In today’s Designer Spotlight, we chat with luxury jewelry designer Marco Bicego about his gorgeous line of 18k gold earrings, necklaces, rings and bracelets. Learn about the inspiration behind his world-renowned brand, why celebrities and fashion icons love his distinctive line and the labor-intensive process for his hand-crafted Italian pieces.
As a woman develops her “signature style”, she often begins to invest in fine jewelry that’s designed to last for decades. As opposed to shopping for trendy costume jewelry (which will probably fall apart within a few seasons), hand-crafted jewelry is always a smart route for the savvy shopper. If you want to build a long-lasting wardrobe that looks stylish from one season to the next, investing in fine jewelry is a wise choice.
Plus, with proper care, these valuable pieces can last a lifetime (and can even be passed down to future generations).
Having worn fine jewelry for years, I can personally say that those pieces have been some of my most beloved accessories, and are still my go-to pieces for virtually every occasion.
During a recent trunk show at Augustina’s Designer Boutique in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, I was introduced to Italian luxury jewelry brand, Marco Bicego. After Michelle Golden, the brand’s West Coast Sales Director showed me the collection and taught me about the quality craftsmanship of the pieces, I wanted to find out more about this acclaimed brand and designer, so I decided to write this Designer Spotlight on Marco Bicego.
In today’s Q&A, learn about the talented man who inspires modern women to indulge in everyday luxury. From layered necklaces dripping in radiant semi-precious stones to contemporary 18k gold bracelets that make a striking statement, discover why the Marco Bicego line of fine jewelry offers something for every woman.
Designer Spotlight on Marco Bicego
What was the inspiration and story behind the brand?
My wife Valentina and my travels have been a consistent inspiration. I wanted to create a line for women that was versatile and could be worn every day. ‘Everyday luxury’ is truly the concept that inspired me to launch the brand in 2000.
Who is the Marco Bicego woman?
The Marco Bicego woman is cosmopolitan and modern. She has a tremendous sense of personal style and is not afraid to experiment with jewelry in unconventional ways, especially layering. Because of her, I design with the mentality that pieces can be worn both alone and together.
Since the brand prides itself on handmade 18k gold jewelry, what are the process and lead-time required to produce each piece?
Craftsmanship is fundamental for me and for the brand. What has never changed and never will is that each and every piece of Marco Bicego jewelry is crafted by hand by my artisans in our headquarters. We use the Bulino hand-etching technique to make the 18k gold textured to a silk-like sheen. Gold is spun into the finest threads to create coils that drape around the body with the ease of fabric.
How has Italy (or Europe in general) influenced your designs?
The inspiration behind the creation of my jewelry is rooted in my Venetian heritage since Vicenza, Italy is the gold capital of the world. All of my collections are also still hand-crafted by goldsmiths in my atelier in Trissino, in the Veneto region of northern Italy. This corner of Italy, rich in culture and history, is also renowned for its tradition of goldsmithing. I wanted to bring this tradition back to life, giving it a modern interpretation.
What are the most popular pieces or collections? Why?
Some of our most popular collections are Africa and Lunaria. I especially enjoy the fascinating imperfection of the yellow-gold beads within the Africa collection – they are similar to the imperfections found in the tribal silk beads worn by African women. The hand engraved gold finishes generate a warmth that evokes the colors of the sub-Saharan land. Consisting of bold spheres of various shapes, sizes and finishes, the jewels of the Africa collection are tangible and pronounced, yet remarkably light.
Lunaria is another favorite, inspired by the delicate shape of the Lunaria flower, the collection is hand hammered and hand engraved. The shape instantly creates statement pieces (whether an earring, necklace, ring or bracelet), that are still enjoyable and appropriate for everyday wear.
Which celebrities love and wear the brand?
We are lucky to have Marco Bicego jewelry worn by many famous faces over the years. A few recent sightings include Jane Fonda, Hilary Clinton, Chrissy Teigen, Tiffany Haddish, and Maye Musk.
Since the pieces are timeless, how are the designs made to look modern without being “trendy”?
The aim is always to create something that is both modern and yet incredibly wearable.
I love the fact that my brand hasn’t had to give in to trends to stay relevant and wearable. My pieces, while modern, still have a very classic feel that makes them perfect for any woman looking to build a fine jewelry collection that will always be in style.
Our combination of color and gold is distinct because of the wonderful play between the textured finish of our hand-engraved pieces and the dazzling colors set against them. The liquid-like texture of the gold allows the colors to interact with it in a way that is unique and signature to the brand.
As style trends come and go, many women have turned to buy (more affordable) costume jewelry to avoid investing in passing fads. If a woman decides to invest in a Marco Bicego piece, what should she think about when choosing a piece?
With each piece I make, I envision a woman pairing it with either a cocktail dress or a simple white t-shirt – it’s important that it strikes that balance as our pieces are meant to be worn every day, not tucked away in a jewelry box awaiting a special occasion.
The jewelry is timeless in the sense that customers can continue building out their collection of Marco Bicego styles over time. We encourage clients to mix, match and layer across all our collections.
We also offer many convertible styles ideal for an investment piece – such as the new Legami convertible necklace with a detachable bracelet and pave diamond clasp, which can be worn six different ways, making it ideal for traveling. The medium gauge piece can be worn as a 36” or 27” single strand necklace or adjusted into a lariat, two-strand bib, folded bib, or multi-strand bracelet.
The signature “hand-brushed” finishing makes Marco Bicego pieces distinctive and identifiable. Is there symbolism behind this effect or a particular reason why Marco decided to incorporate this hand-engraved process into his pieces?
My approach to gold blends old world Italian craftsmanship with my contemporary vision and artistry, making each piece unique and beautiful, perfectly imperfect. Hand-engraving is done with a tool called a “Bulino,” in which our craftsmen scratch hundreds of grooves on the surface, giving the gold a fine, brushed texture. The finish is what sets Marco Bicego apart and truly makes each piece unique; Hand-engraved gold and hand-twisted coils are the tenets at the heart of the Marco Bicego brand.
Since launching in 2000, how has the brand evolved into the line we know today? What is on the horizon for Marco Bicego in 2019 and beyond?
We are always trying to push boundaries in terms of design. The brand’s core collections are continuously being expanded upon whether that entails adding color with stones or adding a bit of sparkle with pavé or rose-cut diamonds.
I am very proud to introduce our newest product line the Legàmi Collection, which debuted this month exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue. The line features a bold, beautifully shaped link that is a modern evolution of a more elaborate rounded version originally created by my father, Giuseppe, more than 35 years ago.
For more style inspiration, check out the Fashion & Style section on Inspirations & Celebrations.
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[Photos of Marco Bicego c/o the brand. Jewelry photo credits: I&C. This is not a sponsored post, however, some affiliate links are included.]