Portfolio of Kimberly Johans

A collection of articles created during my stint as a journalist at The Macau Daily Times

Damiani jewellery brings sexy Italian style to Macau

Posted by Kimberly on October 28, 2007

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
October 28, 2007, page 4 (640 words)

Giorgio Damiani arrived in Macau to celebrate the opening of one of his world-famous jewellery stores at the Venetian Macao yesterday.
Despite his brief time here, he chose to speak with The Macau Daily Times about the passion, creativity and celebrities behind those diamonds.
It’s easy to get carried away with the fact that celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Brad Pitt, Isabella Rosselini and Jennifer Aniston, who have been known to wear and model some of the collections. Even Mark Brown, Venetian Macao’s president, admitted yesterday to eyeing a couple of pieces.
“It’s not my eye that’s on it, it’s someone else’s eye. I just have the chequebook.”
Yet, with the family business currently seeing its third generation, through Giorgio, his brother and sister, making international inroads, it’s usually the jewellery that ends up taking centre stage.
“The most important thing about jewellery is that its a very emotional thing, something that really makes a lot of people’s dreams,’ said Giorgio Damiani, the company’s vice president.
Having begun in 1924 with his grandfather, Giorgio believed that his father Damiano Grassi Damiani, “was really the person who started to make Damiani a brand, introducing new strategies and new marketing and communication systems.”
As for what this current generation has brought to the business, “after the death of my father, we developed brand internally. This is what our support was really over the past 12-15 years. We brought the brand all over the world, opening boutiques in prestigious areas like Paris, ,New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong of course and now even in Macau,” he said.
His role within the company constitutes the development of the prototype and design, “selecting design from our team of designers and bringing the design to the first prototype.”
This process, he added, can take anywhere from two to six months, sometimes even a year, depending on the piece.
“Normally we create one collection for following year, with one year in advance,” he said.
While there are, of course, several copies made for some of the collections those that were shown at the venetian yesterday evening to celebrate the opening were unique.
With their concentration pretty much focused solely on jewellery, bar a step in the direction of watches, it’s no wonder Damiani has won 18 Diamond International Awards over the past years.
The Damiani woman, according to Giorgio, is an international one, with global tastes, with the jewellery itself capable of being worn on a daily basis, rather than “just for special occasions.”
Asked what his favourite pieces were, Giorgio admitted that it was difficult because “of course being part of the process of development, every piece we launch each year is a kind of ‘baby’ for me.”
Yet when prompted, he decided on pieces he considers a “must” such as “a wonderful ring called the ‘gomitolo’” which “is still one of my favourite pieces, even if we created it more than 10 years ago,” he said.
Another example he gave was the ‘belle e poque’ collection “which is very well known for the crosses. This is a perfect example of what a woman can wear to enjoy everyday, not just for special occasions,” he said.
Having already been based in Hong Kong, first in IFC but more recently in the new shopping mall, Elements, Macau seemed a natural progression.
“We think it’s very strong and will be stronger in the future, so it’s a very strategic point of sale for us, as you can reach a very huge community of people. I was told there were more than 3 billion people within five hours so for us that was very interesting,” he added.
China may well be on the horizon, said Giorgio, “we are looking very strongly now and it will be possible very soon, we hope. India will also be very interesting for us.”

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