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What is it about the Italians? Their culture, their fashion and even the way they live their lives is full of passion. Jewelry designer Marco Bicego is the perfect example. In town for a brief visit to Simon’s Jewelers, he offered insight into his life and passions food, family and jewelry, during a personal LN interview. He was as excited to discuss how he makes a favorite pasta dish as he was to describe the techniques used in his stunning pieces.
LN: Where do you call home?
MB: I am from Vicenza. It’s in the northern part of Italy, between Verona and Venice. I grew up there, my factory is there, and I live there now with my family (wife and three children).
LN: How did you become interested in jewelry-making and design?
MB: I’m a second generation jewelry maker. My father had a jewelry business, and it was a natural decision for me to work with him. He still works with me on my brand.
LN: Tell me about your brand’s philosophy.
MB: As an Italian, I have a different culture than Americans. I mix business with pleasure. I work hard, but I enjoy life. I love great food, great music, a great bottle of wine, a beautiful dinner outside…simple things, but the best of those things. It doesn’t need to be sophisticated, just natural, pure ingredients. It’s like this with jewelry, too. Sometimes the simple things are the hardest to find, and the hardest to create, but they are the best.
LN: What inspires your designs?
MB: In the beginning, fashion was a big inspiration for me…Gucci, Prada. Now much of my inspiration comes from nature. My hobbies are fishing, picking porcini mushrooms in the forest near Asiago (in Northern Italy, where Bicego has a home) and then coming home and cooking them for lunch. You slice them thin, cook them in a little garlic and olive oil, add to a little pasta and that’s it: simple, perfect.
LN: What designers do you wear?
MB: Dolce & Gabbana and new up-and-coming Italian designers like Mauro Grifoni, who is also from Vicenza.
LN: Tell me about Marco Bicego, the brand.
MB: I like the word ‘glocal,’ meaning global and local. This is like my brand, where the pieces are designed and made locally, in Vicenza, but sold globally. I have stores in Verona, the flagship, and Budapest. Mykonos opens in April. We have the 10-year anniversary of Marco Bicego in 2010. We are building the brand for the long term, and in the next 10 years there are big possibilities, especially in America.
LN: Describe your designs.
MB: My pieces are wearable, everyday, fun pieces that appeal to a younger generation. We use beautiful stones and our techniques are special, like the way we texture the gold. Jewelry is about emotion, and I want women to connect with my pieces and to keep coming back to them.