Vanessa Martinelli’s artistic nature has been shaped under the influence of the creative environment which has surrounded her since her childhood. Generously inspired by nature, beauty, women, travels, a Geneva-based young jewellery designer masterfully manages to combine excellence of european craftsmanship and creative design by means of vivid precious and semi-precious gems to create joyful, feminine, unique items. It is the designer’s eye for intricate details and her inborn insight into women’s moods and desires which make the admirers of the brand collect Vanessa Martinelli Jewellery. Combining traditional techniques with contemporary precision, her jewels embody elegance, fashion, innovation and practicality. According to Vanessa, jewellery pieces are very personal things. Her mission is to design adornments which will provide the wearer with the feeling of being a queen, above all, in their own eyes.Vanessa Martinelli Jewellery undoubtedly expresses inexhaustible positive energy, true joie de vivre, ethereality, sophisticated femininity to celebrate life in all its glory. In our exclusive interview with Vanessa Martinelli, find out more about her unique world of jewellery and future projects.
L.C.: How did you start making jewellery?
V.M.: Since an early age I always loved drawings. I never thought I could make a profession out of it. I had the greatest chance to meet and work for Alexander (Lee) Mc Queen and Sarah Burton during my working experience as a model in Milan. Their work was (and is) a true inspiration, their creations, pieces of art. Lee and Sarah advised me to pursue my studying in Art and Design at Central Saint Martins in London and so I did! Fashion was not my field though, therefore I chose the path of jewellery design. After graduating from Central Saint Martins, I continued my education and study of the precious stones at GIA (Gemmological Institute of America) in New York City. I then travelled the world and worked for many iconic jewellery houses worldwide, from DeBeers Diamonds Jewellers in London focusing on diamonds, to Hodel in Hong Kong specializing in pearls. Every experience added incredible new knowledge to my education and shaped my style and my aesthetic. The people who inspired me to become an entrepreneur are my family, from which I learned a lot and who fully support my choice. I design the jewellery piece then I have a team of skilled goldsmiths that bring my ideas into reality.
L.C.: While designing a jewel, is it the story or the stone that is at the origin of your creations?
V.M.: My designs are mostly originated from some kind of story. My travels and the places I lived in, highly influence my aesthetics and creative process. The ‘Dragon Kiss’ collection was influenced by my living experience in Asia, ‘The Garden’ by my upbringing in Switzerland, ‘Mini Mio’ collections by the kawaii taste of eclectic Tokyo etc. I am also fascinated by colours! When I see new gemstones with vibrant colours, I am like a kid in a candy store and my imagination goes wild. Sometimes I just design around the stone, getting inspired by its colour. In this case the process is as if I am back into painting, but instead of using paint I use gemstones to create
L.C.: What is(are) your favourite gemstone(s)? Why?
V.M.: Diamonds are the most exciting gemstones for their sparkle and durability. However, since I love bright and happy colours, I use a lot of coloured stones such as amethysts, citrines, peridots, tourmalines (I love Paraiba Tourmaline), coloured sapphires…. I believe that every stone has its own beauty and a good design can
enhance their beauty. So, this is my challenge every time I design. The design together with the choice of metals, stones, craftsmanship and finishing is what makes a jewellery piece completely unique and valuable.
L.C.: What is your favourite part about being a jewellery designer?
V.M.: Being able to transmit a sense of beauty and personality into a piece of jewellery that the owner will value and treasure with time. A jewellery piece does not only carry a tangible value, but also an emotional one, which makes it so special. Before buying a jewellery piece the client gives it thought, but it’s also often a choice made after a decision that comes from the heart. I love to see people’s faces when they look at my jewellery, especially women’s. There is a magic around jewellery that bring that extra sparkle in women’s eyes. You see this even more the moment a woman buys and wears her new piece of jewellery for the first time, a big smile on her face and her whole attitude brightens up. This is the best part of it!
