EE Expert Speak
Meet Federica Imperiali – Global Head of Product Development at Forevermark, a part of De Beers, the world’s leading diamond company. Forevermark’s Trends Expert and Head of Design in Milan, Federica designs new brand collections as well as unique, Forevermark diamond pieces that are worn by leading celebrities at global events including the Oscars. Leading actresses Kate Hudson, Jennifer Garner and Margot Robbie have recently been spotted in jewellery designed by Federica who is responsible for developing bespoke collections for Forevermark Jewellers around the world. EE’s Priyanka Sippy in conversation with Forevermark’s shining star-Federica Imperiali, where she shares jewellery design trends, the magic behind diamonds and her own unique perspective.
Q: You have clocked in 15 years at Forevermark, how has the journey been?
A: 15 years that seem to have flown by in a second- for me, working for a brand like Forevermark is absolutely exciting and engaging. I have not only had the opportunity to work with one of the most beautiful and unique miracles of mother nature, the diamond, but also having the awareness of being part of and contributing to something bigger thanks to the commitment of Forevermark in responsible sourcing. For Forevermark, responsible diamond sourcing lies at the very heart of our business. It means that throughout a Forevermark diamond’s journey from rough to polished, particular care has been taken to ensure responsible business practices, to support the advancement of women and to protect the natural world, which is the ultimate source of our diamonds. When working on new product designs, the Diamond is always at the source of any idea and inspiration: the entire conceptual meaning we give to the collections is driven by the diamond itself. And by the women who will cherish it.
Q: Tell us about Forevermark’ s Spring – Summer 2021 trends
A: We have identified two main tends for Spring/Summer 2021 -Diamond Rain and Twist& Shine. Diamond Rain is about rain and all that it symbolizes. It is an exhilarating source of inspiration and optimism during times of challenge and change. As an element, water is essential to all life on earth. In its embodiment as rain, we associate it with renewal, rejuvenation and growth. When translating rain’s allure into diamond jewellery, the remarkable properties of diamonds such as their strength, natural beauty and rarity, evokesa desire for new beginnings and clearer times. In the same way that rain refreshes, we can explore new ideas and incorporate diamond cuts such as pears, marquise and squares to replicate the stunning fluid droplet and ripple movement from rain, transforming much-loved statement pieces in original ways to treasure forever.
Twist & Shine is more about change: life’s unexpected twists and turns that can often be the catalyst for great new things. This trend is about dynamism and surprise, introducing silhouettes based on sculptural twists that thrill from every angle. A sweeping band of pavé diamonds, or a striking solitaire, asymmetrical diamond clusters, or mixed cuts that build interest, all eye catching.
Q. Tell us about some of the top trends in jewellery currently.
A: This year, trends we have spotted are a strong link to tradition as featured in particular in one of our trends called World Tribe Jewels. Designs featured in this trend find a fit with the great importance traditional jewellery has always had in Indian culture, in particular for special events such as weddings.
Traditional patterns, motifs and symbols translate into designs that embrace visual codes of the world’s diverse cultures. The versatility of diamonds comes into play here, as different cuts – including baguette, pear and square – can be arranged into bold geometries, tessellated elements and delicate tracery in order to create jewellery with enduring appeal.
Another source of inspiration can be the Twist and Shine trend I mentioned before. Inspired by the architectural principles of DE constructivism which encouraged freedom of form and gave rise to ground-breaking new aesthetics based on complex geometries, the jewels we presented in this trend are dynamic and can transform themselves. Change and surprise play a pivotal role in these creations – perhaps a sweeping band of pavé diamonds, or a striking solitaire. The use of asymmetric diamond clusters, or mixed cuts build interest, and perspective to draw the eye. Last, but by no means least, we introduce silhouettes based on sculptural twists that thrill from every angle.
Precious and important wedding colliers and earrings can be transformed and more easily worn in a simpler necklace or stud earrings for more relaxed occasions.
And last but not least the trend we called Hear Me, is all about earrings, which proved to be an important ornament in moments when a lot of people working remotely show just their face and still want to be bright and joyful. But here is more than that, it is a statement of self-expression and casts its focus directly on diamond earrings, not only as a category, but as a symbol of our desire to be heard. When they feature diamonds that represent versatility, responsibility and individuality, earrings – whether worn solo, in pairs, or as a mismatched stack of assorted styles, become the perfect vehicle with which to express a compelling contemporary mindset.
