The jewellery industry has been an envied one for decades, hence it comes as no surprise that during the recent Dubai Jewellery Week thousands had flocked to see many of the trendsetting creations of the year. Rendezvous With V had the opportunity to do an interview with Mr Corrado Facco – Managing Director of Fiera di Vicenza, who launched a flagship networking platform at the show for the jewellery business community in Dubai –  a city known as one of the world’s top trading hubs for gold, jewellery, gemstones and diamonds. Having embarked on a 32 city global roadshow and visiting almost 23 countries to develop new relationships and cement existing partnerships with key industry partners, the platform – Vicenzaoro, has become integral for influencers within the high-end jewellery sector.

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1. What was the inspiration to launch a networking platform for the jewellery community? And why chose Dubai?

Demand for international gold and jewellery is huge, however, opportunities to unite the business community behind it have previously been more limited. With that in mind, we wanted to create a privileged opportunity for key players in jewellery production to come together, to present their latest and exclusive collections to the most qualified international buyers and industry influencers. In doing so, we would be able to open up access to whole markets of the Middle East, Russia, Africa, Central and South-East Asia.

As such, Vicenzaoro was born, an event-driven format that creates a networking platform designed for the jewellery business community to come together. By providing the chance for buyers to unite during their business visit, we are proud to support the future of the jewellery industry on a global scale. This will be done through a series of networking events, seminars on the latest trends, one-to-one business meetings, conference and workshops organized with leading international organisations.

Now in its second year, Dubai, as one of the major luxury destinations in the world, was a natural choice to host Vicenzaoro. Indeed, the Middle East itself was ranked 10th among the top global luxury markets in the world, according to the latest report by Bain & Co. What’s more, the study forecasts that spending by ultra-high net worth individuals in the UAE is expected to continue to rise, with almost a third of the wealth managers polled saying that they expected their clients to step up expenditure on luxury goods including jewellery.

Added to this, further insight from the industry also supports this stance. For instance, the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index 2015, lends additional weight to support the focus on spending in the luxury sector. According to the report, almost a third of respondents to The Wealth Report’s Attitudes Survey expected their wealthy clients to spend more on luxury goods in 2015, compared with just 8% who expected it to decline. The general outlook for luxury spending also continues to look positive.

As such, this makes the region a true land of opportunity for the jewellery sector and therefore represents a fantastic community for the jewellery industry to align themselves with and learn more about the market.

 

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2. What sort of successes have you seen in Dubai so far? And what has the general market uptake been on Vicenzaoro?

In 2015, more than 6,000 regional and international visitors visited Vicenzaoro Dubai, coming from over a 110 countries. The first edition was a huge success, enabling the jewellery industry, from wholesalers, importers, exporters and manufacturers to come together under one roof. We are aiming to build on the positive feedback that took place this year to open up a new chapter in the jewellery industry, where we cement its position as one of the world’s top trading hubs for gold, jewellery, gemstones and diamonds.

Visitors attending the 2016 show will represent the best in the sector. With the opportunity to present their latest, exclusive collections to the most qualified international operators, buyers and visitors from four strategic markets: Middle East, Eurasia, North and East Africa, Central and South Asia.

We have seen a great uptake so far, and the 2016 addition will feature an exclusive agenda of networking events in cooperation with leading international organisations, all supporting the future of the jewellery sector globally.

 

3. In terms of trends for fine jewellery, where do you see the industry heading? And where do you hope it will go?

In terms of trends, we are proud to have unveiled TRENDVISION Jewellery + Forecasting, Fiera di Vicenza’s independent world forecasting Observatory.  These trends are mixed and varied, but broadly fall into different consumer profiles. We feel there will be four megatrends together with their relative consumer profiles for 2016, these fall into:

“The Essentialist”, which identifies those consumers belonging to the Airy Perspective megatrend – inspired by geometric patterns and minimalist shapes

“The Romantic”, with its ethereal look enriched by dark tones, an expression of the Dramatic Poetry megatrend

“The Exoticist”, an emblem to multi-cultural, luxurious and eclectic elegance, typical of the Global Delights megatrend

“The Digitalist”, with its ultra-modern and futuristic style of the Digital(East) megatrend.

Despite these consumer profiles revealing the trends, we still see that classic jewellery with high craftsmanship reigns strong. From the Renaissance to the modern day, we still see that, Italian jewellery, for instance, has continued to stand out. This is in no small part down to its extraordinary combination of aesthetic qualities and craftsmanship, a pairing of beauty and quality in which “Made in Italy” continues to excel.

In addition, industry insight also points to the focus on coloured diamonds being a particular trend at the moment. In fact, their value has raised 48 percent over the past five years and 149 percent over the past decade according to the Knight Frank, Luxury Investment Index 2015.

 

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4. What sort of collaboration are you hoping to forge during the jewellery week? And what are your long term aspirations for the Middle Eastern Region as a whole?

Throughout the four days of VOD 2016, we are hoping to forge long term collaborations between key players in the jewellery industry to provide them with the most up-to-date innovations from the industry. We have a host of programmes on offer that will see seminars being delivered on the latest trends, as well as see us enable one-to-one business meetings, conferences and workshops.

At next year’s event, our strategic partners will include L’Azurde, the largest gold and jewellery designer, manufacturer and distributor in the Middle East, the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group (DGJG), a trade association with more than 700 members and also the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC). As part of our collaborative partnerships, we are also looking forward to welcoming the Dubai Jewellery Community, represented by members of the Gold Souk as well as Global Brands  such as Dhamani, Lamarquise, Jawhara Jewellery, Malabar Gold and Diamonds and the 7Cs.

These new and returning partners will provide a strong platform for the community to forge key collaborations in the jewellery industry. We are looking forward to continuing to build on the momentum we have seen so far and further cement Dubai’s reputation as a leading global trading hub for gold, jewellery, gemstones and diamonds.

 

5. Current jewellery seems to have more cultural influence in their designs. Does this appeal to the larger demographic or do you think people are more inclined towards simpler cuts and patterns?

Individuals naturally still have different tastes and requirements when it comes to jewellery. Fine jewellery is still very much in vogue, with companies and artisans exhibiting their high-quality creations with a mix of gold, silver, gems and other innovative materials. That said, jewellers often take inspiration from the country they reside in. A jewellery designer’s cultural influence, tastes and nuances, are naturally reflected in the design of the piece, and this will prove popular amongst local audiences.

When it comes to appealing to a larger demographic, it again goes back to that high quality craftsmanship and design. This will always prove popular on the global stage. Timeless collections which include precious stones and gems will continue to be valued by the international community as a result.

 

6. What sort of events and initiatives do you have planned as part of Vicenzaoro? And what is your long term vision for the community it brings together?

We have a catalogue of events planned for Vicenzaoro in the near future that we’re very excited about. Road Show campaigns across 23 countries and 31 cities are already underway, with shows taking place in countries including, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Iran. This will give us the opportunity to scout new buyers and discuss with them business opportunities and details of the new exhibitors of Vicenzaoro next year.

 

Rendezvous With V readers: Are you a jewellery brand who is eager to launch your company in Dubai? Tell us about it — email rendezvouswithv@hotmail.com. Please include your phone number if you’re willing to be interviewed.

Until we rendezvous again,

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