VICENZAORO MARCH 2022, A POSITIVE NEW START

Unfortunately, the January edition, the first appointment for the jewelry industry of VicenzaOro Jewelry show, was postponed due to the pandemic.
But this also meant that the show could be held in a safer environment and with fewer travel restrictions. With empathy and solidarity for Ukraine, the exhibition showed careful optimism for our beloved jewelry industry.

A message of solidarity with Ukraine


Sure thing, we all thought that post-pandemic, we would be out of the woods and back to a new reality where we would find clients enthusiastically waiting for the marvelous creativity of jewelry designers and manufacturers. Ready for new jewelry, ready for a fresh new start.
But on the day the restrictions got lifted in my own country (the Netherlands), Russia decided to start an illegal war against neighboring Ukraine. The world faced yet another challenge and another worry about the immediate future.

VicenzaOro showed a beautiful art installation by artist Lorenzo Quinn called GIVE. Together with the blue and yellow carpet (instead of the normal red one), the show wanted to send a strong message to everyone visiting about peace.

Every conversation I had during the 4 days on the show started somehow with the situation in Ukraine. Some brands and manufacturers have a strong clientele in Ukraine and/ or Russia. Others work closely with Russian artisans. We are all aware that not all Russians support this war, but communications have fallen silent.

Growing numbers


The show had 24% more attendance than the VOS21 (September 2021)edition. More buyers from the U.S. visited the show. VicenzaOro is beloved for many reasons.
It's easy to visit with airports nearby and services from and to the airport (Venice). It's also easy to find (affordable) accommodation during the show itself. In this edition, the show hosted over 300 buyers and journalists itself, but for those traveling on their own expenses.
The show itself has lots of room for parking and busses are going on and off to the various hotels and to the train station.


Also, the show is enormous, but with its vast halls, it just never feels too crowded anywhere.
This show also hosts T.Gold, with 160+ booths filled with tools, machines, and everything needed for jewelry manufacturing and goldsmithing. I found this hall impressive as it was buzzing with life! Here exhibitors demonstrate their machines and have vivid conversations with people.

VicenzaOro always tries out new formats. This time it was VO'Clock Privé, a modest but beautiful selection of watch exhibitors with an unusual setting of informal booths, easy to approach, and direct contact with the visitors, which were also non-professional watch during the weekend lovers.

What stood out for me? The hospitality!


First of all, I have noticed that hospitality has become more and more critical to VicenzaOro. Apart from some people at the security at the entrance, almost everyone is incredibly friendly and helpful. I certainly remembered different times decades ago.
At VicenzaOro, the show showed a consistent kind and welcoming attitude, and I can only imagine that this is the effort of training and instructions. 

( I once wrote a column about Disney and what the industry could learn from them, one of those things is giving the customer, the visitor, the consistent feeling of a great experience)


''Other jewelry shows should take notes because this Italian show raised the bar!''

The show wasn't back to its former (pre-Covid) glory in terms of booths. But I hope it never will. I always disliked closed booths. We have all moved on to a more informal approach towards our business relations, towards others. More human, less blah blah.
Closed booths cause distance and the open character of most booths in the latest editions allow people to interact and connect much more. Something we seem to appreciate so much after the pandemic years.

Trends and more

As a theme, sustainability got out of the marketing talks. It has grown into a serious approach for many businesses within the jewelry supply chain. I was profoundly impressed and felt pride.
Why? Because for many years, the jewelry industry hasn't shown a very progressive attitude. Not in the way they marketed jewelry and products. But the opaqueness of the supply chain has been famously protected by many players. Now that seems to be ending. Not in one night, but the supply chain especially sends a solid message of dedication.
Coming from a healthy mix of realization that this is what the (future) clients demand from our industry, our pearl farmers, our gemstone suppliers, our goldmines, etc., and the internal longing to contribute to a better world and environment for both people and nature.
It gave me hope.

The challenge now is how to get these beautiful initiatives to the final consumer. Because these sustainability-conscious parties can share their stories proudly, but if they don't reach the final consumer, the marketing effect dies right there and then.

 

Trends in jewelry

Although I can't speak of actual short-term trends, valid only this Spring or Summer, I see a rise in the amount of bright-colored, often neon enameling on gold and silver. Combined with colored gemstones, the effect is just mind-blowingly beautiful!

I also noticed many silver brands with unique characteristics! Consistent in their collections, some so artistic, others with a great approach to building a collection and being a brand. Maria e Luisa jewels with her chiseled silver jewelry is a niche brand and popular in Italy. Miss, a brand with exquisite quality, is a player I have noticed for years. Then there was this Sicilian artist with her dreadlocks called Guliana di Franco with her gorgeous collection of Sicily-inspired jewelry. Or Polina Firenze with the animal-theme affordable range of jewelry.

I love to see how certain brands are featuring unisex or genderfluid jewelry. Actually, there were more guys than ever flaunting seriously fabulous jewelry! But some brands are nailing it with uber-cool genderfluid jewelry, such as the French brand Akillis.

I found the ever-impressive Alessio Boschi in the design room, who blew everyone away with his latest creations. Each piece, as usual, has a whole story to it. The inspiration, the cultural narrative, the hands of many skillful masters in several countries made Alessio's vision come true. This designer is a joy to spend time with and one of the jewelry geniuses of our time.

Once again, I noticed many pearls, coral, and turquoise. We have been mentioning for some time now how cool pearls are and how men are embracing the trend, but it takes time to trickle down from the famous stars to the people in the street. However, I noticed pearls everywhere. Like Coscia, their booth was constantly filled with buyers. Next to their beautiful pearl jewelry, they introduced a more affordable collection with a fun design.

Observations

If anything stood out for me, niche brands are gaining terrain. Seeking to enchant retailers ready to step away from the many years following brands blindly and gaining back some power by introducing smaller and original brands with a fresh new product. Not because they think to sell it to all their customers, but to attract and cater to a niche clientele. I like that.

For me, the show is a little bit like coming home. The kindness of the staff and the team led by the calm and always optimistic, and thoughtful director of the show, Marco Carnielo, are fantastic. This team creates a feeling of family for those close to the show. As journalists, bloggers, and influencers, we have enjoyed an excellent stay and many hours of laughter, sharing ideas, and inspiration. I ended my attendance with a long walk through Venice. I admired the town, observed the people, and reflected on all that I had experienced in the 4 days of VicenzaOro.
Can't wait to see what they will come up with; all those brands, designers, jewelry manufacturers, CIBJO teams, and last but not least: the golden team of the VicenzaOro show itself!

 

 

 

 
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Comments (1)

  • Luisa

    Luisa

    • 19 April 2022 at 09:09
    • #

    VICENZAORO was a great show with great inspiration. I'm already looking forward to the next trade fair

    reply

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