Redefining the phrase “everyday luxury”, Italian jewelry designer Marco Bicego is creating one-of-a-kind collections sold exclusively in Canada at Birks. On his second trip to Canada, FLARE met with Marco to get a closer look at his collections and meet the man behind the designs.
Congratulations on the company’s 10th anniversary this year, how did you celebrate the occasion?
To celebrate this milestone, I figured what better way to honour the anniversary than by creating a special one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry. To mark the event, we released a limited-edition Ten Year bracelet for the holiday season. An extension of the Goa collection, the thirty strand bracelet features 10 carats of diamonds to signify each year.
You’re known for the craftsmanship and artisan approach to your designs, how did you learn your technique?
I am the second generation in this business; my father was an established artisan who taught me the ancient art of goldsmith work. Growing up in the small Italian town of Vicenza, I was surrounded by jewelry and spent a lot of time as a child on the production floor. I have tried to incorporate this artistry into each of my designs, whether hand-woven gold coiling or intricate engravings, each piece is recognizable and is connected to the brand.
Many of your collections are named after destinations: Marrakech, Cairo and Jaipur. Are these some of the places that you find inspiration?
I definitely draw inspiration from my travels but I really have inspiration coming from everywhere. Whether it’s a trip, architecture, nature or even a customer. Sometimes it’s the simplest thing that can make me start thinking about a new collection or a particular design. For instance, the Jaipur collection began when I discovered the beautiful vibrant stones found in this region of India. The stones provided the foundation for the collection.
How are your customers an inspiration?
One of the best parts of my job is getting to travel and see how my customers are wearing my pieces. Seeing the way each person uniquely styles the pieces adds emotion to the designs. On my last trip I saw a woman combine some of the pieces from the Goa collection in a way that I had never even thought of, it was very inspiring to see her personal touch. It’s all about being local and global.
You have built a reputation on bringing “everyday luxury” to a diverse customer base, how have you achieved this?
We use the most precious all-natural materials, most of our designs use 18kt yellow gold. This is typically prohibitively expensive and worn by older women. We are trying to change this perception and make our pieces more accessible. We are constantly striving to create more affordable pieces that appeal to the younger generation. We like to say that you can wear our pieces to the beach or to the ballroom, they are very versatile.
The Marrakech collection is your best-seller, why do you think customers responded so well to this collection?
The Marrakech collection has become our iconic collection. We even incorporated the collections designs into the interior of our new headquarters by replicating the gold strands with sculptures on the walls. The hand-woven coil technique was developed very organically on the production floor and makes each piece one-of-a-kind. The collection is also timeless. Customers want to buy timeless pieces, they want to invest in something they can wear long term.
What’s next for you?
The future is very bright. We are trying to stay focused on the collections and the artistry behind them but we are also open to new partnerships. We are trying to find a good synergy with partners—like what we have found with Birks in Canada. We would also like to build more of a lifestyle brand, possibly open a café. We are looking to position the brand in different ways.