The Royal Jewellers S02 ep11 : Sabbadini Jewellery [Milan]

Interview with Alberto Sabbadini

The Sabbadini Jewellery Company has been a family business for several generations. Following in the footsteps of his father Bruno Sabbadini, a widely-experienced stone dealer, company president, Alberto Sabbadini, has been involved in the business for 40 years. His wife Stefania and son Pierandrea are always beside him to present the glamorous Sabbadini Jewellery collections all over the world.


Sabbadini: Sabbadini is Italian name. My grandfather was Alberto Skonatsi, he was the father of
my mother. When my father married my mother, joined the business. My grandfather was a
jeweller in Spain and was a jeweller of the royal family and my father was a stone dealer with my
grandfather in Milan and when I start myself I start to design jewellery and then we came back and
was original business to be a jeweller.

Sabbadini: I grow up in middle of stones, when I was a kid I was used to seeing a lot of stone at
home, my father, my grandfather talking always about diamonds and colour stone, in those days
colour stones was something fantastic, it was coming from India, India was very far, was not the
flight like now, but very few people been in India so was everything big imagination. So for me
stone was really a big dream.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

Sabbadini: When I had the stone in my hand I recognise I need to make something with this stone,
was not enough to sell just the stone, even on the beauty of the stone.

Sabbadini: On those day you have to explain to the people what the stone means. Was not
certificate was not grade, was not colour, was not clarity, and you can explain the beauty of the
stone in different way, I look old when I say that but all these things now is lost, now you show
before the paper all the customer know what was D colour, flowers, burman, or … they know
better than jeweller so now you sell something what is not so much history or about.

Sabbadini: I must say in India all the most incredible story happened. Every time when you start to
make a purchase, the prices you never know and they ask you 1,000 for something when the real
value is maybe 10, or they ask you 11, when the real value was 10, so was you judge to decide
what’s the real value and also those days, the stone have a different value of different country.
There was some stone was very, very much saleable in Italy, and was not as much saleable in
United States. Those days the European was very, very strong for the quality, not now anymore,
now is all the world is the same.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

Sabbadini: Also those days it was treatment for the stones, it … but do you know about this, was a
challenge to understand and to recognise what was on the stones and every trade was a really
challenge, … know what happened, you go, you buy 10 stones maybe you buy one stone.

Sabbadini: The Spanish had a fantastic feeling for the art and I think I had this from my mother
and from my grandfather. My mother was a lady with fantastic taste. Myself and my sister who
was a designer clothing, we get that from our family.

Sabbadini: One … my father and myself we both for marriage our family and it took us six months
to convince them to sell us. They wanted to sell it but we have to play the whole … and that was
really very, very hard. Winston was back of us, he wanted to buy us himself and the day when we
sold it, my father was very happy but I was crying inside because I loved the stone.

Jewellery Theatre Elements

Sabbadini: There’s nothing new anymore. Everybody know on the auction on the market and the
offer the certificate go … so it’s very difficult to find something new really.

Sabbadini: The challenge for me now is to reduce myself and to leave the space for my children. I
never push my children to come with me, never. My son, Pierro start to talk business when he was
very young and by the way he’s a very good golf player, I told him if you want to be golfer, why
not, you stay on the … you have wonderful time, you enjoy, no, he love really very much the
jewellery he loves stones, he had a wonderful background at Sotheby’s and … and with me and my
daughter also she just got rid of her … and she loves this business, she have a new idea and so let’s
see what happens.

Sabbadini: I joined the business but I still have choices, I still follow my passions, I graduated the
University of Pennsylvania in Fine Arts with a concentration in photography and I still do that. I
have my first show in a month. I was in China for three months doing photo reportage in China and
that’s what my show is about.

Sabbadini: Having a background in fine arts I love everything that’s design, I love everything
that’s art and jewellery is art. Every time you come up with a design, that’s a new piece of art that
you’re creating so that’s what I really like about the business.

Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

Sabbadini: If you put an important stone in front of my brother, he’s so excited, you know for him
just the stone there, that is pure happiness. I don’t see it that way, I don’t get as excited when I see
a stone by itself, I get excited when I see a stone in a context, when I see a stone as part of a
design, when I see something that’s elegant, that’s stylish, something that I put on and I say okay
that makes me more beautiful because that’s what jewellery is, it’s an accessory that makes a
woman more elegant, that makes a woman more glamorous and more beautiful.

Sabbadini: A woman has her own confidence and has her own personality and her own style and
she never has to look for an object to create that confidence, but when she puts that dress on or
when she puts that piece of jewellery on, her confidence is even greater, her personality is
highlighted because I think when a woman comes in here and she picks a piece of jewellery, she
picks a piece of jewellery that reflects her personality, that reflects her style. And then, when she
wears it she feels like she’s complete, she feels like okay now I am showing my personality and
my style to the world.

Sabbadini: The look and the style of Sabbadini has been created by my father. He’s the one who
created everything that you see and he’s the one that created an image and a look which is a look
which is very traditional, it’s very classical but at the same time it’s very up to date so I have no
intention of coming in and completely changing that, because I think it’s beautiful, I love it, I love
the jewellery that my dad creates. I just want to continue that keeping it up to date, but definitely
in the footprints of what has already been done because it works really well.

Sabbadini: Art is art, and having studied fine arts like we had to do this course on colour and you
study all the aspects of colours, of which colours mix well together, which colours create a certain
atmosphere and that comes into jewellery too because when my dad creates the jewellery he is
putting together different stones of different colours and you have to know what colours are going
to work, what colours are going to give the woman the feel that she wants to get. Also when you
study art you develop a sense for what works but for what looks good in general. For what is nice,
for what is beautiful and then you can apply that to anything really you can apply that to a
photograph as well as you can apply that to a jewellery design.

Sabbadini: The first thing me and my dad designed last month is something that is lighter, it’s
something that you do with your name and it’s all in diamonds and it’s younger in a way but I also
see when my friends come here or when we go to parties and I wear my dad’s jewels, everyone
sees, thinks oh my God they’re beautiful and obviously if you’re 24 you probably don’t have the
budget to buy them yet. But, one day they’ll all want to buy them when they have the budget to
buy them and I think you can do both, I think you can do jewellery which is younger, but it’s still
elegant and it’s still precious even if maybe it’s not as expensive. I don’t think an item of jewellery
has to be expensive in order to be precious.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Sabbadini Jewellery