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Tagliamonte and the Evergreen Attraction of Medusa

The Campanian company was founded in Torre del Greco in 1943 and specialized in glass paste processing. Formulating the communication strategy and new collection today is Giada, the in-house designer who is looking towards a multi-generational public

Inheriting a family business, a historical, internationally recognized brand, is no small-time affair, one that not everyone can face with the right spirit. Giada Tagliamonte, however, has perfectly understood her role: to ferry a brand that has made a career and trademark from an ancient art towards a wider and multi-generational public. Giada is fifth generation and as such, she has the in-house knowledge, savoir-faire and vision that she learned, firstly from her grandfather and then her father, who, in turn were pioneering entrepreneurs, always one step ahead in intercepting new trends or even actually creating them.

The first chapter of the saga began in 1943 in Torre del Greco when Giada’s grandfather founded the Tagliamonte company after a history of generations that started from coral fishing in Ischia and went on to engraving cameos on shell. With Tagliamonte, grandfather Stanislao shaped and formalized a family tradition. However, Giada’s father Nino already began to explore new fields, altering the course of his father’s production with glass paste and subjects inspired by Greek-Roman iconography. His research took him on a lengthy journey that started from the archives in the Herculaneum Museum and ended in New York where he studied original molds from two thousand years ago, investigated into age-old techniques and styles with a view to adapting them to modern tastes. A mission that he managed so well that Tagliamonte became a little equated with the ever-fascinating world of yesteryear. 

And that brings us to Giada. Born in Vicenza but with a passport already full of stamps and visas from the age of 13, thanks to foreign travel and study experiences that led her to create a nothing short of polyhedric profile. After graduating in Fine Arts in Venice, one of the destinations that captivated her the most was Hong Kong where she decided to stay for some time to undertake a career as an artist and in-house graphic designer collaborating with several local or Italian companies based in the Far East. After HK, she went to the United States where, for a while, she worked in the family business, whose strong point is still the USA even today. Next, she flew to Singapore, initially for a Master Degree and then to continue networking among local and Italian companies in search of new customers, markets, raw materials, etc.… And that brings us up to date, a period that sees her playing an active part in the creation of new Tagliamonte collections…

«Glass pastes have been our calling card for a long time. They are extraordinarily versatile, both in terms of shapes and colors, which are potentially endless although we have limited them, so to speak, to a palette of 120 different shades. At the moment we are fine-tuning the same processing on hard stones using a large variety of subjects, even though Medusa heads, which were highly popular in the 1980s and ‘90s, an extremely trendy period at the moment, are making a comeback. Our current priorities are communication and artistic direction. We want to give the brand a new allure, continuing to nurture the loyalty of our regular customers but also getting the younger public to see our values and the beauty of a jewel that is able to go through the seasons without ever aging. We have already taken a step in this direction in terms of company organization: we have a branch in the USA and production in Vicenza, Italy, although our main retailers are in the United States where we are now selling more through department stores but only with web retailer specialized in luxury and designer brands, like, for example, The RealReal. Small collectables sell very well in America because they can be personalized with particular colors and subjects, for example, pendants, earrings and charms. Another important market is Australia for finished items, while Asia generally demands loose glass pastes. Here, requests come mainly from a clientele that has been enormously rich for generations and have a lengthy culture behind them. The typical customer is a cultured 35/40-year-old with considerable spending power. In Italy, our rebirth began in the last eighteen months. A pre-Covid buzz was already in the air which gave us the chance to resume contacts with retailers in Venice, Rome and Naples.»

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