We loved working with Carolina, who aside from being a true design mind, also understands the importance of craftsmanship. Together, we worked with our Italian atelier to get her design just right, finding the precise brushstroke—not too perfect, not too wonky—and just the right tone of gold for her tablecloth and napkins. We couldn't be prouder to present this collection, which will bring plenty of sparkle to the table, during the holiday and thereafter.
We loved getting to know Carolina through this process. She opened the doors to her beautiful London home for us to shoot our collaboration, and while we were at it, we got to ask her all our burning questions on what it takes to be one of the jewellery designers of the moment.
What was your inspiration for your tablecloth and napkins design?
I wanted something that reflected what I do but also was loose and fun and felt like it was somehow unfinished - a tablecloth caught in the act of creation. There is a moment in fine jewellery making when the gold is warm and can be moved and shaped easily. That was what I was thinking about with all the mark-making on the linen.
Who is your design hero?
I adore the jewellery designs of Fulco di Verdura - they are all different and yet so confident and clearly by the same hand. A true creative, unrestricted by fashion or expectations.
What kind of woman is your dream customer?
Someone confident and fun, who can make choices about her clothes and accessories without having to be told what to wear.
What brought you to London originally?
My husband is from London - we were living in NY and he told me that London was just the same, maybe a little quieter. Hmmm...not quite true. But I am now incredibly happy to be here.
Why did you decide to establish your business here in London rather than Florence?
Florence is an amazing city but to create a modern luxury business you have to leave. There is not enough challenge there, and a lot of inertia. I had already moved at 18 to NYC for university, and so I think it would have been very difficult for me to move back to what is still a small and quite insular town. But of course, a town that is not only beautiful, but where craft is still very much alive and championed.
Right: Table setting for CB's birthday bash in Florence.
When did you know you were ready to go out on your own and start a brand?
I designed the lucky bracelet just after I left FIT in 2002. Patricia Field found out about them and put them on Sarah Jessica Parker in the last season of Sex And The City: That was a pretty dramatic intro into the world of business…. I had to learn a lot very quickly, and part of that process was defining the CB brand.
Tell us a little about your jewellery business?
I am the 4th generation of a family of jewellers and there wasn't a moment when I decided what I would be as a grown up - it has always been my passion, my past and my future. I started "redesigning" the jewellery gifts I received from my family as a young teenager and from there it just continued and evolved. It has always come from a passion. Carolina Bucci the brand started officially in 2002 and I opened my store on Motcomb Street in 2007.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Similarly, it takes a village to build and run a business. Who is in your village?
My father, who has been working for 60 years in the family business, is my biggest support (and critic sometimes). My husband, who is my nightly editor of all that has happened or occurred to me, and helps me to sift through what is important and what is to be discarded. And of course my amazing team, here in London and also in Florence.
If you could only wear one piece of your jewellery for the rest of your life, which one would you wear and why?
My Bambini diamond pendant necklace - it represents my two sons and I always wear it when I am traveling so that I feel close to them.
How long have you had your shop at Motcomb Street?
Nearly 10 years - when we moved in, the street was half empty and a lot of “professional’ advisors told us we were crazy to open there. Now we have wonderful neighbours everywhere, retail and residential, and there is a great neighbourhood vibe about the street that is difficult to find elsewhere in central London.
What are your favourite places for inspiration in London and Florence?
I take inspiration from my life, traditions, craft, heritage and the desire to continuously evolve...
In Florence: Richard Ginori, Giardino Bardini and our family home in San Domenico.
Other than your beautiful tablecloth, what's your favourite item at S&B?
It is all about personalisation for me... I LOVE the S&B Personalised Italian Porcelain Bowls.
We see you've just designed a brand new watch for Audemars Piguet, can you tell us a little bit more about this exciting new project?
Yes - it is very exciting to see this finally coming to life. It has been 2 years in the making, working with AP to redesign the Royal Oak for Women. Gerald Genta’s original design is perhaps the most iconic watch design of all time and so it was a little daunting, but what we have created keeps all the classic clean lines of the original but with a CB signature finish that makes the watch sparkle like it is covered in stones.
Right: Carolina wearing her design for Audemars Piguet.