“I believe we should wait until the end of the fair before drawing conclusions,” she says in an email interview. “VOICE is a new format, tailored for this delicate situation. Let’s stay positive, but let’s also be aware it may not be the usual fair we know.”
Leading up to the show, her European retailers were eager for a restart. Many had stayed in touch throughout Italy’s lockdown by way of technology and were enthused at the prospect of meeting in person. “The European retailers at the fair are ones who are definitely looking for a reconnection,” she explains.
And while it’s too soon to expect a recovery, Mattioli observes that the general mood of Italians has improved compared with the winter. “People are being careful and are trying to follow the rules, but there is also a desire for normality,” she says.
Mattioli expands further on a return to business in the paragraphs below.
Jennifer Heebner: How did you and your family spend your time during lockdown?
Licia Mattioli: Being at home gave me the chance to spend more time with my family. Since I am always traveling a lot, I took the chance to rediscover a new way of life, definitely slower than what I am used to. I even had the chance to bake! But being “slow” doesn’t necessarily mean to not move forward. This slow time at my home also gave me the chance to rethink about my collections and Mattioli’s communication strategies. We were facing a hard time during which we were forced to reinvent the way we could interact with one another and the way we could share positive messages, but no business doesn’t mean you freeze a brand’s growth.
JH: What are Italian jewelry collectors buying now in terms of looks, materials, and price points?
LM: The general trend is to seek more-affordable prices, stacking pieces, and also to find jewels that can engage a younger target of customers. This is also one of the reasons why we’ve decided to introduce more color options and new materials to our latest collection, Ever. It is a collection of 18k rose gold jewels which includes stones like black diamonds, coral, turquoise, pink opal, and malachite. It has the great quality of handcrafted Italian jewelry but has a much younger look, perfect for those who are seeking for an unconventional jewel.
JH: What are your U.S. accounts telling you now about business?
LM: It is a difficult time. Customers are looking for more affordable prices, but on the other side, when a customer goes into a jewelry shop nowadays, it is actually because he or she wants to buy something. They don’t just hang around for ideas, it seems that those few customers know what they want and what they are looking for. Probably an improvement in terms of web communication and social media strategies worked out well to show them brands, jewelry options, and other useful information even during the lockdown.
JH: What kind of Christmas season are you expecting in Italy and in the U.S.?
LM: We expect a slow resumption around Christmas in Italy. Fall season will be probably slow, I feel people may still be cautious, but after so many months at home I feel there is a deep desire to go outside and enjoy life again. This may also translate into a sales resumption. In the U.S. we are hoping for a new season for our historical distributor Neiman Marcus.
JH: Tell me about your newest jewelry collection.
LM: Our newest collection is called Ever. It is inspired by the iconic “stud” shape of our masterpieces in the Reve_r collection. Ever is already available in stores both in Europe and in the U.S. The entry price is $1,000. We are also launching a new high-end parure of a cuff, ring, and earrings at The Voice. These are one-of-a-kind jewels in titanium and white and black diamonds and are inspired by the great architectures of Calatrava.
We are glad to announce that in the next weeks our new e-shop for the U.S. market will be launched. Customers will have the chance not only to purchase our jewels but also to interact with our Puzzle customizable products. We’ve developed a configurator through which the selection of our interchangeable mother-of-pearls will be fun and easy. We are very proud to introduce this new technology, and we are really looking forward to receiving feedback from our customers. Puzzle is our most iconic collection and our best seller all around the world, so it is thrilling to have a new tool to properly show the collection.
Ever ring in 18k gold with black diamonds, $1,520; email email@example.com for purchase
Ever earrings in 18k gold with turquoise, $2,040; email firstname.lastname@example.org for purchase
Ever necklace in 18k gold with coral, $5,600; email email@example.com for purchase
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