Four decades ago, London Jewelers president Candy Udell spearheaded the movement within her family’s luxury bauble business to introduce Italy’s biggest jewelry names to the American market.
“The Italian tradition of family and their love of fine craftsmanship and beautiful things, from clothing to jewelry to the best food — they know how to live,” Udell tells Alexa. “We teach our clientele to love Italian craftsmanship and everything else that goes with it.”
Over the years, she has traveled extensively throughout the country — from gold-making hubs Vicenza and Valenza to the Capri coast, to the cultural capital of Florence and beyond — and fallen in love with its creations. “When you go to a workshop, like Bulgari, and you see how the jewelry is being made — the craftsmanship and what goes into it — you know it’s the best of the best,” she says. “Likewise with Gucci and Buccellati and Vhernier.”
So it’s no surprise that London Jewelers is now partnering with the Italian Trade Agency for a glamorous in-store celebration of all things Italy. From Nov. 16 to 24, representatives from some of the most esteemed Italian jewelry brands will be on hand at the London Jewelers Americana Manhasset flagship to meet and mingle with customers. As a bonus, a number of these designers’ special pieces (which often prove difficult to find via typical retail channels) will be available as well.
Though the festivities will be ongoing, the most ambitious events — including a mozzarella-making demonstration, musical performances and a fashion presentation — will take place on the weekends that bookend the festival, from noon to 5 p.m. Revelers will get their caffeine and sugar kicks courtesy of a gelato, cappuccino and espresso truck parked outside.
Italian Trade Commissioner Antonietta Baccanari hopes the event will bring more awareness to the group’s Extraordinary Italian Jewelry promotion, which aims to raise the profile of its “Made in Italy” label.
“When you think about Italy, you think about a beautiful country full of history, passion and pride,” she says. “This is also what Italian jewelry producers want to transfer through their creations.”
Udell also revealed to Alexa that Gucci — another Italian brand synonymous with luxurious trendsetting — is partnering with London Jewelers on the only American release of its new High Jewelry line. Party plans for that big unveiling are now taking shape, after which the collection will go on view at London Jewelers Americana Manhasset through the end of the Italian celebration.
Of course for Udell, the draw of Italy isn’t strictly business. The jeweler and her family visit the country several times each year. Though she admits her Italian isn’t perfect, she’s come to feel at home speaking the language. “The fact that the people are so welcoming and so warm makes it all even easier — they make you feel like a part of their family.”
For those who can’t jet across the pond for a dose of Italian famiglia, London Jewelers is offering the next best thing.
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