Düsseldorf-based jeweler Gianni Lazzaro has been presenting his jewelry collections in Basel for 30 years. The jewelry of his brand is very emotional, multicolored and complex in terms of composition.
Why did you decide to get into the jewelry business?
– I am a musician by education: I graduated from the conservatory in the accordion class in the Italian town of Alessandria, spent my student years traveling around Europe as part of a youth orchestra. I have been drawing a lot since childhood. Then I entered the Academy of Arts in Dusseldorf, where there was a department of jewelry design. I liked this German city, and I decided to stay in it. So the jewelry brand Gianni Lazzaro appeared in 1974 in Düsseldorf.
“But you can’t tell by your jewelry that they are German …
– You will not find rigor and minimalism. Although the development of jewelry design and cutting of stones are carried out in Germany, and production is located in Valenz. I believe that jewelry should adorn a woman, give her momentary pleasure – here and now. Therefore, it is important for me that a woman does not keep my jewelry in a safe (although we also produce such jewelry), but can supplement her everyday wardrobe with them. In this sense, they are no different from fashion accessories. We understand that any fashion is fleeting, including jewelry fashion, but we create high quality jewelry, which means that they have every chance to win a woman’s heart for a long time.
— What jewelry trends would you note?
– Colored stones and the richness of their combinations. For me it’s good: I like to experiment with color. In our company we work with amethysts, quartzes, garnets, opals, citrines, tourmalines. We use stones that are not the most common shades – for example, green tourmalines and green amethysts. Color allows you to create jewelry more fashionable and relevant. The latest collection has a lot of “candy” earrings: chrysoprase combined with pink sapphire and amethyst, tanzanite with tourmaline and moonstone, pink opal with amethyst and peridot. Minerals of soft shades I mix, and I leave brighter colors as the central element of the rings.
— Do your jewelry collections start with a stone or with an idea?
— Pret-a-porter lines are inspired by fashion trends, while haute couture jewelry is built around an unusual stone. Sometimes such a mineral has to lie down for several years in anticipation of a design idea. For example, faceted solar citrine did not immediately become the body of an owl in a precious pendant, and a coral of a bizarre shape turned into an octopus.
— Would you call Gianni Lazzaro’s style classic?
— For me, the classic is the perfect balance between the idea of decoration, the color of the stones and the shape. In this sense, my jewelry belongs to the classics. But after all, you still need to put your soul into a jewel so that it creates an emotion. I try to make even traditional flowers and hearts look fresh: for example, I entangle a heart-cut stone with diamond threads, and I make up flower buds from different shades, I come up with fantasy frames. This year I made diamond rings with a sliding frame that changes size (a mechanism is hidden inside) – they are very convenient, because hands can swell during the day. My jewelry can be considered universal, and there is nothing wrong with that. I am glad that they are treated as a fashion accessory, worn easily, chosen without hesitation. Jewelry for every day is wonderful!
Who are Gianni Lazzaro’s clients?
“These are self-confident, fashion-loving women who can buy their own jewelry. They are confident in their style but not afraid to try new things. I would say that these are ladies of the Balzac age.
– You work with your wife.
– Mara deals with the commercial side of the business: communicates with clients, monitors the price direction. Our task is to offer the client the most spectacular decoration at an adequate price. For example, this year we used a lot of large tanzanites – they look great in cocktail rings. Sapphires of this size would have raised the cost of jewelry several times over. Mara often subdues my fantasy. “We’ll do this now, we’ll do this later, and we’ll never do this,” she says. We have different points of view: Mara has a pragmatic vision, and I have an artistic one. But together we are a team that creates beautiful and commercially attractive things.