L.C.: Is jewellery more than just an adornment for a modern woman?
V.M.: Definitely. As mentioned above, jewellery has a lot to do with emotions. It is something precious, that a woman wants to wear to celebrate something: herself, her beauty, her love, a special date… When a woman buys a jewellery piece, she does it for herself, because she loves herself. It is something very special. They know that this piece of jewellery will remain with her through the time.
L.C.: What kind of jewellery do you wear?
V.M.: I always wear my butterfly pendant and chain ring from my collection ‘Vola Via’. They are delicate and feminine motifs in white gold and diamonds that easily go with any outfit. I never take them off. On a daily basis, I also wear my ‘Arabian Nights’ small flower earrings in diamonds and white gold and one of the ‘Mini Mio’ bracelets in pink gold. At the moment, I am wearing the heart with wings, but I also like the cupcake one! I like to add some humour to my personal style. Before leaving home, I add some extra ‘Mini Mio’ stackable rings with different motifs:
ladybird, sun, chihuahua, depending on my mood. They instantly lift my mood and they remain delicate and chic.
When I have a special evening, I wear more important pieces, like the ‘Dragon Kiss’ earrings in gold, diamonds and coloured sapphires and citrines, or the ultra glamourous ‘Arabian nights’ pendant and big ring. I totally feel like a princess! In summer I like to wear colourful cocktail rings, they just add a touch of glamour, fun and joie de vivre!
L.C.: According to you, what is a must-have jewellery item for any woman? Why?
V.M.: I think a woman should always have at her neck a delicate and personal pendant, with a motif, stone or design that has a meaning to her, where she carefully chose it because she fell in love with it or a special person gave to her. I like the idea of having something special always with you that has a story or special meaning to the owner and that express the wearer’s personality. Cocktail rings are also a must, because they dress up any outfit, lift your mood, and add personality. Small earrings for everyday are also important to add light to the face. If they have some diamond details they will add extra sparkle to the face. For the evening a woman can wear something bolder and more daring. In general though, I don’t think there are any rules, jewellery should be something personal, that a woman wears to adorn herself, make her feel more special and that has a meaning to her. It adds to the personality of the wearer. I like women who like to wear statement jewellery at any time for no special occasion beside celebrating herself and her love for life.
L.C.: Who are your favourite jewellers? Why?
V.M.: I appreciate jewellers that bring passion, depth and personality to the designs. Quality of craftsmanship and materials is what strikes me mostly. Once you refine your eye for fine jewellery, you are much more critical on the quality, so when you see a piece that has high value in craftsmanship, you can only pay compliments. I love organic, nature and feminine shapes, so I appreciate the designers and jewellery houses that work on these themes. I appreciate jewellers that work on limited pieces, and not so much when they become too commercial.
L.C.: Please share with us your plans for Vanessa Martinelli Jewellery for the next years.
V.M.: I am extremely grateful for the loyalty of my clients, who bought my designs over the years and always came back, sometimes also requesting custom made pieces. I design with these women in mind. Therefore, I will definitely continue to work in this direction, showcase my work during private events. St.Moritz is the new location for this year, I have my windows there until the end of this winter ski season, as well as in Lugano and Geneva. I want to communicate more and more that my designs are available to any women around the world, that customers can contact me directly and I will always make sure to respond to their requests and help them fulfil their dreams. I
already do that with customers worldwide. I am working on some new joyful pieces that will be revealed towards mid of this year. And … I am working on a ‘men’s collection’ to fulfill the dreams of my male friends and customers who admire my creations and constantly ask me when will I design something nice for them too. I want my brand to grow also outside Switzerland… Stay tuned in and you will see Vanessa Martinelli Jewellery also abroad.
L.C.: Three key words that define Vanessa Martinelli Jewellery.
V.M.: Joyful, feminine, unique.
30 January 2017/Lusine Chilingarian
Photo Courtesy of Vanessa Martinelli Jewellery