An interview with Giacomo Ciufoli – From aviation to flying high in the jewellery industry

Adelaide-based high jewellery brand, Ciufoli, was born from an obsessive passion for design. Founder, Giacomo Ciufoli isn't the kind of person to half-do anything. His…

Adelaide-based high jewellery brand, Ciufoli, was born from an obsessive passion for design. Founder, Giacomo Ciufoli isn’t the kind of person to half-do anything. His attention to detail and holistic approach to design and jewellery has led to the creation of a successful international brand. Manufactured in Valenza, Italy, alongside major luxury brands like Bulgari, Pasquale Bruni, and Cartier, Ciufoli’s design process is meticulous, emotional, and is rapidly gaining international recognition. 

As a child, Giacomo dreamt of becoming a pilot and would ride his bike to the airport after school to watch the planes and talk to the aviation staff. Years later while in aviation school, he found his desire to design became overpowering, and he spent most of his time designing instead of studying. “It wasn’t just jewellery,” Giacomo reminisces, “it was men’s fashion, designing suits and patterns and jewellery, in between all that.” 

His entry into the jewellery industry was by no means linear. “When I left aviation and started designing, it was not specifically jewellery… I started working at Fabbio Brothers, a tailoring company, learning to make suits… I was still designing jewellery on the side. I made some bracelets for myself and friends started asking for similar ones, so  I started selling them,” Giacomo explains, “Nothing good happens quickly… But  I think you just gotta jump.”

His early love for planes, trains and their intricate details became a transferable skill, which he could apply to the world of jewellery with great success. Ciufoli’s design process is meticulous and deeply personal, as he draws inspiration from the unspoken aspects of the wearer’s personality, translating unique quirks and style into bespoke designs. Each piece is thoughtfully crafted for the client, with every detail reflecting the wearer’s individuality.

Ciufoli’s brand has expanded from Adelaide to Milan and Dubai, and its unique designs have gained the attention of luxury jewellery buyers worldwide. In 2017, Ciufoli’s original bracelet design caught the attention of a famous model, who happened to be married to someone well-connected. She asked him to make something for her husband, a bracelet with a horse head. He spent hours designing it meticulously but struggled to charge a proper margin for his work. “I just couldn’t bring myself to charge what it was worth,” Giacomo says. “And that was just me not knowing my real worth at the time. But she saw the piece and I thought, ‘if she loves it, she’ll buy more’.” In the end, he was right. This relationship led to Ciufoli’s expansion through word of mouth, creating real organic growth for the brand. Giacomo’s attention to detail and emotional approach to design has gained him a growing and loyal client base, built on trust.

After this opportunity, the Ciufoli brand only continued to expand, whether or not Giacomo felt ready. “I had a client who requested an engagement ring, but I initially declined as I didn’t design women’s jewellery. He asked again, and I still refused. It wasn’t until he asked me a third time that I decided to take on the project. I loved the whole process of designing an engagement ring. It was challenging to do something different because most people wanted a traditional solitaire diamond engagement ring. I decided to add a Ruby heart to make it unique, representing my point of difference. I wanted to make it special, so I also engraved the initials on the ring” he recalls. 

The same year, Ciufoli was shooting a campaign in Egypt, and through some lucky connections, the campaign was able to be shot at the Giza Plateau with a live lion, creating a stunning opening campaign for the brand. Ciufoli’s signature brown suede and gold logo is becoming unmistakable, and the brand is gaining recognition for its original vision and strong brand identity. Inspired by Italy, Ciufoli’s Roma collection is a fine jewellery collection available in select retailers. The stones set in the Roma ring emulate the strength of organised chaos in their setting, creating a beautiful yet masculine balance unseen in other ready-to-wear jewellery collections. 

Each Ciufoli piece is a meticulously crafted work of art, where every surface holds meaning, detail, and beauty. From the intricate cut patterns on the backs of brooches to the exquisite designs that adorn the body or grace a table, Giacomo pays unwavering attention to detail. When asked about his design inspiration, he says he draws from “Nature and architecture. They’re the two things I always go to.” He finds inspiration going for walks and travelling, especially in Europe where the rich history and beautiful architecture provide abundant inspiration. St. Basil’s Cathedral, with its diamond-studded domes, has influenced his designs, as seen in the angles and shapes he incorporates into his creations. 

Giacomo’s designs epitomise bespoke jewellery, with a seamless fusion of faceted and cabochon stones, champagne and brown diamonds, sapphires, and textured rose gold. He fearlessly pushes boundaries by incorporating unconventional materials like sting-ray skin, titanium, and balls of gold, ingeniously crafting them into individual grapes. The result is a collection of extraordinary masterpieces that exude warmth, sophistication, and a sense of learned artistry. Ciufoli’s designs are not just fashionable, but also deeply meaningful, with each piece telling a story of inspiration and creativity. 

Giacomo’s unwavering attention to detail and his ability to capture the essence of nature and architecture in his designs make Ciufoli a standout in the world of bespoke jewellery. Embracing originality and celebrating individuality, Ciufoli is destined to become a prominent name in luxury jewellery.

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