Interview with Giancarlo Coscia
Giancarlo Coscia, CEO of the Italian company Coscia, believes offering a wide product range is vital for success in the pearl business: from classic jewellery to casual and on-trend pieces, from Akoya necklaces to Tahitian, Australian and freshwater pearls. Baselworld is an absolute must for him – as it is the only place to meet top clients.
Mr Coscia, you’re celebrating a century in business this year. How do you plan to mark the occasion?
Giancarlo Coscia: We’re very proud of our company’s history, which began when my grandfather Vincenzo set off from Torre del Greco – our hometown – to buy shells for cameos in Mozambique. Within a few years, he had established a customer base in New York, Cape Town, Sydney and beyond. Then my father Vittorio began importing pearls during the 1960s. It’s thanks to this rich heritage that we’ve set a benchmark in the world of pearl jewellery. We’ll mark our centenary with a book about our company’s history and a competition organised with the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) in Rome, and in September we will celebrate with our customers in Italy.
What are your strengths?
Giancarlo Coscia: Offering a full range with a wide portfolio of cultured pearls is most definitely one. We actually have two divisions. One offers jewellery collections, which have now become our core business. They span from high-end classic jewels carrying the Coscia brand name to Lelune signature collections made from gold with freshwater pearls or silver with pearls and natural stones. Our collections have an extremely wide price range, which means we can meet the most exacting as well as the most commercial requirements. The other division distributes unset pearls imported from Australia, Japan and Polynesia as well as freshwater pearls. I would add that we are quick to identify and anticipate market changes, and all of our jewellery is made in Italy in Torre del Greco, Valenza or Vicenza.
How important is Baselworld to you?
Giancarlo Coscia: It’s a vitally important event both in terms of the number of orders received and the presence of top clients who you only get the opportunity to meet in Basel. It’s not by chance that, as always, we’ve chosen Baselworld for the launch of new collections this year.
What are the current trends in the world of pearls?
Giancarlo Coscia: Not all pearl jewellery is subject to the whims of fashion. The high-end range is always inspired by classical, elegant and refined taste, with Australian and Akoya pearls set in white gold with diamonds predominating. However, as far as more affordable jewellery is concerned, trends offer more freedom and there is growing demand for easy-to-wear jewellery. I’d say that this is the most significant market trend, both in the USA and Europe. Our Lelune brand meets this growing demand for affordable and wearable jewellery and the desire to go beyond the classic string of pearls towards freer design, baroque pearls and a variety of metal colours.
Has much changed compared to ten years ago?
Giancarlo Coscia: Our world has changed tremendously. Having started out distributing unbranded jewels and products, we’ve been focusing for some time now on a commercial strategy based on branding and brand identity. What will never change is our passion, which is underlined by the major recognition that we’ve received, such as the award presented to us by the Japan Pearl Exporters’ Association for having sold Japanese pearls for over 50 years.