Italian jeweller Buccellati has been a family business since its founding in 1919. The house has built its foundations on creating elegant jewels that display the finest in craftsmanship and goldsmithing while using the highest quality materials.
The brand’s jewellery revolves around intricate textural details and signature engraving techniques, as well as using the finest gemstones, taking inspiration from traditional Italian elements such as Venetian lace, Etruscan patterns, Italian vegetation, insects and animals, all of which have been key elements of the brand since the beginning. Founder Mario Buccellati was fascinated by all types of metals from a young age and combined this love with a passion for gemstones and the Renaissance period to create a jewellery house that produces pieces that are instantly recognisable.
Today, the same family who have kept true to the DNA and vision of its founder is still actively involved in Buccellati. But the challenge, as it is for many traditional jewellers today, is to continue to protect its history and DNA, while remaining relevant to today’s customer and every-changing environment. To find out more about how Buccellati is doing just this, as well as some of the plans for the brand in the Middle East, we talk to Maria Cristina Buccellati, Global Communication and Marketing Director.
What do you believe makes Buccellati unique as a brand?
The delicate and unique handcrafted workmanship makes the Buccellati style as unique as the artisans who create are jewellery collections. No two pieces are ever the same thanks to the beauty of being handmade.
What do you think makes a jewellery piece an icon in today’s world?
A product that embodies your character and your way of being, becomes iconic. Buccellati is an extremely elegant and refined brand and this is reflected through the women who wear our creations.
In your opinion what are some of Buccellati’s “iconic” pieces and what makes them iconic?
The Macri collection is definitely the most iconic and our best-seller thanks to the unique workmanship which became a Buccellati trademark. The beautiful engraving turns gold into a silk-like material. Another important icon for us is the honeycomb workmanship, which is again, very recognisable and unique.
How does Buccellati find the perfect balance between tradition and modernity?
To continue to create a classic style that never goes out of fashion is one of the most important values of the brand. Once a product is timeless it can be used forever and passed down to future generations.
How important is it for clients today to understand the history and heritage of the House?
I think once you understand the philosophy of Buccellati and the intricate workmanship techniques that we use, you will understand the real value of our jewellery.
What do you think women are looking for from jewellery today?
Personally, as a woman, when I choose a piece of jewellery, I prefer something that not only adorns me elegantly and discreetly but something that can also enhance my features.
How does Buccellati aim to attract a younger clientele but ensure it is still appealing to its long-standing loyal customer base?
We try to interpret a new easy-going and casual lifestyle in our own way, but we do not forget sophisticated looks. We are now communicating more through digital platforms which gives access to a broader range of customers of all ages, but the most important thing is to remain true to our identity.
Can you tell us a little about sustainability at Buccellati?
Sustainability can have many different meanings but for us it means not only the responsible procurement of all precious metals, stones and diamonds that we use for our creations but also a way to create unique objects that can be preserved for decades and passed from down from generation to generation, giving new life to them each time. Part of our current mission is to recollect all vintage Buccellati pieces to give them a new purpose.
What is the importance of sustaining traditional Italian jewellery crafts and what action is Buccellati taking to help with this?
The Italian goldsmithing tradition is as ancient as the world! We aim to maintain and preserve the values of artisanal workmanship as well as create a school where young artisans can learn. Once they show passion dedication and skills, they are welcome to continue their professional path with us.
The incredible engraving on Buccellati’s pieces sets them apart from other brands – tell us a little about this process and the value of sustaining this technique within the house?
Engraving is one of the most recognisable techniques at Buccellati. It is something that’s done completely by hand and needs great skills of creativity and precision. There is a special tool called a “bulino” which has a sharp point that carves the metal when creating the designs. In the case of rigato the lines are parallel and they are done one by one with infinite patience.
Is there anything you have changed about the business moving forward after the pandemic and what is a lesson you have learnt from this time?
Work wise, we have started working on an e-commerce platform which will allow us to reach customers in every part of the world.
What can you tell us about the plan for Buccellati in the Middle East?
We are already present in Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar and soon we will have our own boutique in Dubai for the first time.
What is a message you would send to clients in the region?
I would love to invite our clients in the Middle East to get to know the brand not only through the product but also by meeting the family members and understanding the love and the passion we all have for our work and our tradition.
What can we expect to see in the coming months from the brand?
This month we are launching our first book which looks back on our past 100 years; our work and our story. On top of that, we have a new collection of Ombelicali necklaces inspired by a special long necklace that the Poet Gabriele d’Annunzio, friend and admirer of Mario Buccellati, used to commission for his girlfriends.