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In Memoriam: Jewelry Designer Roberto Faraone Mennella

Roberto Faraone Mennella in New York City in 1993

New York City. June 5, 2020. Italian jewelry designer Roberto Faraone Mennella, co-founder of the RFMAS Group, AMEDEO.shop, FaraoneMennella.com, and Robertobyrfm.com, succumbed to cancer early yesterday morning following a nearly yearlong battle with the disease.

Lifelong friend and business partner Amedeo Scognamiglio made the announcement on Facebook yesterday.

“My best friend, my rock, my mentor, my ‘eyes,’ my first date and endless love is now Light,” wrote Scognamiglio. “Roberto is finally free, healthy, smiling, happily sketching jewels and interiors in his new home in Heaven. He wanted to go before me, so that when my time comes our house and showroom in the sky will be ready to welcome me and my mess.”

The pair debuted the Faraone Mennella jewelry brand in 2001, when it was quickly picked up by Neiman Marcus and other high-end jewelry stores. The Faraone Mennella signature is graphic and playful, a marriage of Italian craftsmanship and contemporary design born in their shared culture of Torre del Greco, Italy, and honed over a friendship that started in childhood; their jewelry is a wearable celebration, a direct reflection of the pure joy of their shared lives, experiences, and those who loved and supported them.

Faraone Mennella had studied law in Italy prior to moving to New York City to secure a design marketing degree from Parsons The New School for Design. His professional life took off when Scognamiglio joined him stateside and the two teamed up to design jewelry, paving the way for the successful ventures—which also included a costume diffusion line—that followed.

In mid-March, the typically private Faraone Mennella posted a photo of himself post chemotherapy and opened up about his illness amidst the Covid-19 pandemic that ravaged his beloved home country. He encouraged fellow citizens to stay home to fight the spread of the virus and thanked the “thousands nurses and doctors taking care of us and working nonstop despite the harsh work hours and exhaustion to save our lives.”

Gannon Brousseau, executive vice president of Emerald Expositions and director of the Couture jewelry show, reflects on Faraone Mennella’s contributions to the jewelry design community.

“Roberto was elegant, brilliant, and caring. His legacy as an innovator who created his own distinctive path in jewelry will be recognized for years to come, and he will also be fondly remembered for his warmth and kindness. He had a generous spirit, and he was always willing to help and support anyone, even those who others might view as ‘competitors.’ His love for Capri and Naples was unconditional, and he delighted in inviting friends and clients to share in his proud heritage. His dedication to his family and friends was unrivaled; he will be greatly missed for both his talent and his friendship.”

Faraone Mennella’s last Instagram post was one week ago and featured a happy photo of himself and Scognamiglio in their early days.

Roberto Faraone Mennella in New York City in 1993
Source: @robertofaraonemennella on Instagram

Roberto Faraone Mennella in New York City in 1993
Source: @robertofaraonemennella on Instagram

“I had just turned 22 years old that evening (as of today I still have those dumbbells the birthday gift) then I had dinner with friends at Chez Black…it seems like yesterday but the main question is why am I wearing a suit?! Ahaha @amedeokingofcameos

Following Faraone Mennella’s wishes, a small private service will be held in the family’s chapel.

Cassandra earrings in 18k gold and sterling silver with 4.8 cts. t.w. rubies, 2.92 cts. t.w. blue sapphires, and 18.1 cts. t.w. red tourmaline, $22,500; available online at Faraone Mennella

Cassandra earrings in 18k gold and sterling silver with 4.8 cts. t.w. rubies, 2.92 cts. t.w. blue sapphires, and 18.1 cts. t.w. red tourmaline, $22,500; available online at Faraone Mennella

Roberto Faraone Mennella in New York City in 1993
Source: @robertofaraonemennella on Instagram

Roberto Faraone Mennella in New York City in 1993
Source: @robertofaraonemennella on Instagram

Drop earrings in 14k yellow gold with purple garnets and diamonds, $1,300 at K.Jon’s

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  • In Memoriam: Jewelry Designer Roberto Faraone Mennella

    New York City. June 5, 2020. Italian jewelry designer Roberto Faraone Mennella, co-founder of the RFMAS Group, AMEDEO.shop, FaraoneMennella.com, and Robertobyrfm.com, ...
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