Digital Worlds: Democratizing Luxury

Innovation in jewelry, including wearable NFT, mega bite, docu-film and new sharing economy models

As with every great little revolution in the art world, digital works have also seen the emergence of “corporations” heralding the sense of this new creative branch. There are those, for example, who thought of founding the "Wearable NFT Movement", riding a wave in the making, which, in 2022, also saw the digital debut of those who have been in the market for generations. We are talking about historical brands that have bravely, and in great style, crossed the threshold of the virtual, creating, in the same year, the first collection of high jewelry NFTs and the first docufilm ever made about an iconic luxury company. In the wake of this phenomenon of the moment, exclusively online auction houses have sprung up with catalogues offering rare and absolutely unique pieces from the private collections of VIPs as well as platforms on which physical and oneof- a-kind masterpieces can now also be purchased in the metaverse. While certain “virtual stores” encourage buying, other links act as a reference point for the rental of luxury goods, including jewelry, to the point of becoming a model for a new sharing economy. If augmented reality then comes into play, life-size holograms materialize, so to speak, to share wearable experiences of a certain brand on social networks and from device to device. And, dulcis in fundo, all this flow of information and exchange of money by dint of bite, are managed by agencies that specialize in digital and whose mission is to democratize jewelry companies’ transition to the web. At the service of those who, rather than just stand by and watch, want to be a player in this new parallel world.


WHO Pharrell Williams, founder
WHY A new platform for digital auctions, where jewelry reveals its creative and supportive power

Last September, Pharrell Williams launched Joopiter, a digital auction house built by a team of collectors, curators and creators, offering rare items. The first collection to be auctioned in October was “Son of a pharaoh”: 52 pieces, almost all unique, owned by the famous musician and producer and created and customized with his own contribution. Of these, 19 were jewelry items by Jacob & Co, veritable iconic pieces from the history of hip-hop and music culture, dating back to the early 2000s. «Pharrell was the first to add colored diamonds to his jewelry. It was unusual. No one had ever done it and I enjoyed contributing to such creativity and risk. Guys in his line of work, didn't know what colored stones were or that you can also play with colors. Pink diamonds, blue diamonds, white diamonds, yellow diamonds. He would show me the designs and trust me to fulfil his vision and creativity,» said American designer Jacob Arabo. Proceeds from Joopiter sales will be used to promote the work of Black Ambition, an association committed to supporting black and Latino entrepreneurs on a path to growth and equal opportunity.

Ayesha Sureya Jewellery

WHO Founder Ayesha Sureya Patel
WHY Artisan techniques combined with the more innovative processes of animation and 3D printing WHERE London

Ayesha Sureya Patel is a multidisciplinary artist who interprets jewelry in a personal and unprecedented way. Her works are the result of artisan techniques combined with the more innovative processes of animation and 3D printing, but that’s not all. Conceptually nourishing each creation is the designer's cultural identity, fed by her Asian origins and her studies in London, the city where she lives and works, at her own workshop in Stoke Newington. The meeting/clash of symbols, theologies and beliefs, often distant and discordant, gives rise to a style crossed by a postcolonial romance that fascinates and surprises. A practice that Ayesha adopts with well-defined creative intention suggesting new connections between jewelry and the self, unhinging the formality of decoration and enabling communication and relations with remote worlds, events and histories. Her recent collection, “Devas”, communicates these concepts through a series of 3D artworks, processed through CAD, using Rhino, Zbrush and Blender software, to achieve hyper-realistic levels of detail. The pieces are 3D printed in Belgium and then produced in the UK with the lost wax process using cast silver and gold. The ring in the shape of a tongue, dedicated to the goddess Kali-Ma, is exemplary and is presented on the website with an immersive virtual animation in which the artist depicts the ring as it descends from a blood-filled sky to light up the earth, a metaphor for the power of the goddess as a tool to shed light on the illusion of colonialism. 

NFJ Labs

WHO Alessio Boschi, designer and co-founder of NFJ LABS
WHY An initiative that takes jewelry enthusiasts towards a new world and, above all, to a parallel market WHERE Metaverse

Together with Naman Sidharth and Devchand Chodhry, Alessio Boschi is co-founder of NFJ Labs, the first platform to digitize one-of-a-kind physical jewelry and take it into the metaverse with the sole mission of enhancing the value of artist jewelry and redefining the jewelry industry in the virtual age. The platform is connected to a blockchain-based NFJ (Non-Fungible Jewelry) marketplace, where you can bid on and buy pieces for sale, taking possession of both the NFTs and the original physical jewelry. «I think the metaverse can be a useful marketing tool for brands,» says the Roman designer, famous for his astonishing creations, a veritable concentration of goldsmith's art and cultural inspirations that draw on the entire Mediterranean basin. «The blockchain technology behind it is perfectly suited to recognizing and certifying the ownership and authorship of an idea or design, guaranteeing absolute protection for the authorship of ideas. Furthermore, for any transaction, the designer will receive a percentage of each sale, regardless of when, where or how that sale is conducted. One of our first thoughts was to solve the problem of security and I can assure you that artists and jewelry designers will be treated with due respect.» 

