Vendorafa Lombardi (Est. 1951) was founded in Valenza in 1951 as a producer and manufacturer of gold jewelry and as a goldsmith. Its professional skills and experience have enabled the company to create and distribute its jewelry collections and to design and manufacture exclusive lines for major international brands.
Manual processes such as hammering, engraving and embossing have long been characteristic features of the brand’s creations. The company combines excellent craftsmanship with the use of high-tech machinery, the Cad-Cam computer system, rapid prototyping, and 3D surface modelling.
Vendorafa Lombardi jewelry is created in what it terms ‘essential shapes’: organic forms, floral inspirations, and classical geometries that achieve a balance between intuition and experience, as well as research and creativity. Since 2012 the company has been certified by the RJC (Responsible Jewellery Council), because it meets the highest ethical, social and environmental standards.
Mario Lombardi and his brother Renzo originally founded the business as, Lombardi, Mario and f.llo in 1951 with its first headquarters in via Cavour, then later in viale Padova.
In 1955 Mario Lombardi began to encourage the internationalization of his products by founding the Vendorafa brand with other companies that included Gatti and Panelli and Garavelli and Bozzo. Both companies remained associated with Vendorafa until the 1980s.
In the 1960s Mario Lombardi actively participated in national and international trade fairs in Milan and Vicenza. His innovative approach became more noticeable in 1969 when he entrusted architect Ignazio Gardella to design a new location for the company in via XII Settembre. The location was further expanded in 2001 by Jacopo Gardella.
The Vendorafa Lombardi location became the first Italian example of a laboratory designed for goldsmith production; the lab was located in the center of the building while the production departments were exposed on the sides and illuminated by natural light.
The production of Vendorafa Lombardi pieces that displayed the crafts of embossing, hammering and engraving, which still characterize its creations today, resumed in the 1970s. In particular, the hand-embossed hammered gold jewels made from the mid-70s to today represent a revolution for the time and remain among the special qualities that characterize the company's production.
Since 1980, two identities have coexisted in the company: Vendorafa is a brand that creates jewels characterized by large soft surfaces and worked with contemporary designs. Lombardi partners with the most exclusive international brands who incorporate creativity and craftsmanship to achieve the ‘Made in Italy’ appellation.
Since the 1990s, Vendorafa Lombardi has acquired certifications that attest to the quality of its products, the raw materials used and the responsible practices of its ethical, social, and environmental procedures.
In the eighties the second generation family joined the company: Daniela Lombardi and her husband Augusto Ungarelli. He is the Sole Administrator and both are architects committed to exploring new design avenues and new production strategies. Raffaella Lombardi is head of the administrative and financial area.
The company has received many international awards and participated in numerous exhibitions including the Milan Triennale (2016) and the exhibition at the Poldi Pezzoli Museum "The Italian jewel of the 20th century" also in 2016.
From its inception, craftsmanship and technology have enabled the company to create authentic works of goldsmithing art admired and envied worldwide.
The harmonious lines of waves on the sea, the soft curves of sand dunes and the organic perfection of flora and fauna provide the inspiration for Vendorafa Lombardi’s pieces. The Bangles collection is 18-carat gold jewelry fashioned by the intertwining of unusual, slinky curves. In this jewelry line, the contrast between hammered finishes and glossy surfaces enhances the shapes and defines the hypnotic geometry of the bracelets.
One of the many unforgettable examples from the collection is the Onda bangles crafted from hammered and polished 18-carat rose gold set with brown diamonds and hammered and polished in 18-carat yellow gold.
The international brands who entrust Vendorafa Lombardi with the creation of unique, one-off collections appreciate the brand’s aesthetics and designs. Today Vendorafa Lombardi exports approximately 80% of its production, making it one of the companies to carry the value of the “Made in Italy” concept around the world. Some collections, e.g. Amori Intrecciati, Dolvecita and, of course, Bangles are emblems of the company’s blend of intuition, experience, research, and creativity that characterize it.
In an article from April 2017 displayed on the WagMag website, Massino Zerbini, president of Opera Trading Luxury, a distribution company representing Italian jewelry brands in the United States said, “Vendorafa [takes its] inspiration from nature, because we think the perfect shape of a flower or a leaf of flora from the sea must be celebrated and enhanced using precious metals.”
The results include important collections such as the Fiori, 18-karat yellow and pink gold rings adorned with colored gemstones (suggesting dewdrops atop the flower’s petals) and white diamonds accenting the pistils ($12,000); Il Mare, a celebration of the sea featuring an 18-karat, rose gold, handmade, seahorse pin ($5,800) and seashell earrings ($8,900), both adorned with champagne diamonds; and Elissi, an 18-karat rose and white gold necklace enhanced with brown diamonds, reminiscent of the most hypnotic lunar eclipse ($20,500).
In addition to nature, however, Vendorafa also uses small elements in the outside world as muses. “Our inspiration comes from a vibe,” Zerbini says. “It may be an architectural detail, the draperies of an haute couture dress, a paint color, or a sculpture. Everything that affects our emotions during the day can be translated into jewelry.”
Regardless of the creation or its inspiration, Vendorafa uses gold as the focal point with precious metals as the accents — a signature of classic, Italian jewelry. Its collections offer a range of items, including necklaces, bracelets, bangles, rings, earrings, pins, cufflinks and buckles, with the most popular options being long necklaces (referred to by the French word, “sautoir”) and earrings.
Though no matter the piece, the goal is to create exclusive accessories that underscore a woman’s natural loveliness.
According to Zerbini, the jewelry should offer a creation that harmonizes with the depth and breadth of a woman’s life.
“Luxury is no longer defined by richness and opulence,” he says, “but by the capability to have items, which recall a unique sensation or experience.”
In late June 2020, the Fashion Network website posted an article that said, “The Equinox investment fund announced the creation of a new fine jewelry group in Italy. The Italian investment fund, with registered office in Luxembourg, has bought a 100% stake in two jewelers, Villa Pedemonte Atelier (VPA) and Vendorafa Lombardi, via the Radix Sarl investment company, which will eventually own a 66% stake in the new holding company. The remaining 34% will be held by Jarx, a company controlled by VPA’s shareholders.
While the amount of the transaction was not revealed, both jewelers will retain their current management teams and their businesses remain independent for the time being.
In a press release, Equinox stated that together the two companies - located in Valenza, Piedmont’s jewelry manufacturing hub - have a total of 220 employees, and a revenue of €41 million.
Vendorafa Lombardi specializes in jewelry and goldsmithing. Villa Pedemonte Atelier focuses on large-scale jewelry production, and works exclusively for leading international brands, chiefly from France and Switzerland.
Vendorafa Lombardi’s many awards include the 1986, International Gold Corporation Competition Sophisticated Woman Award, the 1988 World Gold council Avant-garde Woman Award, and Design Awards in 2000 and 2002 from the World Gold council and Gold Virtuosi, respectively.
For Vendorafa, creativity, Italian style, artisanal tradition, technological development, production technology, and product quality policy make up its heritage. The result is jewelry inspired by nature and classic geometry within an ongoing harmonious blend of experience, research, and creativity.
Vendorafa is available at Neiman Marcus and other fine retailers.