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Story and Technique
He was raised in a family of military men. So there was a moment of stunned silence when a young Danilo Giannoni declared that he wanted to become a jewellery designer. But while his ambition may have come as a shock to his folks, Mr Giannoni had always had a passion for jewellery. He eventually went on to study at CFP Valenza, one of the top professional jewellery institutes in Italy and graduated as a master jeweller specialising in gemology, design, stone-setting and hand-making jewellery.
"We studied classical jewellery focusing on how to design something and make it," explains Mr Giannoni. "That makes a big difference because it is about technique, not just passion. So we can design as well as manufacture."
The Italian has worked for major jewellery companies including Bulgari, Damiani, Leo Pizzo, Luca Carati and Crivelli and been based in Italy, America, Turkey and China. As an experienced GIA expert, he also sources diamonds and precious stones for his clients.
In 2011, he married his Singaporean wife whom he met while working in Hong Kong. A year later, he established his own brand, Giamore - which means "already in love".
The brand features a range of ready-to-wear designs and as a special gift, its first collection is named after his wife, Jaclyn.
While ready-to-wear gives him the opportunity to turn his own designs into reality, the bulk of his work is in making bespoke jewellery for private clients mainly from Hong Kong and the Middle East. As he has a company in Israel that sources, cuts and polishes stones, as well as a workshop in Valenza to make the pieces, his is a fully-integrated outfit that allows him to focus on servicing clients.
In that respect, his passion for jewellery design combined with his knowledge and experience on the technical side of jewellery-making has put him in a good position to deliver what clients want - whether it is to reset an old piece of jewellery, design something entirely from scratch or bring to reality ideas that a client may have.
"Jewellery should be a way to decorate yourself, it should tell a story and reflect part of your personality," says Mr Giannoni, who sees himself as an artist with his own style. "That's why I like bespoke pieces - I get to know the client and create something that fits her."
Prices for bespoke pieces start from $10,000 while ready-to-wear items range from US$180 for a Flora pendant in silver with a leather cord, to US$4,103 for a Jaclyn Ring in rose gold with white diamonds and white agate.
Since January this year, Mr Giannoni has moved to Singapore with his wife and their two young children, Julia, three, and David, just a few weeks old. He describes himself as a proud father and that his happiness is reflected in his designs.
"We don't want to conquer the world," he says. "In Hong Kong, you can expect 10 or more new bespoke clients every year. In Singapore, if you find one new client every year, that's already very good. It is a very mature market, so we want to focus on servicing clients rather than opening up our own shop. And we also have the prospect of partnering with a few companies here."