During a life-changing trip to New Zealand, Marco Dal Maso, scion of an Italian jewelry company, discovered both his calling and his inspiration. He once aspired to be a writer; after learning about the culture of the Maori people, he finally was inspired to express himself through jewelry. “Ta moko” in the ancient Maori language means “tattoo,” which were traditionally applied to men’s faces and women’s chins, lips and shoulders. Every moko contains ancestral messages specific to the wearer. Dal Maso designs his jewelry to convey value, significance and meaning. His designs offer a distinctive twist on men’s wedding bands as well as signature bracelets, pins and necklaces.
From the Piripono collection, The Cross necklace in 18K yellow gold with champagne diamonds
Manawa ring in 18K yellow gold with champagne diamonds (0.76 TCW), $3,560
The Other Half ring in 18K black gold with champagne diamonds (1.00 TCW), $4,520
From The Warrior collection, The Link of Life bracelet in 18K black gold with red fire pavé sapphires
From Askari collection, Carrot Top Jack pin in 18K black gold with orange, yellow and blue sapphires
Q&A With Marco Dal Maso: Expanded Online Content
Why did men’s bands need a new vision?
Every one of us is unique by nature. The greatest thing God gifted us with is the beauty in diversity, and what you are wearing should define and highlight this characteristic.
What inspires you?
I travel a lot. When you come to a place, you breathe a different air than your own and gain a different perspective. I’m passionate about cultural mythology all over the world, fascinated by how distant places can be in miles yet close in aspects of culture and mythology.
Who do your designs appeal to?
They appeal to every man and woman who has a confident approach to life; whoever is willing to live life with a smile on their face and their sunglasses always on.
What is your signature jewelry?
I always wear the Warrior bracelet. It’s cool because you can link several bracelets together and make it thicker, or you can add to it and make it a necklace. It’s multi-functional.
Do you have a hidden talent?
I love writing. I published a couple of books a long time ago. A writer describes emotions. He can print his emotions and cast them out. As a writer or a jewelry designer, you try to make people feel like you feel by what you do. Even now, I write all the descriptions of my pieces and names for the collections, the stories behind it.
Do women wear the men’s collection?
Yes. Some of my pieces are quite unisex. But we also launched a new women’s collection at Couture in Las Vegas. Women buy, anyway, more than men, so why not?
What is your proudest accomplishment?
My 11 month-old son, Ayzaah. They tell me that I’m never on time, kind of like all the Italian people. But a child messed up my schedule even more. You don’t sleep, ever, but it’s kind of nice. You forget about everything once he’s smiling at you. I love it.
How did New Zealand inspire you?
It was a life-changing trip, as they say. I grew up in a jewelry company, but I didn’t know what I really wanted to do. Then, I was traveling and I went to New Zealand. I never really knew or read much about the Maori culture. Luckily, I had the chance to do so and it’s fascinating. It’s not only about the beauty of the design but there is meaning behind it. That portrait that you put on your face describes everything about you. It’s pretty intense. I was inspired by that. That same idea can be applied to jewelry that once you wear something you show your personality, and your idea of what style can be. I truly believe that jewelry is an extension of your being. So I started to design something that can be more interesting than normal, from my perspective. There are details there that you don’t even recognize at first. Every time you look at the piece you discover something new.
What sets your wedding bands apart?
The complexity yet elegance and the evolved classic style mixed with pure luxury.
Do you design with customers in mind?
I design it just as I feel. I feel what I want to do and just do it. Sometimes you do have to think, “Where should I sell these?” or “Who is going to buy these?” And if I design a classic pair of cufflinks, I think maybe an older guy, a corporate guy, will buy them. But the first idea is what I want to express. I don’t think that much; I just do.
Where is your jewelry made?
In a workshop in Vicenza, between Romeo and Juliet and Marco Polo (or Verona and Venice).
What sets Italian-made jewelry apart?
In my case, it’s all handmade and one-of-a-kind and every piece is a little different from the others. I feel like it’s in my DNA.
What do you do for leisure?
I like discovering really nice restaurants. Taking the car to Tuscany and stopping in a little town. Every town does their own wine. It’s a good way to spend some time.
I see my family, when I can get home. Friends. I don’t see them much and I’m living between Vicenza and London. It’s good to be with old friends, hanging out. I like cinemas, galleries, art. I like going to Venice and checking out all the museums, the Guggenheim, just to name one of them.
What do you love to shop for?
I’m generally lazy in terms of shopping. But I do like shopping for clothing. I like wearing nice suits or nice casual outfits. I force myself to go out there to shop, because when you wear something and you look good, you’re happy you made the effort.
This article originally appeared in the September 2017 edition of INSTORE.