August is Fawaz Grousi birthday month, the man, the designer and the vision behind the de GRISOGONO brand. Launched back in 1993, he was the first designer to use black diamonds in his many of pieces, and he soon attracted the attention of the mainstream media to his bold, innovative designs. He quickly became the most wanted jeweler to the stars, and no high profile, star studded event would be complete without the colorful presence of de GRISOGONO jewelry. From Hollywood to Cannes de GRISOGONO came to symbolize luxury, creativity and a highly sought after lifestyle. At the same, the brand has enormous appeal to younger, newer jewelry wearers, who identify with the playfulness of the pieces. This sets de GRISOGONO apart from most of the established jewelry houses, and gives it a life and personality all of its own!
This summer the house is portraying the memories of Porto Cervo and the influence of Sicilian sea on Fawaz designs over the years. With Violetta, the youngest daughter of Fawaz, returning from her primary residence in London to stay at her childhood house in Porto Cervo, the “It’s good to be back” campaign has gained momentum.
de GRISOGONO shares Violetta’s experiences while traveling around Porto Cervo, wearing some of the most beautiful pieces from the summer collection (mainly Allegra, Gypsy and Sensuale), and allows us to share the de GRISOGONO Porto Cervo experience firsthand. Prepare to be spellbound as you enjoy the journey here.
I had a chance to have a quick interview with Violetta about de GRISOGONO, Fawaz and her experiences growing up surrounded by some of the world’s most beautiful jewelry:
CG: Violetta, thank you for taking the time to share your remarkable journey with us. To start, which piece is your absolute favorite of all time?
VG: For summer I love pieces that mix turquoise with green emeralds, for example the new India Earrings. The two stones compliment each other so perfectly creating the most beautiful jewels. For the winter months I like to wear darker pieces, such as those that use brown or black diamonds. If I were to choose one collection to wear every day it would be the Allegra, the collection named after my sister. I never leave the house without my Allegra ring. Whether it’s a plain gold ring in my jeans and a T-shirt or a full set version for a red carpet event, it works perfectly. It is the piece of jewelry every girl should have.
CG: How do you describe your passion and your relationship with jewelry?
VG: Jewelry has always played an important part in our lives. Since we were little my father would involve us, from telling us about his ideas to showing us the first sketch of a soon to be collection and then the best part, that of going to see the craftsman bringing his ideas to life. The passion with which they work is truly inspirational. Once you experience this you realize that a piece of jewelry is far more than the materials and stones it is made up of. Each piece has a unique story from inspiration to creation that involves a passionate team of dedicated, creative and extremely skilled people. The work that goes behind each de GRISOGONO piece is truly amazing.
CG: How have Sardinian and Mediterranean characters influenced on this summer collection?
VG: Italy has influenced my Father in all walks of life, from his sense of style, love of food, interior design and of course in his jewelry design. One of his main sources of inspiration comes from nature, art and architecture and those of Sardinia and Florence have played a large role. The wild environment of the Sardinian land combined with its beautiful crystalline turquoise waters has been the primary inspiration for his latest summer collections.
CG: Black diamonds have always played an important role in de GRISOGONO designs. Tell us more about them, are they are all natural or treated in some forms?
VG: The black diamond will always be important for my father. He was the first to realize its beauty and that of combining it with other stones to create jewels that are truly breathtaking. My father has never followed trends and is not afraid to take risks and his first black diamond collection was definitely one of his biggest risks and the one that became one of his biggest successes. This stage of his career definitely created a precedent to which his continues to follow today. Our black diamonds are always natural.
CG: The 5th largest diamond ever found and cut was the Spirit of de GRISOGONO, which your father cut it into a Mogul cut. Have you seen that extraordinary diamond in person? Is it still part of house archives?
VG: Yes, it is an incredible piece and I was lucky enough to have seen in person. Unfortunately it is no longer with us.
CG: Tell us how much your father’s “disruptive creations” have influenced your perspective on jewellery?
VG: He has never been one to follow trends and often his designs would be so different to anything I had seen before. In fact those pieces that would take me most by surprise are the ones that today remain my favourites showing his ability create to trends. Through watching my father and learning from him, I appreciate the “out of the ordinary”. His incredible creativity and his courage to do whatever he feels regardless of whether they are “on trend” are lessons that I try to apply to all aspects of life.
CG: de GRISOGONO watches are hugely popular due to their feminine approach. What should we be expecting in near future with the watch collection?
VG: There is one collection I am particularly excited about, a surprise watch my father made for me called the Lovevivi. The Lovevivi is one of the few that is made purely for women and I love that. It is more of a bracelet than a watch and it really stands out. I can’t wait for its official launch.
CG: What is your involvement in the family business?
VG: Both my sister and I have always been involved in the business in some way, whether giving advice on designs, attending events with my father or working at Head Quarters. We have both worked in the PR departments and I also managed the boutiques for a while. However, whatever I was doing, even when working elsewhere or studying for my undergrad and masters, I was taking care of our social media. Initially it was occasional posts on Facebook and it slowly developed into an integral part of our Marketing umbrella. Today I work closely with the Marketing team to ensure our online activities are closely aligned with all our marketing activities. From content creation to engaging with our followers and building relationships with online influencers, I love what I do.
CG: Do you have any plans to design jewelry?
VG: I would love to one day design a collection together with my sister, Allegra. We have talked about this over the years and I am sure this will happen soon. We have quite different styles but somehow our differences compliment each other and I see this coming out well in a collection.
CG: How would you describe the de GRISOGONO customer?
VG: The typical de GRISOGONO customer is elegant and confident. She or he is one that does not care so much about fashions and what is on trend. In fact they tend to be the trendsetters themselves without knowing it.
CG: Tell us about your experience of this summer, “It’s good to be back” and your childhood memories.
VG: Summer is always magical for us. It is a time when everything slows down and the family comes together. It is made up of long days on the boat and coming home to a family dinner at home or a night out in Porto Cervo with friends. We all have very busy schedules during the winter months and everyone is constantly travelling so summer is really the only time we are all together and we really cherish these moments.
CG: Once again thank you Violetta and we wish Fawaz a very happy birthday and amazing year ahead.