Vicenza, Italy. Sept. 13, 2020. Two of jewelry maker Antonini’s principals—Sergio Antonini, art director, and Graziano Cason, sales director—weighed in with their thoughts on business for the current edition of the Vicenzaoro VOICE fair, Sept. 12–14. The brand maintains that business now is hard to gauge but, overall, expects fewer attendees, albeit ones who are intent on buying.
“The ones who will come will be very focused on business and hopefully willing of placing new orders,” insists Antonini. Cason agrees.
“In some areas the business is picking up,” he says. “We really hope we will have a business increase by the end of November, beginning of December. Probably not as the previous years, but never say never!” The pair share more insights in the following interview.
Jennifer Heebner: What have your retailer clients been telling you about business leading up to the fair?
Graziano Cason: It’s still unpredictable at the moment, but we continue to work and to stay close to our clients. For us, it is important that we are a small size because when we come back to a quite normal life, there is the possibility to start to travel abroad and hold little events in clients’ boutiques where the epidemic has ended.
For us, it is also crucial to underline our major asset that is the extreme quality of our jewels. Other brands maybe have eye-catching collections that are very well pushed by important marketing activities, but not a really good product in terms of manufacturing.
JH: What does business in Italy look like now? Is it starting to pick up?
GC: Unfortunately, it is still slow at the present time. We hope that women might try to find gratification by rewarding themselves with something that will withstand the test of time, and this could, in fact, be an item of jewelry. We also believe that, on the scale of values that will affect our choice of jewel, we will no longer only give importance to the economic (or investment) aspect of the product but look more at the manufacturing quality, different design content, and the possibility of wearing it every day and enjoying it more intimately.
JH: What are Italian jewelry collectors buying now in terms of looks, materials, and price points?
GC: Regarding our peculiar design, black rhodium finish is still hot, especially for one-of-a-kind jewels. Yellow polished gold is coming back, and a medium-to-high price point.
JH: What are your U.S. accounts telling you now about business?
GC: It depends from state to state and city to city, but in some of them business is still down while in some others it’s really picking up thanks to private and safe events.
JH: Tell me about your newest jewelry collection.
Sergio Antonini: It is our Anniversary 100 collection, we designed it for our 100th birthday as we were founded in 1919 in Milan. It is made up of around 30 pieces that range in retail price from $2,500–$18,000. We presented it at the January Vicenzaoro fair, so since February some of our retailers have it in their boutiques. But then with the Covid-19 infection, everything was frozen; this September show could be a really good moment to introduce the line to the ones that still haven’t seen it in Europe. In the U.S., we planned to attend the Couture show and JIS, but both of them were erased. We confirmed our participation to Select Jewelry Show, Nov. 1–2, 2020, at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., and hopefully this will be the moment to introduce it to the U.S. market and stores.
Anniversary 100 rings in 18k gold, $3,440–$4,030; email email@example.com for purchase
Anniversary 100 earrings in 18k gold, $6,780; email firstname.lastname@example.org for purchase
Anniversary 100 cuff bracelet in 18k gold, $17,890; email email@example.com for purchase
Anniversary 100 necklace in 18k gold, $23,410; email firstname.lastname@example.org for purchase
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