MILAN–In a corner of Milan, poetry and aesthetics come together to form a jewelry collection born from a solid friendship of two women: Viola Naj-Oleari and Marta Caffarelli. Old school friends, they decided in 1998 to start their own jewelry company named Atelier VM. With their delicate, futuristic pieces crafted with gold, silver, fabrics, pearls, sapphires, tourmalines and diamonds, they have made a name for themselves as one of Milan’s most innovative jewelry brands.
“Journalists just like our pieces,” Viola Naj-Oleari, explained to BACOLuxury. Viola is a member of the Naj-Oleari family who started the eponymous label with roots in cotton fabrics and famous in the 1990’s for its feminine floral prints. “They choose us, they publish the story of our jewelry and the brand grows through word of mouth. They [the journalists] are the trendsetters.”
BACO’s womens fashion editor Valentina Accardo sits down with Viola Naj-Oleari of Aterlier VM:
BACO: How did you start the company?
VN: “I always wanted to design jewelry. After school I studied industrial design at IED (European Institute of Design) and Marta attended at goldsmith course in Paris. We were in the twenties and with the passion we started this company. This thing kept us together until now, even through this economic crisis. We have the right balance”.
BACO: Are you familiar with the business because of your family?
VN: My family built a very strong brand and trend in the 90’s and it’s true that I grew up in this creative environment, with care for details”.
BACO: Who is your customer?
VN: They like the care and the attention we put in the product, our poetry. Our pieces have an aesthetic, but they are part of a linguistic research too. Women from 18-20 years old, but also ladies, enter in our atelier. And men of course.”
BACO: What are your most iconic pieces?
VN: The fedine and delizioso rings. They go on every finger of the hand. It’s a trend, as far as I can tell. We started making them in 2006 and now it is a main jewelry trend.
BACO: Does every product have a story behind it?
VN: Yes, it’s true. One of our best seller the necklace non e’ niente. It is a tiny chain with small knots that represent the knots of life.
BACO: What are your new products?
VN: A gold chain bracelet without lock. We named it l’essenziale (the essential). I’ve never liked locks on jewelry. So I was thinking on a way to seal a bracelet directly on my arm. And now I found it: we use a special laser that seals your bracelet in 30 seconds and stays with you for ever.
BACO: Are there any VIPs wearing your pieces?
VN: The Italian Tv presenter Victoria Cabello has been wearing our jewelry for forever. Ilaria D’Amico, Monica Bellucci, Isabella Ferrari, even Madonna has a bracelet of ours engraved with “tota pulchra” (tota pulchra is a prayer from the 4th century that speaks of the Immaculate Conception.
We like to work with artists too and we have collaborations with people we are similar with. On Valentine’s day, for example, we’ll do something with the visual artist Margherita Morgantin of galleriacontinua.com”.
WHO: Viola Naj-Oleari and Marta Caffarelli
WHERE: ATELIER VM – Via C. Correnti, 26 Milan – Italy
WHAT: Jewelry crafted with gold, silver, fabrics, pearls, diamonds and various stones – from sapphire to tormaline.