Q: Expand on the philosophy behind the design created for the Indian market
A: Designing jewellery for Indian women is definitely exciting because of the unique and different ways women from different parts of India adorn themselves according to their culture. Indian women possess a natural elegance that allows them to carry off large jewellery pieces with grace and élan with both their traditional as well as modern outfits.
Indian women have expanded our design palette where we bring traditional designs to our jewellery, still maintaining a contemporary feel. For this year, trends we have spotted are a strong link to tradition that might perfectly fit in with the great importance traditional jewellery has always had in Indian culture.
In difficult times traditions are the roots that help us stay strong. Inspired by the patterns, motifs and symbols used by global cultures to express deeply held beliefs, jewels with tribal echoes speak to our renewed interest in traditions that celebrate belonging, identity and our place in the world. The versatility of diamonds comes into play, as different cuts are set in beautiful arrangements with enduring appeal.
Q: Name some of the unique pieces designed by you that are special to you
A: Each creation for me has a very unique and special meaning. It’s all about understanding our consumer and their expectations, at the same time aligning the creativity with the emerging trends and the brand messages. Some of the most exciting collections we have created for India are Artemis in collaboration with the famous fashion designer Bibhu Mohapatra, and Zanyah in collaboration with Sabyasachi Mukherjee.
The Capricci collection was an important milestone for me. The collection was inspired by the acknowledgement that women’s love for jewellery can also be a way to express how they feel. It is from that idea that the nose pin collection was born. Developed around the idea of ‘Wear What you Feel’, Capricci encourages women to express their creativity and emotions in an elegant and subtle way, playing with different jackets embodying their state of mind and universe.
Q: What inspires you when you design?
A: At Forevermark we do extensive research by looking at global trends on runways, retail designs and product innovations, but our inspirations also come from sculpture, interior design and architecture as well as from everyday life. All these stimuli are used to put together a forecast of the designs that we will see gain popularity in the next year. What we believe is really important is that identified jewellery trends, support the creation of pieces which combine timeless elegance with contemporary appeal. Jewellery design is not intended to be as a “fast fashion” design, rather, pieces that are everlasting.
Our trend research aims to become a source of inspiration: our key moods are used as “muses” that inspire exquisite diamond jewellery designs. But these designs are thought to transcend the here and now and will remain valuable and desirable forever. The purpose is to have them reflect the specific demand and culture of different markets: a jewel with a Forevermark diamond is something that will remain desirable everywhere and forever as forever is the unique beauty of a Forevermark diamond.
Q. Name some exciting collections Forevermark has in store for its consumers?
A: It will soon be time for Forevermark to launch a brand-new collection emphasizing the self-purchase area and the idea of self-expression. It is intended for bold and adventurous personalities and aims at expressing the spirit of possibilities created by a single action that can shape the future. The whole collection is an evocative symbol of the path every person has already started on and of the future that can still be influenced by our actions. Diamonds are at the heart of every jewellery piece with their enduring beauty, integrity and uniqueness.
An important presence in India will also be a revamp of the Forevermark Icon collection. The Icon is the symbol of Forevermark and the symbol of what a Forevermark diamond represents: our diamonds are very carefully sourced from mines located in different countries, at the same time upholding high business, social and environmental standards. Every Forevermark diamond worn, has benefitted the community where it originated.
Ethical sourcing is at the heart of a Forevermark diamond. At every step of its journey, strict criteria ensure the diamonds are ethical or conflict-free and do not negatively impact the environment. The Forevermark Icon collection is inspired by the new definition and vision of the modern woman: confident and determined, yet one who doesn’t want to give up modern sophistication and romantic elegance. The collection ranges from a classic and iconic bridal line to a fashion one inspired by clean and modern lines. The core design element of this collection is the Forevermark Icon in which a delicate four prongs setting enhances the beauty and brilliance of a Forevermark diamond. The design motif is proposed in multiple variations from the simple classic plain gold to the more precious with pavé or baguette diamonds and for those who love to surprise with beautiful enamel colors .