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  Vicenza Fair takes a big risk on the Glam Room

  By Tom Wildhern/September 10, 2008

VICENZA - The Vicenza Fair took a big risk at its autumn jewellery trade fair: It made a huge investment in backing the technological and design innovation to be found in its brand new, state-of-the-art Glam Room.

To be sure, the global wholesale jewellery trade needs to find clear solutions to the problems created by the harsh economic environment in which we live, with a number of countries and markets apparently sliding towards recession.

The Vicenza Fair’s answer to this problem lies in a clear shift towards innovation and experimentation in marketing and design, and the Glam Room is the symbol of this bold stance.

The Glam Room epitomised the use of technological breakthroughs to create completely fresh designs, such as Sabido & Basteris’s fusion of minerals with silver to create colourful ribbon-like necklaces, and Adreani’s use of acrylic crystal.

In times of economic slowdown, cheaper, alternative materials become an attractive choice to blend with traditional -- and more expensive -- precious metals and gemstones.

In the Glam Room, Gualti’s necklace composed of wool, silver, silk and gemstones, underscored this new focus.

Another exhibitor, Guglielmini Gioielli, combined silver, pearls, gemstones, wool, silk and leather.

Misis surprised many visitors with their choice of feathers in jewellery designs.

Cristina Salvi, who coordinated the Glam Room project for the Vicenza Fair, summed up the experiment with the words, “This is a kind of melting pot.”

With identically shaped booths throughout the Glam Room, the pressure is on the exhibitor to stand out through design innovation.

“What really talks to the customer here is the product,” Salvi said.

The design risks are daring. But perhaps this is the only way to wake customers up during a downturn. Time will tell.