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“We think differently as we are confined to jewellery and for us design is most important. We keep a keen eye on what people prefer and offer products that fulfil their desires and match the changing trends.” Excerpts from the interview with Guido Damiani, President, Damiani Jewellery.
Guido Damiani took charge of Damiani in 1996 and is today the President of the board of directors of Damiani Jewellery. Guido moved to settle in Dubai recently where AWJ met him at the Damiani store to explore the brand’s latest plans and future strategy.
Damiani had an active list of band ambassadors including Sharon Stone and Sophia Loren, and has recently launched an ad campaign with Madalina Ghenea. How has the brand benefitted from these associations?
For us it is significant that we use this kind of celebrities in our advertising. There is something more behind the promotional contract – they are friends of the family or friends of the brand. Using celebrities however has become less important nowadays than in the past because in the past people were always looking for somebody important to identify themselves with and to dream about. Though this is still relevant, there has been a major transformation in the perception. Today, apart from movie stars, there are those influencers who are famous and important on Instagram and other social media, and there are also motivators for example soccer players or other sports stars who attract great public interest. It always pays to associate the brand with those whom people dream about and identify themselves with. Many keenly follow these celebrities they adore and want to be like them, and this is an effective way of adding value to the brand.
Damiani is almost a 100-years brand and has expanded its presence in the Middle East with representation in the region and the recent inauguration of boutiques in the UAE. How do you project your expansion plans in this region?
We want to invest a lot in this market. We believe in the market so are planning to invest significantly and to open some more stores not only in the UAE but also in other countries like Qatar. We are also looking at new locations and next week I will be flying to Riyadh. Saudi Arabia is another target market where we want to open soon, let’s say in the next six months. We will also invest heavily in advertising as well as in promotional events because we believe it is the right moment – the market is ready and our brand is well-known. I didn’t move into Dubai to just promote the brand. I came here to see and feel the city with the sea, sands and so full of life. And being here myself, I will put some energy and money for the brand as well.
How does Damiani as a brand position its DNA in today’s global market?
We are among the big international names, but the difference is we are more of a jeweller while the other top brands are closer to, let’s say luxury brands. They have watches, leather goods, bags, cigarettes and hotels among others under their brand canopy. Many are positioning themselves as being a retailer more than a jeweller. Our company was born as a manufacturer and my grandfather used to design and create the jewellery. People do understand our collection better as we use more gold and the best diamonds while offering the best design.
What is your favorite Damiani collection for the region and why?
One of the best sellers in this part of the world is the Mimosa collection where diamonds are set in a unique way that looks like casual, and this is very well appreciated. Another well accepted collection is Belle Epoque, an acclaimed collection worldwide and soon we will be launching a new collection. We also have an exclusive collection called Masterpieces which is a high-end jewellery and also a beautiful bridal collection that’s is appreciated world over.
Damiani is a family company and you must have several challenges. How do you overcome these challenges?
Nowadays the market is controlled by major brands with huge financial power, but we are lucky to be in this industry because with jewellery it’s a bit different from others. In the jewellery field everybody puts jewellery within the luxury industry like clothes. We think differently as we are confined to jewellery and for us design is most important. We keep a keen eye on what people prefer and offer products that fulfil their desires and match the changing trends. All these make it possible for us to successfully compete with other brands. Our DNA is strong and our know-how is excellent. My grandfather, my father, and my brother and I are deeply committed to continue producing the finest jewellery that will definitely have its deserved place in this world. We have a good opportunity today, we will capitalize on it and carry on the brand into the next generation.