Q&A: Silvia Damiani, Damiani

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Damiani’s VP on how licensing helped the brand survive recession

Damiani vice-president Silvia Damiani reveals that licensing for fashion and lifestyle brands, such as Ferarri and Jil Sander, has helped the luxury brand survive the recession.

Damiani opened its first UK store in London last year, why did you pick Old Bond Street?
“I’m very happy to be in Old Bond Street. For an international jeweller it’s a very good place to be. It acts as a flagship store and it’s also a store that can sell a lot. The clientele in London can afford Damiani and like the style.”

Before Damiani had a presence in the UK, did the brand attract many British customers?
“Most of the people [in the UK] that buy Damiani know Italian jewellery. They used to buy it in Italy or in other stores all around the world.”

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Are you planning to open any more UK stores?
“Not now, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to have the brand in other towns in Britain. We’ve always had a good collaboration with independent stores and it’s often more important to have the brand in well-established stores than in our own flagship stores.”

What are your secrets to a successful jewellery brand?
“Every jewellery brand should try and keep two things together – an elite product that is easy enough to be purchased. You always have to find the right compromise.”

How would you describe the Damiani collection?
“The Damiani collection is quite spread from nice small design pieces to one-of-a-kind. There are a few items that are recognised as Damiani pieces.”

How has Damiani weathered the storm during the recession?
“These years are not the easiest at all. Jewellery is our core business and we are continuing to invest in this field but we’re open to a different field of collaboration. Before we didn’t have the time for licensing, now Damiani is the manufacturer for Jill Sander and Ferarri jewellery and watches. It is something which helps us in other markets where Damiani is not known. Through these collaborations, it allows us to make jewellery in a different price range. It’s a way to expand our business but it’s a way to continue the acknowledgement that Damiani is a jeweller that you can trust for quality and style. We’ve been asked to do licensing a lot but everything you do you have to do well.”

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