Vicenzaoro is hosting 12 designers as part of a new platform called The Design Room.
Vicenzaoro is hosting 12 designers as part of a new platform called The Design Room.
Vicenza, Italy--Regular visitors to the Vicenzaoro January trade show, going on now in Vicenza, Italy, are being introduced to a fresh crop of design talent this year.

Nikos Koulis, Daniela Villegas and Fernando Jorge are three of the 12 designers participating in “The Design Room,” a new, carefully curated section of the show highlighting contemporary and, largely, independent fine jewelry designers at the top of their craft.

The group is distinctly international.

Koulis hails from Greece, Villegas from Mexico (though she resides and produces her jewelry in L.A.) and Jorge is Brazilian-born but lives in London while maintaining his workshop in his home city of São Paolo.

Of the bunch, only Qayten, Federica Rettore and Netali Nissim are Italian.

The Design Room is located in the posh “Icon” section of the show, home to luxury design houses like Pasquale Bruni and Antonini.

The addition of the platform comes under Vicenzaoro’s new ownership by the Italian Exhibition Group (IEG), formed by last year’s merger between Fiera di Vicenza, the previous owner, and Rimini Fiera.

Vicenzaoro January 2017 is the first show since the merger, and for IEG Executive Vice President Matteo Marzotto the introduction of The Design Room is an indicator of the show’s renewed commitment to gauging the pulse of the jewelry industry, delivering design that represents the freshest trends and innovation.

Marzotto told National Jeweler that, “The Design Room is an innovative concept that aims to celebrate creativity and wants to represent jewels that take a new vision of reality and mold it into form and substance, thus showing a new path for the whole industry and more in general for the jewelry global business.”

He continued, “As a unique pioneering monitoring unit, we are trained to catch up with the latest global jewelry news in the business. The new area in Vicenzaoro January 2017 shows 12 iconic young designers who have been praised by top brands. The Design Room represents an absolute newness in the Vicenzaoro format, highlighting once again our show’s role as the cradle for innovation.”

The Design Room is the first trade show experience for a number of the brands exhibiting there.

Villegas, for one, typically connects with buyers biannually at Paris Fashion Week but decided to make her tradeshow debut at Vicenzaoro upon receiving an invitation to be among the inaugural class of The Design Room. It’s provided her a chance to establish rapports with other brands that appeal to a similar buyer and client and face comparable challenges.

“My experience at Vicenzaoro has been a wonderful one,” she said. “I am honored to have been invited by Mr. Marzotto to exhibit at the inauguration of The Design Room and to be among an amazing group of talented designers.”

Koulis, on the other hand, is experienced in trade shows, exhibiting annually at Baselworld, the Couture show in Las Vegas as well as the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition in Qatar and Jewellery Arabia in Bahrain, two business-to-consumer events.

“I enjoy being shown with talented and influential designers in The Design Room,” Koulis concurred of his first experience at Vicenzaoro.

Representing his creations at shows, whether to retailers or private clients, gives Koulis opportunities to personally manage his branding.

“My vision is to keep a selected network of stockists around the world that understand my brand and have the right clientele for it,” he said. “I know what clients want from my own boutiques so I want to convey this experience and philosophy to the points of sale, so as to represent my creations in my precise way.”

The other brands chosen to participate in The Design Room are Elie Top, Sutra, Magerit, Rodney Rayner, Sarah Ho and Zara Simon.

Marzotto stressed that there is a lot to be gleaned from the work of the brands featured in the new space, saying, “The most advanced contemporary jewelry macro-trends nowadays develop an intangible mix-and-match pairing of design with creativity, research with experimentation. It’s a sort of constant interexchange evolution between the newest techniques in production and the expectations from the market.”

The IEG has yet to confirm if The Design Room will continue at future Vicenzaoro shows.

Vicenzaoro January concludes Wednesday.

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