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Fan Club: Shamballa Jewels, by Marco Bicego

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Marco Bicego explains why he’s a fan of the work of these up-and-coming Danish designers.

[dropcap cap=A]Although Shamballa Jewels first became widely acknowledged by American retailers after receiving the JCK Rising Star Award in 2005, Mads Kornerup actually started the company more than a decade earlier, in 1994. He opened a store in Paris with a diverse collection of ancient Indian and modern Scandinavian-inspired designs. Mads eventually found his own form of expression and expanded the collection with original pieces. Shamballa was worn by A-list celebrities and sold in Barneys New York.[/dropcap]

In the early 2000s, he developed the Star of Shamballa collection to include pieces influenced by the ancient traditions of yoga and meditation. His brother, Mikkel, joined the company as operations partner in 2004. Shamballa Jewels has since become recognized for macramé braided bracelets with 18K gold balls and pavé set diamonds or sapphires of many colors. The philosophy is rooted in spirituality, Buddhist and Tibetan symbols and beliefs, created to remind the wearer of such fundamental human traits as love, compassion, empathy and tolerance and to bring together the harmony of body, mind and soul. — STORY BY BETH BERNSTEIN

[componentheading]Marco Bicego on Shamballa Jewels[/componentheading]

“I first met the design team (Mads and Mik) of Shamballa at the 2007 Couture Show in Las Vegas. Their booth was packed and there was a buzz with the press and retailers that piqued my interest.”

“When I met them, I could see immediately that they had an unusual style and would carve a niche in the U.S. market. Their designs are at once youthful and sophisticated, and are created for well-traveled men and women who are comfortable buying jewelry for themselves. There is also nostalgia in their designs, with the use of leather macramé and pave balls: rough and refined, familiar yet ultra chic and modern.”

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“Mads, Mik and I get together and chat each year at the show. These guys seem to encompass all that I admire. They have a great deal of integrity and energy, and it comes through in their designs. It’s more of a way of life than a brand or a business model. I believe we connect very well on this idea. I also think that our designs complement but don’t compete with each other, and they have similar values to mine — good food, good travels, good fun, family ties — and a true passion for the jewelry.”

“Shamballa takes an intuitive approach and they are on target with their marketing as well. Mads travels and does personal appearances, listening very carefully to what the consumer is saying. It helps them to know where they are going with their product and how to evolve.”

“These Danish guys have an exciting future. They are willing to invest in the experience and to stay true and focused. Plus they have a great sense of humor, which is important on all levels, but it definitely gets you through the more difficult times and keeps what we are doing fun!”

 

[important color=grey title=About Marco Bicego]

Redefining the phrase “everyday luxury,” jewelry by Marco Bicego is sensuous, expertly crafted and designed with imagination. His flair for making a statement that is at once glamorous and personal has been Marco Bicego’s hallmark since he launched the collection in 2000. Says Bicego, “I’m designing for modern cosmopolitan women who understand that they can wear bold pieces with an understated (rather than flamboyant) look and be noticed for their taste and style.” Bicego got his start in his father’s atelier in the Veneto region of Italy. He experimented and came up with a style that blended urban lines with ethnic motifs and merged natural forms with stylistic outlines. This, along with his manipulation and hand finishing of gold, has become his signature style. Today, Marco Bicego is sold in over 1,000 fine jewelry stores throughout the world. He is the recipient of numerous international awards.[/important]

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[componentheading]Designs from Shamballa Jewels[/componentheading]

Single bead thin bracelets with pave colored diamond and sapphire beads in 18K yellow and white gold

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Macramé blue sapphire and diamond 18K pavé bead bracelet

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Macramé and 18K white gold diamond pavé bead bracelet

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