This exclusive interview with Alberto Milani, CEO of Buccellati Americas was conducted by Nicola Linza and Cristoffer Neljesjö in New York during April 2011
Interview with Alberto Milani CEO Buccellati
How would you describe your personal style?
I'm a father and a husband who tends to replace my absence with unlimited love.
I'm a runner who switched from full distance to half marathons.
I'm a loyal friend to a very selected group of people some of which share my love for Greenwich, CT.
I'm a wine enthusiast and a good driver of sport cars.
I both ski and swim with somewhat of an elegance.
Buccellati is a legendary firm with renowned quality. How do decide on new pieces?
Unlike many firms that rely on hired designers, the House of Buccellati preserves the tradition of the Italian "bottega" or studio, where Gianmaria and his son Andrea conceive and create their own designs. They both usually tend to unconscious images, sensations, colors and scents.
Volumetric effects, details of thousands of elements from their daily lives come to their minds when they are designing. Womens' impalpable appeal plays a great role on the unconscious and often dominates it.
In some other cases a stone could be the source of inspiration. Its shape, cut and color are subtle components that provoke an emotion and drives a pencil to freely glide on the paper.
Exclusivity is a natural for a brand such as Buccellati. How do you maintain your collectors and new buyers while retaining the exclusivity?
Our core values have been reconfirmed in recent years by some prestigious events. After the Buccellati exhibition held at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, in September 2008 the Kremlin Museums in Moscow housed a retrospective exhibition devoted to the creative work of Mario and Gianmaria. 150 exhibits from museums and private collections have been admired by more than 115,000 visitors during the four consecutive months of this event.
In February 2010 we have been honored with the first prize of the Confindustria Awards for Excellence as the company that best represents the "Made in Italy in the world" Direct quote from organization: " In the course of the years Buccellati has spread its creations worldwide, always combining wonderful craftsmanship and excellence which are typical of the Italian tradition."
Both collectors and new buyers share and appreciate all of the above.
What is your favorite accessory?
In the last winter, one of the most challenging ones, a cashmere scarf from my wife Alessandra was my inseparable companion.
All year long, Buccellati silver cuff links are my signature on white tailor made Italian shirts and a dark blue tie.
On a more technical point of view, portable memory devices and smart phones are becoming more than accessories, mandatory extensions of
How do you describe your management style?
Scientific, persistent and passionate.
Asking questions takes me to background research in order to construct my thesis. Testing and analyzing the results are the delicate steps where humility and persistence are key factors. Passion then drives me to draw the right conclusion and gives me the motivation to try again when what I had believed was only partially true.
I always encourage my team to never give up, but always with a solid reporting system before trying again. The enthusiasm of leading an Italian brand is a source of pride and passion that intertwines with my past and shares the same values. I'm genuinely interested in the well-being of my team more than the task at hand. When the team spirit is high we all play better if the right direction is clear.
If you could have your portrait done by any painter living or deceased who would it be? And where would it hang?
I would prefer a portrait taken by Cecil Stoughton who was President John F. Kennedy's White House photographer. His pictures created the aura that later came to be called Camelot. I remember as a child the picture with Caroline and John John around the president's desk as he sang and clapped in delight.
In that picture there are most of my values as a man.
If I could have it done it would not be on a wall, but rather among my most private memories.
You can hand select one item from Buccellati, either new or from the history of the firm, what would it be? And why?
Mario Buccellati during the 1920's reproduced eight Roman silver masterworks, known as The Boscoreale Treasure, that were found during the excavations at Pompeii. He studied the details and proportions and used the same technique as those used by the Roman silversmiths. They go beyond the concept of reproduction and become evidence of the close links between past and present.
The above interview with Alberto Milani 2011 © Manner of Man Magazine/Welldressed. All rights reserved. Reproduction is strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher.