Resembling the Faraone Jewellers double oval logo, with its wide grin is the pearly smile of the company’s CEO, Vittoria Bianchi, one of the most aristocratic ladies that I have met on Via MonteNapoleone. Standing model tall at 1.76 meters, she is a bejewelled queen adored by her loyal staff, respected for the part she played in relaunching the historic Italian brand and relied upon for her strong influence on their precious handmade pieces which her demanding nature expects and oversees from the design stage all the way through to production.
Settled in a new home discreetly located at Via MonteNapoleone 9, Vittoria honoured our appointment at Faraone’s showroom and store designed by architect, Luigi Marchetti. With strands of rose-gold oval link chains gracefully draped around her neck, Vittoria proudly guided me through the secluded square interior tastefully decked out in natural shades of sandy gold and grey with heavy curtaining and soft carpets, to show me their high jewellery collections. We moved through the comforting abode which promises a private, exclusive experience to view the contents in each cabinet arranged around a tinted glass table, also in line with their oval trend. An impressive solid brass lighting feature enhances the brilliance of each stone used in their exquisite ‘One of a Kind’ pieces which eclipses the beauty of the next. Inspired by glistening waves, the Tide Collection with its jagged design consists of brilliant and navette cut diamonds while the simpler Cascade Collection displays a shower of dripping round, brilliant cut carbon rocks.
Vittoria touched the jewels at her ears and the bracelet encircling her delicate wrist explaining that this new prêt-à-porter collection called ‘I Composable’, also handcrafted in the traditional Faraone manner, allows women to travel with all the jewels they will ever need for daily wear held in a little pouch; a combination of beautiful butterflies, ladybugs and hearts encrusted in coloured sapphires, diamonds and semi-precious stones. She did a quick demonstration hooking three strands of links, each one long enough to be used only as a bracelet, to make up a long necklace and then picked a fun blend of charms and clipped each one individually onto the chain. She chose separate charms to make up matching earrings and a pretty bracelet saying that these little jewels could even double up as cuff-links for ‘him’ taking personalization to an entirely new level of creativity.
While the Faraone company is revered for their undeniably hypnotizing jewellery, I was thirsty to find out more about the woman at the helm of this ship which resurfaced in 2011. A remarkable combination of sensual beauty, a business mind and strong determination, Vittoria explained that she had lived in London for a number of years before returning to Milan where her passion for jewellery played an integral role in eventually catapulting her into this prime position. In 2010, she became involved with relaunching the brand, a project that had huge potential for success due to the company’s rich history from its early days in 1860 when the Settepassi family operated their first shop from Florence’s famous old bridge landmark, the Ponte Vecchio, to its arrival in Milan 67 years ago.
Vittoria lead me to a star-studded wall in the boutique where framed photographs of VIP clients, including Maria Callas and Ingrid Bergman, are captured. Just like these style icons, Vittoria loves wearing Faraone jewels; adornments which she will rarely be spotted without for these incorporate so much of her classic personal style. She admits to always wearing at least one piece of jewellery to comfort her and complete her outfit – items which if she were to absent-mindedly forget, would cause her to feel bare and over-exposed.
Looking forward, I believe that Faraone’s revival in a competitive environment of world-renowned brands is guaranteed to be a raving success. With a lovely, friendly-faced lady leading the way and a refined, homely space in which to browse and design dream pieces, satisfied clients will have every reason to smile as widely as the Faraone jewels they choose to wear.