Jewelry Designer Lucrezia Buccellati Talks Design and Family Legacy
How would you describe the company and your role?
The first store opened in 1919 in Milan, and it has been in our hands for four generations. I’m the first female designer of the family, and I work very closely with my father, Andrea, who is the creative director. I work mostly from New York and travel back and forth to Italy. My passion is to design jewelry, but I’m also the ambassador for the brand. I travel around the world to represent it during special events at our retail stores.
When did you join the family business?
After high school, I wanted to pursue architecture, but I took some time off first, and I started creating my own jewelry, accessory jewelry, and traveled to find special materials and stones. After a year, I decided to go to New York to study at FIT and started working for the family business. I knew that was what I really wanted to do.
What is the origin of the intricate woven pattern that characterizes the jewelry?
I think you mean the honeycomb and openwork techniques. If so, they date back to Italian Renaissance times, when goldsmiths created those wonderful patterns entirely by hand, exactly as we do today. If you refer to the texture of all our gold surfaces, the woven pattern is given by hand-engraving, an ancient technique still achieved with burins.
What inspires you to create a new design?
Sometimes it is art or architecture, and sometimes it comes from countries, cultures, traditions, and sometimes it is fashion. Recently, I was inspired by some pieces of lace that I bought, and I designed a very contemporary necklace keeping the delicacy and lightness of the lace but incorporating the Buccellati craftsmanship.
What was your first design?
The silver collection called Blossoms: It targeted younger customers.
What do you love about your brand?
That there is nothing like it anywhere else—you are really buying a piece of art. Most of our clients stop buying other jewelry brands because they realize how different it is, even though people of my generation are less faithful to just one brand and they like to mix different ones. That is why we still focus on pieces that are more wearable and simple, easy to collect and stack on with other jewelry houses.
What’s your favorite—in jewelry and tabletop?
For jewelry, I love the new Hawaii earrings with colored stones; for tabletop, I like the iconic leaves or flowers to decorate the table.
What is it like for someone to own a piece of Buccellati?
When you buy a piece of Buccellati, you own a timeless piece that will always be unique. My father and I put so much emotion and love into them and work on every single detail.
A version of this article appeared in the October 2017 issue of CTC&G (Connecticut Cottages & Gardens) with the headline: Elegant by Design.