There’s something to be said about fine Italian jewelry.
Known for acute attention to detail, impressive structure and the sensational use of precious metals — namely gold — the country’s jewelry has been admired since the days of ancient Rome.
This reputation stems from an early dedication to craftsmanship, preserved over the years by jewelry giants like Pomellato, Roberto Coin, Bulgari and Buccellati.
And it’s a skill that luxury jewelry designer Vendorafa pairs with a modern approach.
Founded in 1951 by Mario Lombardi in Valenza — and currently owned by Daniela Lombardi, Mario’s daughter — Vendorafa’s designs embody passion, emotion and sophistication to complement a woman’s unique, timeless beauty. By combining age-old techniques with new perspectives, its contemporary collection proves reminiscent of traditional, handmade Italian jewelry.
“We use all of the manufacturing processes that an artisan goldsmith uses,” says Massino Zerbini, president of Opera Trading Luxury, a distribution company representing Italian jewelry brands in the United States. “That’s why our jewelry is created using several techniques, from the investment casting, to sampling to create big volumes, to embossing and chiseling.”
Inspired by the flora of the land and sea, Vendorafa uses precious metals, primarily gold, to recreate and enhance the delicate shapes and fine points of flowers and leaves.
“We take our inspiration from nature, because we think the perfect shape of a flower or a leaf of flora from the sea must be celebrated and enhanced using precious metals,” he says.
The result includes such collections as the “Fiori,” 18-karat yellow and pink gold rings adorned with colored gemstones, suggesting dewdrops atop the flower’s petals, with white diamonds accenting the pistils ($12,000); “Il Mare,” a celebration of the sea featuring an 18-karat, rose gold, handmade, seahorse pin ($5,800) and seashell earrings ($8,900), both adorned with champagne diamonds; and “Elissi,” an 18-karat rose and white gold necklace enhanced with brown diamonds, reminiscent of the most hypnotic lunar eclipse ($20,500).
In addition to nature, however, Vendorafa looks to small elements in the outside world as muses.
“Our inspiration comes from a vibe,” Zerbini says. “It may be an architectural detail, the draperies of a haute couture dress, a paint color or a sculpture. Everything that affects our emotions during the day can be translated into jewelry.”
But regardless of the creation or its muse, Vendorafa uses gold as the focal point with precious metals as the accents — a signature of classic Italian jewelry. Its collections offer a range of items, including necklaces, bracelets, bangles, rings, earrings, pins, cufflinks and buckles, with the most popular options, including long necklaces (referred to by the French word, “sautoir”) and earrings.
Though no matter the piece, the goal is to create exclusive accessories that underscore a woman’s natural loveliness.
“This woman is looking for emotional jewelry to enhance her emotional beauty,” Zerbini says of the woman who wears Vendorafa. “The woman who’s wearing a statement piece is sensitive and alert toward the world around her.”
And, according to Zerbini, the jewelry should offer a creation that harmonizes with the depth and breadth of a woman’s life.
“Luxury is no longer defined by richness and opulence,” he says, “but by the capability to have items, which recall a unique sensation or experience.”