When you think Italian jewelry, you might imagine rich, gold design. Chimento, a 50-plus-year-old family jeweler, epitomizes that vision, mixing tradition with a modern, stylish touch. You’ll find a variety of bracelets, rings, and pendants in an assortment of collections, ranging from Bamboo—its aesthetic mirrors its name—to Stardust, with diamond-dotted designs. Don’t miss Chimento in the Prestige pavilion of JCK’s LUXURY show this year. Its glinting gold designs are sure to attract retailers from all over the world.
Here, Federica Chimento, president of Chimento, talks family history, Italian design, and JCK LUXURY.
Tell us about the Chimento family and your personal journey into the jewelry industry.
Federica Chimento: My dad, Adriano, was the one who started Chimento in 1964. He is the oldest of nine brothers and sisters. A very ambitious and hardworking man, he never really fit into any box and definitely could not work for anyone other than himself. When he started in the jewelry business, he was working three different jobs in order to support his younger siblings and his widow mom. At night, he was creating jewelry in the basement of his house. Today, my brother Mario and I are the second generation leading the company, hoping to continue in our father’s footsteps with the same enthusiasm and vision.
I really never “entered” the jewelry business—I was born in the jewelry business! At the beginning of Chimento, the factory was part of our house, something very common back in the day in Italy. On the ground floor was the factory, and on the first floor was our house. Because of that, I would frequently go downstairs and play with jewelry, gold, and precious stones, pretending I was a princess. I always thought I was going to be in the business. The idea of doing something else really never crossed my mind.
Chimento’s jewelry is classic Italian design, but with an updated look that appeals to the modern consumer. What do you think sets it apart from other companies that specialize in not only fine gold jewelry, but in Italian-made jewelry as well?
FC: There are many beautiful Italian jewelry lines on the market. We at Chimento like to think that we design jewelry for the classic, modern woman. An accessory that you wear every day and easily transition into for a night out with friends or a dinner with your loved ones without going home to change your outfit. A modern jewel that reflects the trends, but is classic enough not to go out of style. Something you can buy today and still wear 20 years from now. It is not unusual to receive old pieces, created 15 to 20 years ago, back for repair and hear from the owners that those are their favorite jewels to wear. Not only does it make us proud, but it is proof that we have succeeded. All our creations are designed and manufactured in Italy with the highest standards of quality, and that is something we will never compromise.
Though the company is based in Italy, you are located in Miami, FL. Do you see a big difference in the jewelry markets, from Europe to North America? What particular styles would you say make them differ from one another?
FC: It’s funny how everybody thinks that different markets like different jewelry. In our case, with very few exceptions, the same collections seem to be appreciated everywhere. I don’t know if it’s because we are classic and trendy at the same time or because we try to design timeless jewelry, but most of our collections are equally successful in Europe and in the U.S. And proof of this is that many American tourists traveling to Italy end up buying a Chimento jewel!
You have a number of beautiful jewelry collections. (I’m partial to Bamboo!) Do you have a personal favorite?
FC: It’s so difficult to choose, especially when you can have it all! These days, I like to wear my assorted Armillas bracelets as everyday wear. I’m not a big necklace person, but I really love the new long tassel necklace from our Bamboo Flirt collection that we launched this year. It’s a modern reinterpretation of a tassel necklace that you can wear as a long chain or a choker.
You’ll be exhibiting within the Prestige pavilion of JCK’s LUXURY show this year. What do you most hope to accomplish in your time there?
FC: I hope to have a chance to see my existing customers in a more private and relaxed atmosphere, and certainly to have the opportunity to present Chimento to new potential customers. Our goal is not to be over-distributed. We are looking for partners to build a strong and healthy business relationship with and to grow from there.