British brands note interest at luxury Italian jewellery fair.

Organisers and exhibitors reported strong orders at the about J luxury trade fair in Venice, which took place last week. 

Vicenza Fair’s executive director Corrado Facco said about J was a “great success” during a news conference staged at the September edition of the Vicenza jewellery fair on Saturday September 7, which immediately followed about J.


At about J, held from September 4 to 6 in the Molino Stucky Hilton hotel on Venice’s Giudecca island, more than 30 exhibitors showcased some of their finest jewellery pieces to senior retail buyers who had flown in from around the world.

UK-based exhibitors Stephen Webster, Rodney Rayner and Sarah Ho of SHO Fine Jewellery, reported strong enquiries and orders at about J.

Webster, exhibiting at about J for the first time, said he had secured orders from Russian buyers, and enquiries from prospective clients from the United States, South America and Eastern Europe.

Sarah Ho, also exhibiting at about J for the first time, reported a strong lead from a major Chinese buyer, while UK designer Rodney Rayner said he had received strong orders from his international clients for his bright colour pieces.

At Vicenza fair’s September show, which started on Saturday, turnout was strong in the first two days of the event, which was an opportunity for about J exhibitors to finalise deals and for retail buyers to rebuild stocks before the end-of-year sales season.

The VicenzaORO fair is held three times a year, and is Italy’s biggest jewellery trade show, luring retail buyers from key markets such as the United States, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The September Fall edition of the show, which runs until September 11, featured some 1,200 exhibitors.

According to data distributed at VicenzaORO Fall, Italian gold jewellery exports to the United States grew by 12.1% in January to May 2013 in value terms, compared with the same year-ago period, at a time when demand for gold jewellery in the United States fell by 10%.

This implies that the market share of Italian gold jewellery exports to the United States rose. Total exports of Italian jewellery in January to May 2013 rose by 6% in value terms and 2.6% in volume terms year-on-year, according to the latest available data.

At VicenzaORO Fall, an exhibition was staged called porte-bonheur, presenting contemporary amulets and talismans, curated by renowned Italian jewellery academician Alba Cappellieri.

At the news conference on Saturday, Vicenza fair president Paolo Mantovani announced that the expanded exhibition space of the fair would be opened at the May 2014 edition of VicenzaORO following a €32 million (£27m) investment.

The expansion of the exhibition space, and the addition of 600 covered parking spaces, responds to the fair’s long waiting list of exhibitors.

Mantovani also announced plans for Vicenza fair to organise a new machinery event at the HKTDC Hong Kong fair in March 2014 after Vicenza fair signed a cooperation agreement with HKTDC on Saturday.