A&E talks to jeweller Roberto Coin who reveals why the inspiration behind his designs is as important as the pieces themselves, and how they can signify true love.
Roberto Coin is driven by his innate love of fashion and art. Combining these two creative worlds together the Italian jeweller creates exquisite and unique designs that reflect his signature style and personality, but more importantly allow the wearer to signify moments and memories in their life by wearing a unique piece.
Growing up in Venice, Roberto was inspired by the jewellers and artisans around him, creating jewellery that for him, were works of art. His childhood is clearly reflected in his designs. Unlike any other high jewellery brand, each collection Roberto creates tells a very literal story – a story that is brought to life by the pieces he designs. Be it a love story from his childhood, or a trip or experience around the world, each of Roberto’s creations has a very important message to tell.
Roberto’s creations are brought to life by some of the most renowned artisans in Italy. Ensuring everything is designed and produced in his home country, Roberto keeps the heritage of this brand very close to his heart. Each piece of jewellery is finished with a small ruby casted inside. The ruby is placed so that it is in direct contact with the skin. This signature represents the message of good wishes that Roberto dedicates to his clients.
This September Roberto Coin presents the Petals Collection. A feminine collection of rings and earrings inspired by the “he loves me, he loves me not” playful concept one remembers from their childhood when trying determine whether their love was true or not. This memory translates into modern yet delicate creations featuring petal-shapes carved from coloured stones. The corollas colored with malachite, jade and turquoise suggest exotic essences, and the shining gold and diamonds evoke images of drops glistening on flower petals when the sun reappears after the rain.
Here we talk to Roberto Coin about his inspirations for the stories he tells and the future of the jewellery house.
What can you tell us about the Petals collection?
Petals are the beauty of flowers, which has a very important symbolism for me. As I use to say, a flower can tell thousands of stories.
How do you think it is different from your previous collections?
Each one of my collections is different from the other; the variety of styles is my goal. Petals is a collection with a very romantic inspiration but also with a very stylized and conceptual design. Its minimal style is something new for me in the collections inspired by nature.
How do you think the fine jewellery has changed since you first founded the brand in 1996?
Everything is different from in 1996. The world has changed completely, people, economy, society, fashion, everything. I always look at differences and changes as opportunities to create something new and get new inspirations. The strong technology invasion has changed also the production, today the most difficult goal is to find the perfect balance between the artisan’s traditional techniques and the modern technology, allowing them to create jewels that combine story and innovation.
How do you move forward with the times but stay true to the brand?
We have to continue with our identity and our mission to create different style for different women, in order to give them the chance and freedom to choose and to enhance their uniqueness.
How are you embracing technology and social media to help the brand?
Digital communication is a must today and I am in love with new technologies. The Roberto Coin brand has social media profiles in which we can communicate our creations in new ways which were not existing in the past, this is a chance and also it gives a sense of freedom, which I love.
Each of your jewels tells a story – which story is your favourite?
To be honest I do not have a favorite story as I have no a favorite collection. However, for sure, Appassionata remain my signature creations, as it has been the collection with which I launched my brand in 1996 and the first one to be signed with my ruby. I wanted to create a very special bracelet, with the same flexibility of a fabric, a kind of gold carpet to wear. Everybody said to me that it was impossible to get this result. We took more than two years of attempts and study but at the end we made it and it has been one of the most extraordinary success in my career.
Where do you love to visit for inspiration?
Venice is my number one. It is my place of birth, but it is also the most mysterious and fascinating city I have visited. It always has something to discover, which is extremely exciting for my curiosity. However, I have to say that my life brought me to visit more than 100 countries, each of them has given me inspiration, thanks to its nature, its atmosphere along the streets, the people, colours etc. the world is pure inspiration.
What can you tell us about the production process?
The production process very much depends on the piece. There are pieces that take over five or six months to be created as they are completely made by hand and have lots of details. Today the goal of the production chain is to find the perfect balance between hands and technology.
Why do you think Italy is such a special place for many jewellery houses?
It is our history, the origin started with the Etruscan and Roman empires, with the influences of the Greeks, the Arabs and others. The cultural mix and sense of beauty comes from a very ancient time and has become part of the Italian DNA. Jewellery is one of the expressions of this sense of beauty.
What do you think makes Roberto Coin unique?
My collections are the expression of my inner creative mood, my personal way to see the world and women. I enhance differences and uniqueness, avoiding homologation.
Tell us about your relationship with the ruby stone?
The idea of the ruby as a symbolic signature comes from an ancient time and the pages of antique books. Driven by my passion for history and mythology, I discovered three very special stories, speaking about the ruby as the king of gems, able to provide health, protection and happiness to those who get in direct contact with it. The three legends came from the ancient Egyptian world, the Burmese warriors and the Hindu myths. That’s why we added one ruby to each piece of jewelry, where it touches the skin.
You launch around five collections each year – how do you keep up with demand?
I travel a lot and get in touch with many different people. I have the chance to understand the different international demands and tastes. I know that the world of today is looking for something always new and I live this request as a challenge.
What do you think is the relationship between jewellery and fashion?
It is an essential relationship, as together they are the image and the exterior expression of a character, of an identity. They have to be in line, with a logical connection and with the same sense of elegance.
What one piece of jewellery should every woman own?
If I have to think about the little black dress of the jewellery, I would for sure say that it is a statement ring. As a great statement ring can give all the look.
What is the future for Roberto Coin?
To continue to create jewels that enhance women’s uniqueness and that are able to represent a precious emotional value.
How would you define luxury?
I define luxury as I see it personally. It is the time and freedom to live the experiences you need to be happy with the people you want to be with you.
If you had to describe yourself in three words what would you choose?
I would say curious, passionate and courageous, but also an Italian gentleman.
What do you do when you want to relax and switch off?
I love stay in the nature, surrounded by plants, trees and flowers, but sometimes I also love to see sports on TV.
Tell us something that no one knows about you.
There is a lot that people do not know about me, I feel I have a very full life. One thing that maybe nobody knows is that when I was young I dreamt for a long time to become a world champion of fencing.