– Mauro, you are BVLGARI jewellery business unit managing director. Tell us what
brought you into the industry?
– I started working at BVLGARI many years ago and that’s how I came into the industry. I have traveled extensively and managed markets in Asia and North America. I have been interested in this industry for the past 20 years. There was no strategic decision to go into luxury or jewelry market. You know, sometimes you come, you like it and you stay.
– Describe the DNA of BVLGARI?
– BVLGARI is a brand, a company with a history, strong values and boldness. The Maison is the represents the Roman-Italian DNA. It still embodies Italian culture, recognizable design and strong inspiration.
– The jewelry industry has changed over time. Can you compare the market today with the market, for
example, 10 years ago?
– It seems to me that this is too long a period of time for the market. The industry has always been pretty static, but now I feel like we are being transported to a new era. The technologies that drive us to evolve show that we are strongly connected to this world. We must always keep up with the times. People have changed a lot, and everything else has changed dramatically.
– We think many people are mistaken that BVLGARI is a large-scale machined production, where no manual labor is involved. What do you think about it?
– I think one of our strengths is that we have always made highly-crafted products. The most valuable exclusive models are handcrafted, which takes us to the highest level. However, it is obvious that when you become a world-wide brand, you need to be able to reach out to many customers, and you need to be able to do both well enough. We have different production methods. In any case,our products will always be created with the same mood and inspiration.
– Can you predict what will happen to the market in 10 years?
– I can’t. As I just said, there have been too many changes in the last 10 years, so it’s hard to say what will happen in the next 10 years. I suspect that the digital revolution will continue to expand. In addition, even more rapid changes will follow. We’re all online today. This is one of the most important communication channels, if not the most important. To predict the development of the next decade, you need to look back 10–15 years. Remember the evolution of the iPhone? It was a revolutionary product in its industry.
– Do you agree that the digital revolution has begun? Our business, for example, has changed,
but what happened to the jewelry industry? How has this impacted your business using the tools
provided by the digital world?
– Today we need to be able to create different touchpoints with the client. E-commerce is becoming a necessity, this is the reality. I believe that online shopping is a big evolution. A few years ago, I never thought that we would be able to sell our products on the Internet due to the price and complexity of the product. But I see that today people shop online with ease.
– Do you think, aren’t customers afraid to buy jewelry online?
– I thought so a few years ago. But today I see a completely different picture. I see how we grow on the internet. The pandemic has changed a lot, we too, have changed socially. I think that there’s much less fear. In general, the luxury industry has the same business model as other industries.
– How to gain customers trust?
– Our advantage is that our product is of the highest quality, its design is unique. I see a connection here with the pandemic. We actively attract new clients; we instill confidence in them. We must be strong and move forward. And it’s not just that we create beautiful jewelry. Many brands make the perfect product. It is very important for us, I would say, to be corporate and socially responsible members of society, to work on initiatives on sustainable development. So, over the past 10–12 years, thanks to our collaboration with Save the Children, we have helped millions of children around the world. In Rome, we have been helping restore landmarks, and over the past year have been working closely with the University of Oxford to develop a Covid vaccine. That is why I am talking about the fact that just making a beautiful product is not enough now.
– Do you see Generation Z among your customers?
– I think that in recent years we all had to work with millennials for the first time. We definitely see them as potential customers and want to work with them through awareness – it’s important that they know who we are. I think that today we should be able to reach out to young people not only through the product or the brand value, but also through the awareness of what you are doing in their life.
– Today the buyer has become much more sophisticated than before. What do you do to surprise the client?
– I think that in our case, the “surprise” of the client comes down to bringing together everything that we do best. This means making the right product that will represent our client. The client needs a unique design, novelty is an important aspect, and in a world where you can buy everything, it becomes more and more difficult every time. We strive to be a brand that is constantly evolving. We grab the attention of customers, but we always have to be in the customer’s mind in order to interest him with the help of our protagonist, and the protagonist is the product.
– Which of your products are most in demand? Has Covid-19 influenced your client’s choice?
– The most popular are the most iconic recognizable models B.zero1, Serpenti and Divas’ Dream. As you know, our strong point is gemstones. The new HJ Barocko collection was dedicated to Roman and Baroque art. It is extremely successful, although it didn’t have the opportunity to be presented correctly – in both physical and digital way.
– If we are talking about Serpenti and Divas’ Dream watches, is it more a piece of jewelry or a watch?
– You know, we do not need to classify them in any particular category. But I believe that Diva and Serpenti are important jewelry with mechanism of a watch. It is like a bracelet that has a movement. That doesn’t mean it has to be categorized. A watch can be an important piece of jewelry too. Therefore, if I see a Serpenti or Divas’ Dream watch on someone’s wrist, I would rather say that this is a piece of jewelry
with an option of a watch.
– Where do you find inspiration?
– Rome, of course, is the place where I draw inspiration every day – colors, monuments, works of
art. Color is a really important part of my inspiration. For example, unique sunsets. Italy as a whole inspires me, but since we cannot travel now, Rome has been and remains our main source of inspiration.