For Maria Cristina Buccellati, precious metals and gems run in her blood. Along with her father, head designer Gianmaria Buccellati, and brother, Andrea Buccellati, she has expanded the centuries-old Milanese jewelry house into an international symbol of handcrafted finery. Buccellati was recently named the most exclusive jewelry brand in the United States by the Luxury Institute, and the woman in charge of the company’s public profile spoke with Naples Illustrated about style, artistic inspiration and her upcoming visit for a November 9 trunk show at Provident Jewelry with a not-to-be-missed collection of rare and vintage pieces.
NI: Do you have a favorite memory of growing up in the family business?
BUCCELLATI: I remember being very little and going after school to play with all the new jewels on my father’s desk instead of with dolls.
Working with family can be tough. What is the dynamic like?
The daily contact with my father’s and brother’s creativity creates a shared philosophy and at the same time maintains the integrity and the tradition of the brand.
This year marks the sixtieth anniversary of the brand in the U.S. market. Is the American clientele different from the European clientele?
I would say that our clients’ style and sophistication makes the real difference, not their origin; our creative inspiration and artisanal techniques are what resonate throughout the world.
Buccellati jewelry has been described as extremely collectible. What influences are seen in the pieces people covet?
Art and nature are a source of inspiration that is woven into most of the designs and patterns. We like to use rare gems with peculiar shapes and intense colors that inspire the creative instinct, and that enables us to produce many wonderful one-of-a-kind collections. Each jewel is handcrafted using venerable techniques dating back to the Renaissance era. There is a reference to motifs belonging to classic architecture, Rococo and Baroque styles, where the representation of foliage designs, fruits and natural elements is also incorporated. It is Buccellati’s prerogative to keep these traditions alive.
How would you describe your personal style?
I tend to lean toward essentials. I think purity is synonymous with elegance. I have a preference for neutral colors like beige, grey and black. Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” and I totally agree. White is my favorite color. As for jewelry, I mainly wear pearls embellished with diamonds.
Is there anything you are looking forward to doing while you are in Naples?
I have never been to Naples before; I am ready for an emotional journey, meeting new, fantastic people.