As part of our exclusive series of interviews dedicated to high-jewellery, CPP-LUXURY.COM has recently interviewed Jerome Favier, CEO of Italian jewellery house of DAMIANI
How did your company perform in 2018 and what are your expectations in 2019?
I’m glad of our last results in terms of sales and performance and we are writing now a new page of our history. Damiani Group promotes Italian excellence and creativity throughout a fantastic and unique portfolio of complementary Maisons, established or acquired over the course of its history: Damiani, founded in 1924 in Valenza by Enrico Grassi Damiani, Salvini a leading brand in contemporary jewelry; Bliss which targets a younger and fashion audience; Calderoni, a historical Milanese high-end jewelry brand founded in 1840; Rocca, the only chain of high-end jewelry and watches, founded in 1794; and finally Venini, the most prestigious Murano-based glassmaker whose artistic glassware are pieces of ART on display in leading museums worldwide.
What are the advantages but also the challenges of Damiani having remained majority family owned?
Damiani is well known for the excellence of its creations: every Damiani jewel is a unique work of art, handcrafted by expert goldsmiths and the result of unique designs, great attention to detail and the use of high quality gems. The history and the know how of the company is strongly related to the history of the Damiani Family.
The secrets of this fascinating craft have been handed down from generation to generation, from the founder Enrico Damiani to his son Damiano, and successively to his grandsons, Guido, Silvia and Giorgio, who own the company today, interpreting the brand’s legendary heritage and its underlying values with a progressive look to the future.
Which are your key markets? Do you operate any boutiques directly? What is your franchising model?
The perception of Damiani is very strong in Italy which is our first market, where DAMIANI Maison was founded, but we have driven progressively an international footprint thanks to the opening of more than 70 boutiques in all key cities. In terms of products our 6 key collections best seller everywhere, namely, Belle Epoque, Eden, Margherita, D Side, D Icon, Metropolitan dream, and our High Jewellery creations are loved by all our international clients.
For this reason Damiani has prestigious single-brand boutiques in the most exclusive luxury shopping and culture capitals in the world, including Milan, Rome, Paris, London, Dubai, Tokyo, Beijing and Moscow, in addition to selective distribution through major department stores and multi-brand shops.
How important is the presence of Damiani in a mono-brand environment in a key market?
Mono-brands are important because we can offer our best services to our clients: they are not simply boutiques but for us they are little “Club of diamonds” where clients come to discover our best creations in exclusive, where we provide the best in class customer experience with our Italian touch. Our boutique are actually a kind of embodiment of La Casa DAMIANI, where we offer a lot of activities such as luxury dinners, training courses about precious stones, lessons with the most important universities…
Are there any markets / regions you are particularly looking to expand?
First we want to consolidate our presence in each market because the competition with the biggest groups is very intense. We capitalize on our strong identity, full of authenticity, legacy, creativity and family values, which are unique in this sector, and give us a real point of distinction. In order to communicate this we work on a omni channel strategy.
For several years, Damiani is actively present at Paris Haute Couture. How important is this association for your house?
We follow the rhythm of the Fashion and Couture week because our jewellery collections reflect this continuous need for creativity and style. We usually organize the presentation of our High Jewellery collections during Paris Couture Week: we invite top clients, celebrities and international journalists to our boutique in Place Vendome to discover our new creations. For examples, in January, the Maison has reinterpreted this iconic “Notte Di San Lorenzo” collection with two new sets, made up of a ring, bracelet and earrings, that reflect the original design in a brand new burst of colour. Indeed, colour represents one of the latest Damiani trends, with many of its iconic collections, such the phenomenal Butterfly rings, the new Mimosa and Emozioni creations, and the latest colourful D.Side jewels, which were launched in new colour variants last year.
You have several partnerships / collaboration with football – not an obvious association. Tell us more.
In general, we have a lot of collaborations with celebrities: the excellence of our creations has been admired by many stars, including Sharon Stone, Tilda Swinton, Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt, not to mention Italy’s Isabella Rossellini and Sophia Loren, all of whom have selected the brand to celebrate their successes.
And actually this is not new as it is clearly part of our DNA, and stars and celebrities really appreciate to be able to inter-act with a true Family. One of the most important collaboration with a football player was in 2016: we created with Hidetoshi Nakata the collection “Metropolitan Dream by H. Nakata”: characterised by a captivating and modern design, Metropolitan jewels are the maximum expression of simple and refined contemporary taste with a clean aesthetics and minimal lines.
We have collaborated also with Brad Pitt: designed in 2001 by Hollywood star and crafted by Damiani’s Master goldsmiths in Valenza, the original D.Side collection also drew inspiration from the circle, with a pair of concentric rings, joined by brilliant-cut diamonds, turning into a metaphysical meeting place for two souls; the union of two people, into a unique and indissoluble bond. We launched a new extension last year in September..
Are your products available online? What is your strategic approach to online sales?
Yes, we have an e-commerce at damiani.com where clients can buy all our collections. Online sales are obviously important for our brand and we hope to increase our results in the next years. For this reason, we just released a new website in order to simplify the purchase channel and have greater user experience. We offer a special service: “book your boutique appointment”, many customers pre-book on-line the jewel they want to try and then they come to the boutique for finalizing the payment.
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