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Alba Cappellieri

  • Professor and curator
  • Ambassador for Naples, Italy
Alba Cappellieri Ambassador for Naples, Italy
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A leading light on jewellery design

Alba Cappellieri teaches jewellery design and fashion accessories at the Politecnico di Milano. She is the director of the International Master’s in Fashion Accessories Design and in Brand and Product Management at the Milano Fashion Institute. Alba is also director of the Jewellery Museum in Vicenza, the only Italian museum exclusively dedicated to jewellery. She is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels in Paris, of the Gijs Bakker Foundation in Amsterdam and of the Fondazione Cologni in Milan. From 2013 to 2016 Alba taught Design Driven Innovation at the Stanford University. She is Ambassador for the Italian Design Day at Osaka, Sydney, Baku, and Miami. She has curated several international exhibitions and her last publications include: Van Cleef&Arpels: Time, Nature, Love (Skira 2019), Jewels of the twentieth century, from Art Nouveau to 3d Printing (Skira, 2018), and Chains, jewellery in history, function and ornament (Silvana 2018).

What does craftsmanship signify for you?

Craftsmanship is personal commitment, but also innate ability, acquired and trained expertise, to do things in a workmanlike manner. It is the cultural attitude of those who think and create, enliven the material, giving it a form and order with passion: the creative act is first and foremost an act of love.

How does it feature in your work and life?

Care, research for quality, attention to detail, awareness, passion and dedication are all values that I strive for in what I do, look for as a consumer and I try to transmit to young designers at the Politecnico di Milano. In particular, I teach my students that in the creative process both elements of the binomial mind and practice play a fundamental role.

Do you work with craftspeople?

Yes, that's why I consider myself very lucky. Many of the professionals and jewellery companies I work with are a concrete example of this attitude, which is declined according to different approaches, methodologies and techniques but retains the same common matrix.

How would you define excellence?

Excellence is the inner poetry of life, what gives sense to the humankind. It’s the highest quality and degree of perfection. Excellence represents a dynamic action, a process of research and continuous improvement. It is a condition towards which to strive through training, commitment, exercise and perseverance. The practice of Italian artisans towards beauty and 'well done' exemplifies this attitude.

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