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At Baselworld 2010, Pasquale Bruni tells Luxos the inspiration behind his iconic design

by 30 August 2010

Basel has always been an exciting fair, and 2010 was no exception. However, this time round I had the additional opportunity to meet the Bruni family and share some precious time with Mr Pasquale Bruni to talk about his inspirations regarding the new collection. It was the first time that I had met Pasquale Bruni so I didn’t quite know what to expect. However, I was quickly put at ease by his sincere smile and firm handshake as he guided me round the stand, explaining with great passion the details of each individual piece in the limited editions. I couldn’t help but become more and more curious about him and his work.

When asked where he finds his inspirations, Mr. Bruni said, “When I am in my hometown in Calabria, I often paint the image of the sea with the figure of a woman walking on the beach. Only her beauty and elegance can compete with the sheer power of the sea, and stop it in its tracks.”

Inspirations from nature are transformed into geometrical designs, something that Mr. Bruni pioneered back in the 1960s, at a time when Italian jewellery design was relatively conservative. Fun shapes were considered an added detail. Nowadays, intricate design can become a major selling point of a collection. “This shows how much the jewellery-making industry has evolved over the decades in Italy. I was 20 years old at that time. Now I’m 63. Our jewellery is still entertaining and fun today!” said Mr. Bruni with a laugh.

Another feature that Mr. Bruni brought back to the jewellery scene was diamond pavé. Having lost its popularity after the 1960s in Italy, the style was revived by the brand in the '90s. “Pavé is light” – the new pavé is something tangible, and Bruni went on to develop more collections with it. “My creative aim is not to create a ring, per se, but to find a system and a concept in which we can design everything. When we can apply this to every collection, every jewellery piece is given a soul.” Mr. Bruni’s mission is to instil life into his creations. He said that just producing jewellery is not enough, and for the more sophisticated women, wearing the jewellery isn’t enough either.

Mr. Bruni explained that customers want to feel themselves as being part of the story, and share the story personally. “There is a connection between them and what they wear. It’s all about their identity and personality, and we have to be in tune with them.” It is not easy to develop a perfect understanding of the modern woman. Perhaps this is the reason why his daughter Eugenia has also taken on design, with Liberty as her latest collection.

“Every piece of jewellery is special, just like my children. Each one of them is special, and they grow and develop differently.” Though Mr. Bruni could not name just one collection as his favourite, Prato Fiorito must surely be his signature line. Besides Liberty, other new collections this year include Bon Ton and Le Monde. At Baselworld 2010, the jewellery brand presented 12 new pieces in its Atelieria collection, in which the design comes from a long tradition of craftsmanship.

As Mr. Bruni described his passion, I wondered if it had always been his dream to become a jewellery designer. “No, I actually dreamt I would become a tailor and fashion designer,” he said. “Then I had the chance to move into jewellery. You just know when something is right. I think I knew where my vocation was immediately, and I never really looked back.”

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