Leo Pizzo: A jewel has to touch an emotional chord

© Written by Rachael Taylor for BaselWorld Brand Book

Q_ For more than 40 years your jewels have been made exclusively in Valenza. What encouraged you to keep production in Italy, and what makes Italian-made jewellery so special?

A_ My emotional bond with Valenza is really strong, almost unbreakable. It is the place where I started this job and my strong desire is to hand down what I have learnt. Jewellery manufactured in Italy is unique because our goldsmiths can create strong but light volume jewels. Besides that, the attention to the quality and the cut of precious stones is always fundamental, the precept being that a jewel has to touch an emotional chord but also have an intrinsic lasting value.

Q_ Are there any fellow Italian jewellers who have particularly inspired you?

A_ The person I remember with most affection is Mr Luigi Illario of the homonymous and glorious company that in the 1960s and 1970s reached its apex. He was an idealogue of local jewellery. His competence and dedication gave a decisive impetus to the economic growth of Valenza, which is now known all over the world for high jewellery thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit and skill of many people who embraced a dream.

Q_ About 70% of your jewels are created for export, with Leo Pizzo branding carrying the tagline Creatività Italiana. How much sway does Made in Italy have with international jewellery shoppers?

A_ I am afraid that abroad there is a bit of confusion about the meaning of Made in Italy. Too many companies unduly claim to adhere to that brand, synonymous with high quality and taste for beauty, giving abroad a distorted picture that threatens to erase what should be a real philosophy for our country.

Q_ How do you think Leo Pizzo will continue to champion Italian jewels?

A_ I am a goldsmith and I will continue to be. My dream is to be able to hand down my great passion to my sons, who I really hope will continue to fly the flag for Made in Italy.

This article was originally published in the BaselWorld Brand Book 2015.

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