As one of Italy’s most prestigious jewellers, the Buccellati name is synonymous with exquisite gems and watches.
The company’s president, Andrea Buccellati, spoke to Gafencu recently about how he got started in the family business, why Buccellati never uses outside designers and how his daughter is moving the brand forward.
Describe a typical day for you.
I don’t really have a typical day because I cover the business worldwide. When I have the time, however, I follow the production of new designs day-by-day, including any prototypes we have.
My role as president also takes me across the world because it is important for the Buccellati brand to be close to its clients. Travel takes up a lot of my year.
You started working with your dad when you were 16. Did you explore any other career options or were you always destined to join the family business?
I think it was destiny in a certain way to join the family business. I have always loved to create and use my hands, even when I was a little kid. Thankfully, I had the perfect opportunity to develop this with my family.
When I was 12 years old I knew I wanted to work in the family business and at 16 I started to work in the office with my father after school.
At the start it was just to learn how the business worked. But once I turned 18, I started the serious full time work every day.
The Buccellati tradition is to keep creative skills within the family and not use outside designers. Why is this?
It is a very important tradition because the history of the Buccellati family is to have designers from each generation.
The logic for this is very simple: you keep the style and tradition within the family. By sticking to this tradition, you don’t have a lot of influence from outside markets which means you don’t copy other products.
Also, it is not enough to just design, you have to know how to create jewellery. And in order to create jewellery for us, you have to live Buccellati.
My daughter has followed in this tradition and she is the future of Buccellati.
How do you and your daughter, Lucrezia Buccellati, work together to design the jewellery?
We see each other in Milan and New York, where she lives. We spend time together working on designs and coming up with ideas.
Inspiration is very important and when I am in New York I am in contact with a different world. It is a more dynamic world than in Italy.
How has working with your daughter helped to move the brand forward?
Lucrezia is the first woman to ever have this role within the company (creative designer) so she comes in with a lot of new ideas and she helps us take a different approach. Her input is for a product that is wearable, young and fresh. She is the perfect person to move Buccellati forward.
What do you draw inspiration from when you’re creating jewellery?
Sometimes I will see a beautiful painting and imagine jewellery. Sometimes I look at a beautiful woman or nature or architecture. It is a mixture of many things.
How do you view Hong Kong as a jewellery destination compared to the US and Europe?
The mixture of different cultures makes Hong Kong a very interesting market. Our Asian clients are more concerned about the details of a piece and understanding the background of the jewellery. It is not just about buying.