The ancestral power of natural gemstones combined with the modernist touch of enamel, high jewelry artisan techniques to create smart sculptural forms that interact with the body and – not a small thing - at democratic prices: Marco Panconesi's jewels speak to a large target of consumers with refined taste. Their language actually goes far beyond traditional boundaries, while remaining in some way linked to classic art and culture.
Born in Florence in 1989, he lives in Paris, where, before launching Panconesi, his namesake jewelry brand, he worked at the style offices of important fashion brands, including Givenchy and Balenciaga. «The decision to build my own brand is galvanized by my continuously growing need to creatively express myself», he explains, on the occasion of the launch of his third collection for next F/W 2020. «It came at a time where I was searching for new ways to express modernity through my craft. After working at several amazing ateliers, I felt that I had the tools to grow my own vision into something tangible».
So, in 2019, Marco created a kind of "kinetic" jewelry in which game elements and innovative techniques merge with Italian craftsmanship. «It’s about being experimental – not taking oneself too seriously. This translates into communicating emotions through the language of colours and textures. In many pieces, I experiment with natural and artificial materials such as semi-precious gemstones and enamel – creating a hybrid object that is of a third state. I also explore the ways in which jewelry can convey movement on the body. Each piece is engineered to be transformed by the wearer depending on the mood and occasion. The Upside-Down hoops, for example, can be worn as classic hoops, or it can be flipped around and across the ear to create something a little more peculiar». In this way, the human body becomes a boundless field of design to create new ways of wearing jewelry, but Marco's talent also passes through the production processes, in which he combines innovative techniques with an intuitive approach.
«Each creation is different, and each piece is constructed and studied in different ways. The approach can be very spontaneous. In a way, I consider myself as an archaeologist or alchemist. I’m always looking for interesting ways to challenge traditional techniques by fusing them into something modern. I usually make a 3D prototype first by hand – using wax of metal wires to give shape and silhouette to the idea. Then I will work with family-run workshops in Italy to give the idea its final form. These artisans are extremely skilled and are my hardest critics. Rather than them working for me, I see it as a collaborative process. Sometimes none of us know if something can actually be done but we’re ready to “go there” and try. There is actually an essential bond between the designer, Italy and his team, a bond he calls by the Italian term “Famiglia”: « It is a word that goes beyond the language of jewelry. We say it “the Italian way” which means to be respectful of our roots and to build a constellation of collaborators – from our suppliers to customers – who share a common idea and emotion. It’s about working with people you trust and having fun together».