Ivy J. Jewelers

WHO Eduardo Jaramillo, founder
WHY You can check out any artist from around the world
WHERE Los Angeles

In 2020, from his small jewelry workshop in Los Angeles, Eduardo Jaramillo launched the “wearable NFT movement” with the first NFT jewel called the Ethereum Block Chain, a gold chain with an external digital screen, similar to the iWatch, that showed the nonfungible tokens (NFTs) owned. An only apparently simple concept, but one that, by paving the way for this kind of “alternative” jewelry as an innovative form of wearable technology, contributed to the development of a new phase in NFT mainstreaming. In fact, with this jewelry/device, a person’s collection of Non-Fungible Tokens can literally be displayed anytime and anywhere, thus further arousing the public's interest.

Faurschou Studio

WHO Simone Faurschou, founder
WHY Exploring the power of human connection through technology
WHERE London
WEB Platform KnownOrigin/ SimoneFaurschou

Starting from an artisanal approach and moving on to contemporary creativity, designer Simone Faurschou analyzes the relationship between natural and artificial. Her Blockchain collection consists of 12 limited edition 1/1 NFTs that explore the power of human connection through technology by bridging the gap between the digital and the physical through the chance to buy, along with the NFT, a physical necklace, handmade by Faurschou herself, made up of gold blocks, each placed on a chain. In this way, the owner can connect with the other blocks to form the entire collection, creating a sort of integrated circle between all the people who own the various “pieces”.


WHO Pietro Tibaldeschi, founder and President
WHY To help small and very small jewelry companies navigate the digital world in the most profitable way WHERE Cassine, Alessandria, Italy

A social promotion association set up to advise sector operators with the aim of spreading a digital culture, Goldsmith42 has a very ambitious mission: to democratize jewelry companies’ transition to digital by also addressing and involving associations, organizations and foundations. Thanks to recruiting, getting companies and young experts in technologies such as CRM, crowdfunding, artificial intelligence and blockchain, to meet becomes an immediate reality that opens up new avenues for the various players, who are also supported by educational, playful and training activities (workshops, laboratories, summer schools). One of the last topics dealt with was dropshipping, an online sales method that would seem to have little to do with the world of jewelry, but which, in reality, could be an excellent tool since logistics are operated by the producer, from whom customers receive the goods directly.


WHO Janosch Amstutz, CEO
WHY An Augmented Reality communications platform for live and pre-recorded hologram content. For entertainment, business, education
WHERE London

Beem is an evolution of the HoloMe augmented reality technology platform. A further augmented reality communication platform with content in the form of live or pre-recorded, life-size human holograms to be sent, viewed and shared literally anywhere with anyone via text, e-mail, social media. The aim is to increasingly provide and develop a key infrastructure for the future of telepresence in the Metaverse: with Beem for Business anyone can create and share AR experiences with just one mobile device and no other equipment is needed, while with Beem app, users can live-stream AR holograms that mimic physical presence from one device to another in real time. 


WHO Cynthia Morrow, founder
WHY The first platform based on the sharing economy for jewelry
WHERE London

A recent article in the Financial Times reported on an interesting fact provided by Altiant: according to a study conducted by the research firm, almost a quarter of highnet- worth individuals in the US are currently interested in renting jewelry and watches. This shows how the rental market is also gaining ground in jewelry, although it has not yet reached the heights of the traditional market and its formulas can be very creative. Cynthia Morrow was the first to bring the concept of sharing to the world of fine jewelry when, in 2018, she founded Covett, an innovative platform based on the sharing economy. By choosing from a variety of subscription solutions, Covett's customers only own a percentage of a piece of jewelry but can enjoy it every month, for the rest of their lives, at a fraction of its true cost. «We believe that we provide the solution for all jewelry lovers and enthusiasts, including men, to have the pieces they covet, in a smart way. The way we think of it is: “Everyday, sentimental jewelry should be owned. For everything else there is Covett”.»


WHO Lucia Silvestri, Jewelry Creation & Gems Buying Executive Director; Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO WHY Bulgari is the star of “Inside the Dream”, the first docufilm ever made about a high jewelry company. The Lvmh group brand has entered the world of Non-Fungible Tokens with Beyond Wonder, its first high jewelry NFT creation

Presented at the Toronto International Film Festival and then available to the general public on Prime Video, “Inside the Dream” is the first docufilm to explore the behind-the-scenes of a high jewelry company. The leading player is Bulgari, whose creative director, Lucia Silvestri, guides the viewer through the creative and production process of its iconic jewels. Embodying the light of the creations, the film’s co-stars are ambassadors Zendaya, Chiara Ferragni, Lisa, Lily Aldridge and Priyanka Chopra Jones. Bulgari's big news in 2022 was also its entry into the world of NFTs. Last June, in fact, the company turned the spotlight on Magnifica Ruby Metamorphosis and Emerald Glory, necklaces presented in both their physical and digital versions. These were joined by the NFT Beyond Wonder, an exclusively virtual creation. According to Bulgari, this is the “first NFT jewel, an immaterial creation that transcends the boundaries of materiality”. All the NFTs in the collection were designed by Lucia Silvestri and created in collaboration with Miat, a Milan-based start-up. Their data is stored on the Aura blockchain. The NFTs are accessible on the Polygon blockchain. 

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