because we started from those impressionist paintings.

Was that a challenge? Was it a struggle to do something so different?
It was a beautiful challenge because for some paintings it was very easy to come up with a design, as we felt an emotion immediately when we saw the painting. I was really in love with the Monet painting, and I said after five minutes that I know, I know exactly what I want to do. Sometimes with other paintings it took more time, but it was a beautiful challenge.

 

 
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