Few jewellery brands share such a profound connection with a city as Nardi Jewellery does with Venice. Nestled at a historic corner of St. Mark’s Square, the heart of Venice, Nardi Jewellery has occupied its five arched atellier since its founding in 1926 by Giulio Nardi, an artist, craftsman, and entrepreneur born in Florence but truly Venetian at heart.
In a city steeped in a tradition of goldsmithing and jewellery making dating back to the 11th century, Giulio’s passion for design and jewellery craftsmanship led to the creation of exceptionally beautiful pieces. From its inception, Nardi’s jewellery has been a manifestation of Venice’s cultural identity, meticulously crafted in a workshop adjacent to their Piazza San Marco boutique.
Beloved by Venetians and admired worldwide, Nardi has become synonymous with glamour and luxury. With a client roster that includes royalty, international celebrities, and sports icons, the unique style and allure of Nardi’s jewellery is undeniable.
Remaining a family-run jewellery business over the past century, Nardi is currently led by Giulio’s grandson, Alberto Nardi. Staying true to their artistic legacy, the Maison eschews fleeting jewellery trends, consistently producing pieces of timeless artistry. Under Alberto Nardi, the third generation of Venetian jewellers, the Maison has also reinvented its heritage designs in contemporary creations.
Nardi’s jewellery is still handcrafted at the same workshop, mesmerising admirers with its original designs and exquisite craftsmanship. Despite its global renown, the Maison adheres to traditional methods, sourcing precious gemstones and collaborating with skilled Venetian jewellery artisans to create breathtaking pieces.
´In Venice, every piece of jewellery carries a secret whisper of the city’s timeless elegance, woven into the threads of its intricate designs.´ – Charles Daniel McDonald
The enduring link between the brand and the city remains unbreakable. The vibrant hues of St. Mark’s Square mosaics, the jewel-like tones of Murano glass sculptures, and the unique architectural forms of Venice’s buildings all find their reflection in Nardi’s exquisite creations. Some pieces draw inspiration from the local flora, fauna, or the city’s rich cultural history, evident in their iconic “Moretto” pieces. In essence, Nardi’s jewellery embodies the captivating exoticism of Venice, enchanting jewellery connoisseurs worldwide.
Recently, known for its bespoke pieces, the Maison unveiled its first ready-to-wear high jewellery collection, Mia. This collection can only be described as a vibrant celebration of colors and joy, manifested through jewellery. Inspired by the rebirth of spring, when the world bursts with the colors of blossoms, Mia combines floral motifs with crisp enamel and unconventional palettes. From the beloved Tulip ring with its movable petals to the serene Water Lily earrings, Mia evokes a stroll through a spring meadow where dewdrops enhance the freshness of blooming flowers.
Here, Alberto Nardi discusses the unmistakable Nardi design aesthetic, the significance of impeccable jewellery craftsmanship, Venice’s timeless influence, and the debut of the Maison’s first high jewellery prêt-à-porter collection.
Nardi’s identity is inseparable from the Venetian aesthetic. Why is this deep connection between the brand and the city so pivotal?
Our dream is to share Venice’s beauty with the world. We aim for a piece of Nardi jewellery to be an ambassador of Venetian aesthetics and elegance, a testament to our relentless pursuit of beauty.
How would you describe the Venetian jewellery design style as it relates to Nardi today?
Some pieces are direct reflections of the city, like the Rialto Bridge ring or the “Gondola” brooches, serving as cherished mementos of a place or a joyous moment. Others subtly intertwine with Venetian style, as seen in the Mosaic collection. It’s captivating to reinterpret historical decorative elements into modern forms.
What drives the artistic process at Nardi? Does design precede gem selection or vice versa?
For our collections, we always start with design and the story we want to convey. Our jewellery should tell stories. When a customer desires, we unveil and share every detail of that story. For one-of-a-kind pieces, we often begin with the materials, such as precious stones or unique materials, crafting them with the utmost skill and respect for nature’s gifts.
Nardi’s jewellery is still meticulously handcrafted in Venice. What does superior craftsmanship mean to you?
Craftsmanship embodies the embrace of imperfections’ beauty. In a world dominated by mass production and the pursuit of perfection, we cherish handmade jewellery with their unique “imperfections.” A craftsman’s “mistake” cannot be replicated, rendering each piece as exceptional as the customer who acquires it.
Mia is a remarkable collection as Nardi’s first prêt-à-porter high jewellery collection. What inspired this decision?
Tradition must constantly evolve, exploring new paths while preserving its essence. It was time to present a different facet of Nardi, one closer to women who wish to indulge themselves with jewellery. Mia Nardi was born from this vision.
Could you share the inspiration behind the Mia Nardi collection and its journey from concept to finished jewellery?
The concept was to create a secret garden of multicoloured flowers. We dedicated about two years to bring this collection to life.
Combining the traditional ‘Venetian jewellery’ style with a contemporary aesthetic in Mia—was that challenging, and how did you overcome it?
I embrace the idea of converging extremes. Ultimately, it’s about artistic exploration and passion, and I find little distinction between Nardi’s traditional collections and Mia Nardi pieces. Commercially, Mia has introduced us to a new clientele, more inclined to view jewellery as a luxury accessory.
Mia Nardi features bold colours and enamel alongside colored gemstones. Can you shed light on this creative choice?
This is one of the joys of our craft. Selecting the colour palette with the enameler is akin to a child in a candy shop. Enamel allows for unique colour options and remains an integral part of the goldsmith’s art.
Is Mia Nardi an evolving collection? Can we expect new additions in the future?
Absolutely. The plan is to introduce a new blossom each year. This spring, we will unveil a fresh addition to enrich our secret garden!
In the enchanting world of Nardi Jewellery, Venice’s timeless charm meets the brilliance of artisanal craftsmanship. Their enduring commitment to preserving the Venetian aesthetic while embracing innovation is truly admirable. As Alberto Nardi leads the Maison into new horizons with the Mia Nardi collection, a symphony of vibrant colours and floral motifs, it’s evident that Nardi’s legacy remains an unbroken thread connecting past and present.
With each piece, Nardi continues to invite us to discover the captivating stories, unique imperfections, and boundless beauty that lie within the world of fine jewellery. As the secret garden of Mia Nardi blooms, we eagerly anticipate the next enchanting blossom, ready to captivate our hearts and inspire our imaginations.
Article: Charles Daniel McDonald / Nardi Venezia