Roberto Coin Talks Inspiration, Jewelry Design
There are jewelry designers and then there’s Roberto Coin. The designer began in 1977 by creating and manufacturing for other Italian lines. Building a reputation for his craftsmanship, Coin launched his own brand in 1996 in Venice, Italy. In 2000, the line was ranked number 7 among top jewelry lines in the US. By 2002, the line was ranked 3rd in the worlds top brands, and 1st in Italy. Today the luxury jewelry sells in high-end departments like Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, and Bergdorf Goodman, offering a variety of styles and prices..
SanDiego.com sat down with Coin at the Neiman Marcus store in Fashion Valley and discussed what inspires him, his home in Venice, women, and his simple yet elegant jewelry designs.
Your signature is to insert a Ruby into all of your pieces. Why did you decide to use that symbol?
Roberto Coin: The Pharos gave Rubies to their wives. They believed when the stone touched the skin it would bring good luck, health, happiness, and even fertility. I thought it was a beautiful story, so I began adding them to the Appasionata collection, and eventually to every piece. So, every woman who owns a Roberto Coin piece will have good fortune.
How do you stay current year to year? Do you continue to add new pieces every season or is there a standard piece that stays?
RC: I want to do the opposite of every other brand. It’s like upside down branding. Instead of buying my jewelry and all women who have it look the same, I try to give them the possibility of looking uniquely different from each other. I create 600-700 new models every year. It’s a tremendous investment, but I give women the opportunity to be up to date with fashion and completely individual.
What’s your inspiration for all of the new designs year in and year out?
RC: Life, art, food, and wine. I consider myself an intellectual man. I live in Venice. My family has been in Venice since 1503. Being in Venice is like living in a museum. The work is creative for me. It’s not work.
Why do you think your jewelry line has been so successful?
RC: I understand women. I spent years undressing them, now I make money dressing them up. I have a keen eye for what a woman wants. What piece of jewelry will be the perfect fit for her.
What’s the current hot item in the line?
RC: Animalier is very big in fashion right now. My scorpion is designed for my wife, who is a Scorpio. The octopus is designed with Paul the octopus from Germany in mind. Paul correctly predicted all of the winners of the German World Cup soccer games in 2010. When he died, they found he had two hearts and two brains, so on the inside of the jewelry I have inlaid the symbols of two hearts and two brains.
Can you name any celebrities who are your customers?
RC: The King of Morocco, the Sheik of Dubai, Oprah.
If you could design for anyone in history, who would it be?
RC: I would love to have made something special for Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, and Maria Callas. Three very different women. So the pieces would all be very unique to them.
If a woman could only own one piece of jewelry, what should it be?
RC: I'm sure she would be happy to have something from the Cento diamond collection. Most diamonds have only 57 facets, the Cento diamond has 100. It’s my exclusive invention; a masterpiece.