Interview With Silversmith Designer, Valentina Agnesi Of Vanesi.

Conducted by Nichelle Cole

The Vanesi contemporary jewelry collection has qualities of craftsmanship loved by programs like the Loewe Crafts Prize. The beautiful rough hewn shapes made of silver are purposely imperfect. Designs feature unlikely decorative symbols and sharp cut embellishments that make each piece unique and distinct.

My short interview with Agnesi offers direct (and sometimes disturbing) insight into who and what inspires her and how her inspirations influenced her highly original collection.

Where did you study to become a designer?
I studied design at the Art Institute. I graduated with my degree in Fashion Design from Marangoni University in Milan. And I specialized in professional goldsmith and enameling at the Ambrosiana Orafa School of Art.

Vanesi “Graft” bracelet in silver | courtesy photo
Mice run over the Vanesi “Graft” bracelet in silver | courtesy photo

What were you like at school?
At school I would describe myself as anti-social, lonely and determined.

Self portrait of Vanesi designer Valentina Agnesi | coutesty photo

Who did you look up to when you were in school?
My hero was Mr. Beltrami, he was this old man who was cultured and used to tell the most exciting stories.

Where else did you find entertainment?
I don’t have a TV, but I love really good movies!!

What were your favorite films to watch?
My favorite film was Natural Born Killer. It was frenetic and creative, so emotional and it made me think.

Vanesi BDSM necklace #2 in silver
Vanesi “BDSM” necklace #2 | Courtesy photo

How would you describe your style?
I prefer basic clothing, leather and jewels.

And what are your past-times. The best road trip of your life?
I prefer the outdoors. The best road trip of my life was through the Eastern-European countries, Romania, Slovenia and Serbia.

If you were removed from society and shipped to an island what would you want to have with you?
Cigarettes, bread with oil, chocolate, pencil & paper and an imaginary-friend whose optimistic and hilarious.

How has your past helped you to become a better designer?
I’ve come to realize I need to have space and an open mind so I can see things from a different point of view, design with a broader vision.

“Flyer” ear cuff by Vanesi | courtesy photo

Who inspires you in the world?
In sports my hero is Nadia Comanenci, she is the best gymnastic and my favorite for her perfectionism. Dr. Evil –it is an inside joke. I like the sculptural shapes by architect Frank O. Gehry.  The Netherlandish painter H. Bosch was a visionary. I am also inspired by the psychoanalytic approach of J. Ensor and his writings about the stupid, vain and repulsive side of humanity.

Vanesi “Flyer” ear cuff in silver | courtesy photo

What do you do to manage your emotional and mental wellness?
Cigarettes and walks.

How do you take care of your physical wellness?
Nature, open spaces, and walks without people.

Vanesi “Connection” ring in silver | courtesy photo

What insight do you want people to have into your new collection?
The collection was designed from a distorted view of beauty given to me by a disturbed sensitivity.

Full Vanesi collection in silver:


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Nichelle Cole is the founder & editor-in-chief of The Fashion Plate magazine. A respected writer, stylist and influencer, she has been published in fashion magazines around the world.

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