Alessandro Nicotra di San Giacomo
I met Alessandro Nicotra, founder and owner of Nicotra di San Giacomo, through a friend, and when I went to visit his atelier in the chic and fascinating via del Governo Vecchio in Rome I was impressed by the beauty of the pieces he designs and realises in his own laboratory a few steps away.
With a solid goldsmith background, since 1999 Alessandro has been pushing the research further, and exploring the potential of the use of fine silk in his pieces. As a result, the jewel follows the movements of the body like a tailor-made dress, the goldsmith laboratory becomes an atelier and Alessandro defines himself a ‘jewels weaver’.
But what really caught my attention is that these hand-made pieces are unique and extremely beautiful, and at the same time versatile: I feel you could wear one of their bracelets from morning to evening, pairing for the right outfit for every situation. And this is exactly what contemporary women need in their busy and hectic lives!
And Nicotra di San Giacomo‘s is definitely one-man-show. Alessandro takes care of everything by himself: from designing to following the production, to checking finance and hiring new staff. Not to mention that he is super busy being one of the four international coaches of trapshooting from Italy. And the reason why I gave him a Chiara’s Pick is because of his passion and commitment to do something beautiful and share it with as many people as possible.
Well, we booked some time on his crazily busy calendar and met to have a chat.
Your father is a big source of inspiration for you. What did he teach you?
He made me the man I am today, and he taught me to be so smart to be able to use my talents, whatever they are – in other words, to keep doing whatever I’m good at and I have a passion for. He himself was a very peculiar and hard-working architect, he could design anything, from a chair to a villa to a yacht. But he also knew how to enjoy his free time, and how to recharge his batteries when off work. I’m exactly the same, I believe that if you spend time and energy doing what you like in your free time, then you can find extra resources to do your job in a more efficient way.
You are about to leave for US, where you’ll be traveling for a while this summer. What do you like about being around the world?
Traveling keeps me alive. My newly-wife Francesca and I have the luggage ready all the time. It doesn’t matter where we go, it could be Italy or Europe or America or Middle East, during the journey I learn new things, live new experiences and absorb new and exciting different cultures. I need this kind of exposure to feel satisfied and to do my job in the proper way.
What keeps you going, and taking care of all the aspects of your business by yourself?
The love for my job but also the relationship with my clients. They are the main reason while I’m still able to cultivate my passion for jewels. I love to meet them the first time they enter my atelier, to introduce who I am and my products, and I enjoy taking care of them, if they need post-sale assistance. For example, if they buy a piece and after two years it shows signs of time, I am happy to replace it with a new one – I want my clients to come and look for me anytime. I’ll be here for them.
What is the next best thing you are working on?
Ah! I don’t know yet! I’m a genuine creative soul, and my next project might be a furniture shop, or a gelateria – it doesn’t really matter, as long as I have fun along the way. As for Nicotra di San Giacomo, I would like to open a third shop [as well as the second one in the ever popular Trastevere] in the very city centre, close to piazza di Spagna, to be closer and closer to people.
What about opening an online shop? That would allow you to be closer to a wider audience, don’t you think?
Definitely. I’m actually working on it already. It will mainly be for existing customers who already know about us and want an extra piece delivered to their doorsteps. Or for their friends, who fell in love with a Nicotra di San Giacomo item and would like to have a look at it on our e-shop. I know there is lot of potential, but I want to take it step by step. I’m hoping it will be up and running by the fall. Your followers are more than welcome to come and have a look!
Would you be interested in selling Nicotra di San Giacomo abroad?
Of course I would! But it’s not easy and I don’t want to make mistakes. I guess America would come first, and I’m thinking about opening the first shop in Miami – I’ll be there this summer to explore the area and evaluate interesting options. Then of course I would like to export my products to Middle East, Asia, Russia. One step at a time!
I couldn’t resist and I got a couple of pieces from Alessandro’s atelier when I was in Rome. Please let me know if you are curious to see them. We can grab a coffee together and I can show them off!
Alessandro Nicotra di San Giacomo, con un background da orafo e la passione per sviluppare sempre nuovi progetti, e’ allo stesso tempo il cervello e la mano dietro ndsg.it, brand romano di gioielli tessuti. Utilizzando tecniche antiche e materiali pregiati come oro e argento, Alessandro disegna pezzi unici che, grazie anche alla presenza della maglia leggera e della seta colorata, seguono il movimento del corpo. La magia, dalle fasi di creazione e produzione alla vendita, avviene nel cuore di Roma, a via del Governo Vecchio, sotto l’occhio attento di Alessandro, che cura i rapporti con la clientela con professionalita’ ed entusiasmo.
For the chat with Alessandro at the Nicotra di San Giacomo atelier in Rome I was delighted to wear:
Gray dress 浅灰长裙: COS
Foulard 丝巾: Hermes
Earrings 耳饰: designed by Gianni Martinis 独家设计
Bracelets 手镯: Atelier Mon bought via Ishaveya 购于Ishaveya工作室
Ring 戒指: Trinity by Cartier
Bag 手袋: Celine
Pictures at Nicotra di San Giacomo atelier in Rome were taken with my white Sony NEX-5T.
For all the other pictures, special thanks to Nicotra di San Giacomo.
Chinese translation by Jasmine Wang.
中文翻译由 Jasmine Wang 完成.