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Sabido & Basteris blend technology and cultural heritage
By Philip Charlton

March 15, 2009 - Sabido & Basteris have made a strong impact at recent international jewellery trade fairs for their innovative jewellery designs that fuse the latest technology with cultural heritage. The company is highly regarded for its coloured silver jewellery designs. Jewellery Outlook talks to Victor Sabido about what inspires Mexico-based Sabido & Basteris - House of Design.

Jewellery Outlook: What is distinctive about the jewellery designs of Sabido & Basteris?

Victor Sabido: Our designs combined with the use of technology help us to create, what I would call a new category of jewellery for the fine jewellery market.

The combination and use of materials in an inventive new way along with the latest technology, results in jewellery that speaks for itself -- and it speaks to you. Each piece evokes different sensations.

Exquisite sensations. Pleasurable sensations. Aromas and tastes. Motion and flow.

The use of the best materials available is something our clients can count on. Another important issue is our concern for the environment, which has led us to take specific action such as the increased use of eco-friendly green (recycled) silver, but without diminishing our quality.

victor sabido
Victor Sabido
Jewellery Outlook: Where did you find inspiration for your coloured silver jewellery?

Victor Sabido: Once, travelling through the Mayan territory in Mexico, I found myself standing in awe of the murals in one of their temples. I just stared at the colours that had stayed vivid and beautiful for centuries. The Maya had found the way to make lasting colour art out of natural materials. I wondered if we could rediscover that lost skill.

It was the beginning of a concept and a quest that would lead to a beautiful new addition to the world of jewellery.

We have found inspiration in the splendour of these natural elements, and in many of our signature pieces we have blended these elements with cultural allusions. This concept has proven successful for us. Human inspiration is limitless.

Jewellery Outlook: Is the Ocean important for your designs? You have a line of coral and pearl jewellery.

Victor Sabido: I regard Life as a gift. The Ocean plays such an important role that it is impossible not to find it irresistible. It is powerful, soothing, subtle, intriguing, unpredictable and full of colours. We have created a line called “The Aqua d’Argento Collection”, totally inspired by the Ocean.

Imagine a piece that recreates waves on a moonlit ocean. Necklaces and earrings that shimmer with each movement you make. Rich mother of pearl, corals and pearls, complimented with elegant threads of glowing silver weaves. What can I say -- I love pearls!

Jewellery Outlook: Which trade shows are you planning to attend this year?

Victor Sabido: In Europe we are in the Glamroom Vicenza. In the US, you can find us at JCK in Las Vegas and we already did a show in New York last January. In Latin America we will be in Expojoya in Mexico. We were honoured to be invited by Swarovski as the only designers to represent Mexico in a jewellery competition in Hong Kong this August.

Jewellery Outlook: What is your strategy for tackling the global economic downturn, and how has it affected your business so far?

Victor Sabido: We think the secret to getting through this difficult time is that our clients understand the real value our pieces have and what a great return on investment they are: jewels with innovative materials, design, and excellent craftsmanship that can be worn in different situations, from a business meeting to a romantic evening -- or with a T-shirt and jeans for the weekend.

Jewellery Outlook: How important will original design and marketing be in surviving the economic crisis?

Victor Sabido: Very important. Contrary to what many people feel, we regard these times as a great opportunity to position ourselves as an alternative in the world of fine jewellery -- a premium brand, an object of aspiration. Offering totally new and original designs is the key to success. You need to offer people something new and different, but that alone is not enough.

To accomplish that, innovative design must be coupled with a well thought out marketing plan.

I believe marketing is a tool that we should not be afraid to use. It is tempting to cut back on marketing in a downturn, but you need to build for the future, to position yourself now in order to be ready for better times.

Jewellery Outlook: What are your most successful jewellery lines, and your main geographical markets?

Victor Sabido: We have five lines for women: Filo d’Argento, Colori d’Argento, Aqua d’ Argento, Pierre du Monde and the Red Carpet Couture Line. We are also preparing a new one called Espi Line, which will definitely be fun and unique.

Sabido & Basteris designs can be found all over the globe including in Italy, Mexico, Panama, Spain, Sweden, Russia and the United States.

Here are our jewellery lines:

Filo d’Argento - In this collection silver filigree thread is woven to create a textile feel that is sensual and stylish at the same time.

Each silver thread is interwoven with complimentary colours including rust, mocha, pale pink, ocean blue, mauve, copper and moss.

There are friendship bracelets and necklaces with pearl accents and matching earrings. There is a selection of wavy, confetti style necklaces, some with interchangeable coloured crystal charms that are perfect for evening.

Colori d’Argento - The necklaces, chokers and bracelets featured in this group celebrate colour with the lustrous silver hued threads.

The various styles are offered in both flat and rounded forms. A truly international necklace features the seven religions of the world with symbolic colours like black, orange, green, blue, red, mustard yellow, white and purple.

Aqua d’Argento - Like the waves on a moonlit ocean these necklaces and earrings shimmer with rich mother of pearl, subdued earth coloured fossils, threads in delicate shades and accents that reflect light. The pearl flowers of the necklaces give a feminine feel that is also distinctly modern.

Pierres du Monde et Argento - Stones from different corners of the world including jade, jasper, agate, turquoise, amethyst, and African mother of pearl are given centre stage in these magnificent designs. There are large Fossils in rich hues of brown with champagne strands of woven silver. Many of the necklaces can be draped for an extremely dramatic effect.

Jewellery Outlook: Do you sell mainly bespoke pieces, or are you selling to retailers?

Victor Sabido: Our pieces are unique, which led us to design custom-made pieces. Now with our new lines we are entering the U.S. market to approach the retailers and from there we hope to place jewellery with retailers all over the world. We see this time as one of opportunity.