THE UNSHAKEABLE ITALIAN SPIRIT | Solitaire Magazine

THE UNSHAKEABLE ITALIAN SPIRIT

Made in Italy rings by Leonori

At one point, things were not looking very well for Italy. During the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Italy was the worst hit European nation and its death rate even surpassed China’s. What followed was a nationwide lockdown, transforming the vibrant country into a literal ghost town.

With major cities and their respective attractions devoid of tourists, and locals restricted to their homes and neighbourhoods, what resulted was unimaginable. The unmistakable Italian vibrancy was nowhere to be found. The colourful country often celebrated for its food, craft, people, and history became a shadow of its former self.

Not too long after, however, the Italian spirit would not allow itself to be contained within four walls. People across the country made use of their windows and balconies as a stage to play music, sing out loud, and socialise with neighbours – all at a safe distance. Yes, they might be locked in, but that wasn’t about to extinguish their inherent fieriness.

These events brought to mind the Italian jewellers we have worked with over the years. We wanted to find out how they were dealing with the temporary restrictions set in place and if it was getting in the way of the production of their brilliant creations. Here’s what they told us.

ELEONORA BOCCALATTE, LEONORI
leonorigioielli.com

Home Life
“I’ve been spending time at home with my family and sons, while dedicating myself to some garden work, as well as dreaming of new projects! I’m also taking this time to work on my creativity so that I can think of a new point-of-view for the Leonori brand once things have gone back to normal.”

Role of Luxury and Jewellery Today
“In a way, the role of luxury and jewellery still stays the same – to feel pleasure; a surge of emotion every time you wear your jewels on special occasions and memorable moments in your life. However, in the future, I believe that the brand you choose to support must also represent your way of thinking.”

Made in Italy Difference
“Jewellery is part of our DNA, together with quality, creativity, and refinement of style. The brand and business was founded by my grandfather, which was then passed on to my father. He then passed on the same values to his daughters. At the heart of it all, you can say that the jewellery we make is the result of pure passion.”

To Better Days
“Once things are back to normal, we hope our clients can help support the brand through word-of-mouth to their friends and family. Of course, we hope to have our clients and friends from around the world to visit us in Italy as soon as possible to create new memories.”

JACK ZYBERT, ZYDO
zydo.it

Home Life
“We have worked hard to keep our families safe – to ensure that our parents, spouses, and children were comfortable, while ensuring their days were as meaningful as possible. We have worked on using the additional time at home to advance projects that were left behind for any reason and to make progress on subjects and areas that were of personal interest. We have also constantly been in touch with our craftsmen, retailers, and clients around the world. In times like these, we have to be present for each other.”

Business Unusual
“For the first time in ZYDO’s 48-year history, we had to temporarily close our factory to preserve the health and wellbeing of our craftsmen, who are truly the heart of the company. Other employees at all our offices worldwide were asked to work from home too. However, essential operations were maintained. These include the creative and design team, as well as the distribution and sales team. Therefore, we have maintained our ability to quickly resume production of new collections and preserved our contact and support of all retail partners. We are working with them to make sure we are ready to provide them with everything they need as soon as they feel they are ready to resume operations.”

Valuable Lessons Learned
“There are a number of important managerial and financial lessons that a situation like this one teaches. However, the most fundamental lesson has to be the recognition of the centrality of the human element in all aspects of life and business. We have realised even more the importance of each and every one of our craftsmen, as well as the significance of our relationships with our retail partners. It is apparent to us that only companies that have invested and will further invest in those relationships will ultimately be successful.”

Made in Italy Difference
“The Italian jewellery industry has survived countless difficulties in its history, which spans centuries. Its resilience is found in that history, which is the product of the passion and love that Italians have for jewellery making and craftsmanship. Italians will continue to design and create jewellery, as well as other luxury products because of our affinity for beauty.”

MARCO VERDI, VERDI GIOIELLI
verdigioielli.com

Home Life
“Life at home has been fairly normal. I only go out when strictly necessary, all while enjoying the time spent with my family and doing online ‘smartworking’. The time at home also allowed me to think of plans for the business. One of them is when we are able to re-open, we will have to reduce our costs and have more flexible operating hours until things are fully back to normal.”

Role of Luxury and Jewellery Today
“In all honesty, I have to say that this difficult moment made it very clear that luxuries, such as jewellery, are not a priority around the world. However, I hope that when everything has gone back to ‘normal’, people will go back to enjoying life and jewellery will be desired again.”

Made in Italy Difference
“A pandemic, as bad as this one, cannot – and will not – cancel centuries of traditions and craftsmanship. I am confident that the ‘Made in Italy’ prestige will come back stronger in the future. A piece of jewellery that’s made in Italy is clearly recognisable for its style and elegance. No matter what its value is, it always brings a touch of class to the woman wearing it.”

CARLO PALMIERO, PALMIERO JEWELLERY DESIGN
palmierogioielli.com

Home Life
“We decided to close the company even before the lockdown notice as we care about the safety of our people first and to protect our market. We have stopped production and activated ‘smartworking’ for departments that allow for working from home, particularly the creative and design teams. During this period spent at home, we decided to take advantage of this moment for reflection and concentration. We still have many ideas and carried on with design work.”

Business Unusual
“The production activities have stopped. From home, we are reorganising a better working structure to get ready for our return and trying to save costs through smoother management of production. We are also continuing to take orders on ready items, while making it clear that we can only ship them once we are back to work. In addition, we maintain engagement with our followers and customers through communication via our social media network.”

Valuable Lessons Learned
“We love working as a team, where ideas come from many minds. Despite the negativity surrounding this period, the difficult situation has led us to see things in a positive light: Introspection is a fundamental part of the creative process. So work on yourself, love yourself, and learn how to handle the emotions first. And then, share and open up to others and this will lead to excellent results.”

To Better Days
“In the near future, the biggest help our clients can lend us is to continue to have the same trust in Palmiero. We hope they will have more passion for our creations and to never get tired of being curious. We have so many ideas, so much emotion, and so many new projects to share with them.”

DIEGO NARDIN, FOPE
fope.com

Home Life
FOPE’s headquarters closed during week 11, but everyone who could work remotely has been keeping busy from home. While we couldn’t craft our jewellery, there were still a lot of matters to deal with. From keeping the conversation flow with our stockists worldwide and supporting them from afar, to speaking with the public through social media, as well as reviewing projects in place and discussing new strategic scenarios.”

Valuable Lessons Learned
“Through this pandemic, we all learned that things can change very quickly and that change can represent opportunity as well. At this stage though, we also need to be cautious and flexible. The ‘future’ has taken on a new meaning.”

Contributing to the Community
“The company’s initial priority was to make sure employees welfare was guaranteed. Then, the founding family of FOPE made a donation to the local hospital. We also encouraged our social media followers to find out how they could contribute to their community. Everything helps and everyone can make the difference.”

Made in Italy Difference
“Heritage is key. There are a number of Italian brands that share the same core values and embody a lifestyle, recall a set of emotions and images that you cannot find elsewhere. Fine jewellery is part of a wider idea of beauty and style, which is clearly Italian. It is our duty to nurture it and to keep evolving around it. At FOPE, quality and design are part of the brand’s DNA. Everyday, we offer our distinctive interpretation of contemporary luxury to women and men around the world.”