Vicenza, Italy. Sept. 10, 2020. Making new jewelry and taking online yoga lessons are among the ways designer Laurent Gandini and partner Cristina Costantini spent the quarantine, but both will emerge from hibernation this weekend at the Vicenzaoro VOICE fair taking place Sept. 12–14, 2020, in Vicenza. Below, Costantini weighs in on how they passed their time during quarantine from their home in Milan and their expectations for sales at the upcoming show.
Jennifer Heebner: How did you and Laurent spend your time in quarantine?
Cristina Costantini: Laurent passed the entire lockdown period in our house and atelier developing new ideas and creating new pieces of jewelry. I personally was focused on myself, playing harp and doing online yoga lessons. I was also learning more about how to develop online business, and I learned a lot about Google ADwords and analytics. Basically, we took the time for ourselves that we never had!
JH: What are your expectations for business at the fair?
CC: We’re expecting to do a little business, but we are also waiting for surprises—you never know. Here in Italy, the COVID situation is not so bad right now.
JH: What have your retail clients been telling you about business leading up to the fair?
CC: Retailers told us they worked very well the two months after the lockdown and that, surprisingly, they are still working.
JH: What does business in Italy look like now? Is it starting to pick up?
CC: Business is not going bad. If the situation remains the same as now, we’re expecting to work the same way we did last year, or maybe more because no travel and no restaurants means that people have to gratify themselves in some way and jewelry is one way! Also, retailers bought very few pieces in the first part of the year, and now they need to have more merchandise.
JH: What is the focus of your newest pieces?
CC: From our collections, people in Europe are buying much more 9k gold instead of sterling silver. Our accounts in the U.S. are very shy in buying now.
JH: What kind of Christmas season are you expecting in Italy and in the U.S.?
CC: I don’t know about the U.S., but we are expecting a nice Christmas season in terms of business in Italy. Maybe not in the classic tourist areas, but generally we expect a nice Christmas.
JH: Tell me about your newest jewelry collection.
CC: It is called Lucine, which means little lights in Italian. We show chains of diamond beads with small gold items from our collections; the pieces are very shiny, and some have colorless rock crystal. They are not yet on our website, but you can see some jewels on our Instagram account @laurent_gandini_gioielli. Retail prices for Lucine start at €550. We are hoping that Lucine will be in stores in Europe and the U.S. by the beginning of the new year.
Navette ring in 9k rose gold with brown diamonds, €990; email Info@laurentgandini.com for purchase
Giudecca earrings in 9k rose gold with hooks in 18k rose gold and brown diamonds, €1,900; email Info@laurentgandini.com for purchase
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