Buro 24/7 Exclusive: An interview with Giorgio Damiani
Fine craftsmanship teamed with a deep passion for art, it is no surprise why Damiani has been a leading company in the jewellery and luxury watches business. Established in 1924 with nearly a century of history and expertise, the family business, which has been passed on from father to son, is currently run by the third generation of the Damiani family.
The Italian jewellery brand recently started a new chapter; the opening of their second boutique in Malaysia at Pavilion KL. Damiani's vice president, Mr Giorgio was in town to grace the ribbon-cutting ceremony and we managed to catch up with him for an exclusive interview, where he shares more about the family business, Italian craftsmanship and his love for jewellery:
Tell us a day in a life of Giorgio Damiani.
Waking up very early and working hard all day (laughs). In the morning, I like to get up early because it makes me more productive. I never have the same schedule - every day is different for me. For instance, right now, in two days, I went from Italy to Kuala Lumpur, then I'll be heading to Dubai and back to Italy.
Damiani has been managed by three generations in the family. Do you find it different how the company is run then and now?
Fortunately, yes! The market is ever evolving and we constantly have to think of new ways to stay on top of the business. We are very active on digital platforms like Facebook and Instagram because we know that it's important to get with the times. However, if there is one thing that remains the same all through the generations is the consistency in terms of quality and manufacturing. The brand was founded in 1924 by my grandfather was a craftsman himself. He took really good care of the products and prioritized the quality of the materials. That, and our passion for jewellery, is something that has always been very strong at Damiani through the years.
Other than the indisputable quality, what else does the brand offer that allows it to have its own unique selling point?
Innovative design is one of our biggest strengths at Damiani. As the holder of 18 Diamonds International Awards, we truly believe and understand the importance of creativity and originality. Besides that, Damiani is first and foremost a manufacturer. As mentioned, my grandfather was a goldsmith, so we have more than 90 years of experience in not only selling jewellery but developing them as well.
Speaking of designs, is the brand influenced by current trends?
At Damiani, we love to be innovative and contemporary but at the same time, timeless. It has always been a challenge for our designers because it's not easy to always strike that balance. We do a lot of product research and of course, our designers are very up-to-date. They are influenced by trends but they are more focused on creating something that is seasonless. To us, that is far more important.
What sets Italian jewellery apart from the others in the market?
I don't want to make to sound as if Italians do it better (laughs), but I think Italy has impeccable craftsmanship, and is rich in history and experience, which gives it an upper hand. One of our fortes is that we are creative and we are able to realise that creativity. The development of the product is equally as important as being artistic, if not more.
You've worked with numerous celebrities including Sharon Stone, Sophia Loren and Gwyneth Paltrow. Which celebrity would you like to work with next?
At the moment, we don't have a celebrity in mind. Of course, it's important for us to find a face for the brand or a new campaign but there are no plans to do so in the meantime. It is always a privilege to work with the stars but I believe timing plays an important role. We'll have to wait and see!
How would you describe a Damiani customer?
A Damiani customer is, first of all, very sophisticated. She is also contemporary and full of personality.
What do you love most about your job?
I love my job for my passion in jewellery, not because I'm forced to do it. When I come up with a new design idea and later have the first prototype in my hands, it gives me great satisfaction. It takes more than a year to get a finished product, so I always cherish every one of them like it's my own baby.
Share with us the secret to your success.
I'm a firm believer in the phrase, "Do what you love". To be successful, you have to be passionate about the work you do. Commit to your true passion and pursue your dreams. I think that is the formula for real success.
What's next for Damiani?
I would love to have Damiani to be the top jewellery brand in the world. This is something that all three generations have always desired.