A man with ambition and drive, a man with a heart. Roberto Coin’s greatness is rooted in his commitment to social responsibility that characterizes his personal life and his brand. An epicurean who refuses to conform, remaining enchanted by the mysteries and wonders of life.
When I was still working in my hotel in England, I received a precious lesson by one of the most memorable clients I hosted. The client was Earl Mountbatten who once told me that, a great man, must have a great memory to be able to remind himself that he has a heart. This lesson changed my life, it has been the starting point of my commitment in the social responsibility field that has characterized both my personal life and my brand over the years. Today I am on the Board of Directors of the World Diamond Council that – together with the United Nations – founded the Kimberly Process. Every diamond used in my brands creations is certified with the conflict free origin. Besides diamonds, I am committed to keeping any gold furnished by producers who are suspected of human rights violations out of the supply chain. I had the chance to speak In Shanghai at the UN pavilion about responsible luxury as the desirable future of the jewellery industry as well as in many other occasions that have all given me immense gratitude and recognition, both professionally and personally.
I used to say that I am a businessman who fell in love with creativity and not a creative man who become a businessman. I used to work in the hospitality business at the beginning of my career. I worked in Italy, France, Switzerland and England where in 1968 I opened the Duke of Richmond Hotel. At 34 years at the peak of my career, I decided to change my life completely and follow what was my dream since the beginning: working with my creativity. The most iconic expression of fashion and beauty to me was Jewellery and that is why I decided to take this direction instead of fashion or interior design. I took a big risk, starting a new adventure in a field in which I had no knowledge but only a strong instinct to create jewels like works of art. Today I can say that my bravery at 34 made my dream become my current reality.
I have more hobbies than spare time. That is why my family considers me a hyperactive person, always busy in reading, gardening and discovery. My hobbies make me feel alive and they nourish my creative vein. But I have to say that, after many years spent travelling all the world, hosting a few good friends with good wine and good food has become my favourite and most exotic party time.
From the first steps that I took in the world of Jewellery, Ive always wanted the Roberto Coin brand to be an eccentric entity, born in an unusual way and definitely unlike anyone else. As a matter of fact, it was already clear to me in 1996, when I launched the brand, that it would represent diversity, and I knew that it was exactly this diversity to become the fundamental characteristic of its identity. I create more than 500 new models every year aimed to beat globalization and give women the opportunity to find a different jewel, able to enhance their uniqueness. I used to say that being different is an art, as you need a certain artistic consciousness to cultivate your unique identity.
Driven by my passion for history and mythology I got in contact with three very special stories. Three tales that mixed reality and imagination, as is the nature of every true legend, and led me to a fundamental choice for my future. The first legend belongs to the world of ancient Egypt. The Pharaohs believed that the ruby was a sort of talisman capable of, if kept in contact with the skin, guaranteed love, joy and everlasting health. The second legend narrates the tale of Burmese warriors who wore the ruby for protection on the battlefield. And lastly, the third legend comes from an old Hindu myth in which rubies were considered to be the precious fruits of the sacred Kalpa tree – the tree of hopes and desires.
In 1996, for the first time I signed all the pieces of my Appassionata collection with a small ruby casted inside. The idea to set the stone in the internal side of my jewels, allowing the direct contact with the skin, appeared to me as a magical message of good wish to women. Over the year this hidden ruby, which is the most invisible signature ever chosen by a brand, has become famous worldwide giving me one of my favorite nickname: the collector of rubies.