Bulgari jewellery creative director Lucia Silvestri first joined the fine-jewellery house aged 18, filling a temporary administrative position. A then young Mr. Bulgari took her under his wing and Lucia went on to trawl the globe for the colourful precious and semi-precious stones that have become the hallmark of Bulgari’s more elaborate coveted pieces.
Here we meet with Silvestri during the launch of Bulgari’s latest Festa high jewellery collection. Introducing the revolution of colours and the eccentricity that brings the joy of a celebration, Creative Director Lucia Silvestri talks gems and colours, why they picked this festive theme for the collection, and how the brand is planning to invite a new younger clientele.
The Festa Collection screams happiness and joy, can you tell us about how this concept came to life?
We started with this concept last year in June, choosing Festa in particular because it is very close to Bulgari’s feel. Working with coloured and playful gems, we thought this was the right theme that could be realised with joy. In fact, I have to say we started with joy and we finished with joy, and although the process in all was very long and full of challenges, it was very happy.
It is clear from the Festa collection that you are designing for a range of ages. Can you share with us who are you planning to appeal to?
We certainly have had Millennials in mind, and I think that with this kind of collection we can reach them. In fact, it has taken me four years to collect the stones for this collection and we are very happy with it, especially because we can reach the younger generations without forgetting our loyal clientele. It is all about a balance of harmony, creativity and staying true to our clients. Of course, we consider our mature customers, but together with inviting new clients, ensuring we don’t forget the past, our DNA, and our tradition, working to blend it all in a contemporary way. Remaining both traditional and modern at the same time, I like to create pieces that are wearable from morning to evening, that are basically the wearers’ second skin, and aren’t just saved for red carpet events.
What are your favourite stones to work with?
My first love is Sapphire, because when I was young I worked with them in many of their different colours. They are versatile, and the fact that I can play with the colours has helped me fall very much in love with this stone, especially the blue colour.
Stones such as Sapphire, Emerald and Ruby are becoming very rare and are not found easily today. Can you tell us about how you like to blend these with semi-precious stones?
I must say Bulgari are one of the first brands to work with precious coloured gems and stones. It is in our DNA to play with semi-precious stones, and our challenge is to mix new gems and colour combinations, which are always in harmony and balanced with the shapes of our designs.
Do you think nowadays that the perception of coloured gemstones versus plain diamonds is changing?
Of course, the diamond industry is a very big market, but now because of different communication outlets, people are becoming more confident to invest in coloured gems from well-acknowledged jewellery brands.
It is obvious that you create with happiness and feelings. Tell us, when are you at your best when it comes to designing?
I believe in the energy of the gems, I am always at joy when I am inspired, especially when I play with all the stones.
To what extent do you feel jewellery empowers the women of today?
In some way yes, jewellery does empower. As a woman who wears jewellery all of the time, especially coloured stones, I feel that jewellery sends an important message and gives a whole lot of confidence at the same time.
What is your personal motto?
Follow your passion, while keeping your feet on the ground.
Do you feel that you have achieved all your dreams?
Yes, but I am still working with a strong passion and level of curiosity, which is the main secret to our brand’s success.
How would like the world to remember you?
I started working in a very male world, so my soul is divided into two parts, one is very creative oriented, while the other is business oriented. So, I would like to be remembered as a woman who made it in a man’s world.
What is your message to the women of the Middle East?
In the Middle East we have a lot of clients as it is a region and culture that appreciates and enjoy colours. So, my message would be, stay the way you are, because you are on the right pathway.
By Lara Mansour Sawaya