After years as marketing manager at Pianegonda, Maria Luisa took a long break from the jewellery business only to realise how much she had missed it. In 2013 she decided to embark on a new journey in the industry creating her own label, Maria e Luisa Jewels.
Professional Jeweller caught up with her to find out how the brand is developing and why it’s ready to take on new UK stockists.
What can you tell us about the inspiration of the materials and craftsmanship of your jewellery?
The Maria e Luisa 925 sterling silver jewellery is handmade by master goldsmiths in Milan with the use of the engraver, without computer technology.
Exceptional master craftsmanship, innovative design, functionality and contemporary materials of the highest quality, are the guaranteed standards of the Maria e Luisa creations. From the design to the completion of the jewel, every step is followed by a master goldsmith who creates quality jewels.
The details are made in 9K gold and the burnishing becomes shiny over time. Every jewel is shaped and made with passion, attention and rigor by Italian goldsmiths.
We take inspiration from the colors of the earth and it is she who gives us the raw materials. Silver, gold, natural stones, precious and semi-precious gems, are the materials that give life to the Maria e Luisa collections. Warm metals, inviting and malleable, whose surfaces are shaped and molded into unexpected profiles. The warm color of gold accompanies the purity of the silver; the naturalness of the stones arouses and enhances the forms in an enchantment of brilliance, lights and colors.
Smoky, pink and cognac quartz, prasiolite, amethyst, onyx, London and sky topaz are the natural stones that make up the world of the Maria e Luisa collections. All the stones are cut in Italy and originate from Brazil.
Why do you think Maria e Luisa is a good fit for the UK market?
Although recognisable and with strong DNA, Maria e Luisa is understated and timeless. The quality and craftsmanship will appeal to the high-end jewellers and to their customers who want to dress up without being too showy. In a market full with low to mid silver brands, Maria e Luisa offers a high-end luxurious silver collection which is personal and cool.
Retail prices range from £250 to £2,500. All items are made in 925 sterling silver and can include 9K gold details, diamonds, pearls and natural stones.
What would you say is the brand’s USP?
Unique silver jewellery, expression of love for nature, design, art and life. Our jewellery compliments personality; it is not accessories of uniformity. Our designs are beautifully made, individual yet not extravagant. Maria e Luisa jewels stand out with a unique look and styling and is designed by a woman for women.
What kind of retailers are you looking for to stock the brand?
High-end jewellers, concept stores, department stores, brand-oriented and collection-focused.
We are looking for retailers able to present the luxury concept with a fresh appeal, dynamic and open minded. Maria e Luisa retailers are able to communicate with a contemporary language, they are leaders who want to show their clients what they’ll buy next.
What’s your strategy for growing Maria e Luisa in the UK?
Although only established four years ago in Milan, Italy, Maria e Luisa is available from more than 100 high-end jewellers in Italy and internationally and is now rapidly taking off given a very strong sell-out. Now for the first time, Maria e Luisa is entering the UK and Ireland markets through distributor Leoro Showroom who has long experience and knowhow of the UK luxury market and the international jewellery business.
We are building brand awareness in the market through some press and digital campaigns as well as Maria e Luisa and Leoro social platforms and Leoro website.
In September, besides the usual appointment with Vicenza Oro, we will be taking part at The Jewellery Room DK jewellery show (15 and 16 September) during London Fashion Week show.
How will you be supporting retailers who opt to stock the brand? (Eg visual merchandising, training etc?)
The support package provided to stockists:
- Beautiful point of sale
- Beautiful branded packaging
- Display personalization
- Display images and posters
- Personalized corner and window displays
- Marketing support
- Social marketing campaigns to increase brand awareness in the local area of a retailer
- Graphic materials: Digital HR pictures, social media marketing (SMM) materials, customer catalogues and brochures
- Full training for the sales associates
- Maria e Luisa special events and trunk shows
- Cooperative advertising budget
Have you had any interest for the brand so far?
Yes, although we have just announced the launch and following a newsletter sent to key jewellers, we were already contacted by some jewellers who were very keen to become stockists. It is very encouraging to find out that jewellers are aware of our Maria e Luisa also in the UK.