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The fourth boutique opened in Hong Kong a few weeks ago, after those in London, Paris and Milan. On the other side of the ocean, in New York, it oversees the construction sites on Fifth Avenue, which in 2025 will give way to a prestigious showcase. And between the two ends of the globe, in the laboratories of Ravenna artists and creatives are working on the new collections to be presented in April in Geneva, where the first jewel without micromosaic will also be launched. There is great excitement in Sicis Jewels, the latest addition to the Sicis divisions, the art mosaic factory in Ravenna, a treasure chest of tradition and mosaic mastery since 1987, first expressed in works of beauty for the architecture of interiors and, for a decade now, in precious details to wear: brooches, rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and watches, kaleidoscopic miniatures inspired by nature.
«We are growing very quickly. From 2018, the year I arrived at the creative head of the division, to date I have added dozens of gemologists and goldsmiths and developed an internal research structure, expanding the processes from micromosaic and gold to diamonds and other colored precious stones for add value and particularity to the design of the micromosaic, as well as lightness to the jewel in terms of portability”, explains Gioia Placuzzi, second generation of the family business, founded by her father Leo in 1987. Degree in economics at Bocconi in Milan, specialization in Marketing at Cass Business School in London and a diploma in gemology from the Gemological Institute of America, the young Placuzzi today leads a team of over thirty people, between the central office and the marketing area in Milan, the micromosaic atelier and the stylistic division in Ravenna and the owned goldsmith workshop in Valenza. «By looking at one of our jewels I am able to understand which of our artists created it – says the manager -. They are all unique handmade pieces, each jewel requires from 60 to 200 hours of work, which is why there is no Chinese imitation of the Sicis jewel and there is no competition. Even for those who studied at the mosaic school, months of coaching and practice in the laboratory are needed to be able to create a micromosaic jewel that is acceptable according to our quality standards”.
The Ravenna-based maison has recovered the technique born in 18th century papal Rome to model miniatures, using tiny colored splinters obtained not from glass but from powdered stones and precious minerals, melted at 800 degrees. The flagship collection is Tesserae: cocktail and intertwined rings with an important stone of several carats and bright colors in the center – a pink morganite, a blue tanzanite, a red rubellite, a yellow sapphire – dressed with a micromosaic around it. «Next April in Geneva we will present new collections centered on unique and rare pearls, bought at specific auctions, adorned with micromosaics – anticipates Gioia Placuzzi – and we will also launch the first collection without micromosaics, because by now we also master the goldsmith’s art well and we want to expand our unmistakable style to new jewels that do not necessarily have to contain micromosaics, as we have already done in furnishings, to offer the right balance between tradition and contemporaneity”.
The business numbers so far have proven her right. This year the Jewels division will reach 10% of Sicis turnover, not even two years ago it was worth 5%. «90% of sales are abroad, our main markets are the Middle and Far East and the United States, even the European boutiques serve almost exclusively Asian and American customers on holiday. Our typical customer is a cultured and refined woman between 35 and 50 years old who loves to stand out from everything else on the market, appreciates craftsmanship, Made in Italy and the uniqueness of pieces of art that are indifferent to the passage of time and fashions”, specifies Placuzzi, who has the Saudi royal family among his loyal customers.
After opening in Queen’s Road Central in Hong Kong, in collaboration with the historic high jewelery and watch retailer Carlson, Sicis aims to consolidate its presence in the Middle East with a store in Dubai in 2024, «while for the United States we will have to wait 2025, we are renovating a seven-storey building we own on Fifth Avenue – concludes the director – which on the ground floor will also house the Sicis Jewels boutique. However, this year we have already opened an operational structure in New York and created a network of agents.”