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In Conversation with Lelio and Giacomo Zoccai  of DARKAI blog post for Broken English Jewelry
Designer Profiles

In Conversation with DARKAI

"Out of This World"

As October nears its end, we’re delving into the electric universe of DARKAI, where fifth generation jewelers Lelio and Giacomo Zoccai dream up aliens, gummy bears and neon chains with legacy craftsmanship. And with the mysterious mood of Halloween in the air, we’ve highlighted some of their most spellbinding pieces.

How are you two doing and what’s been going on with DARKAI?

Giacomo: We’ve been working quite a lot and it’s been a very intense couple of months. We’re designing the new collection and we’ve been just following the flow of the startup and getting feedback. We’re recruiting as we’re growing so there are a lot of things going on.

What has it been like growing up in the jewelry world?

Leilo: We are the fifth generation of family jewelers, so we have a long history behind us. We craft all our jewelry in Italy at our family atelier. We grew up in it. We took what we knew from the jewelry business and turned it into a more fashionable and modern approach. Our grandma who is 94, saw the chains and the aliens and was like Mama Mia, what is this? But she gets this is a new time and she actually loves the pieces when she sees them in real life.

How do the two of you balance your relationship as brothers and co-worker?

Giacomo: It’s been pretty natural with the workflow for us, one guy is on the left and the other is on the right. When it comes to designing, the creative approach comes from the both of us. We also live together, so every single moment is actually a good one to bring in new ideas and brainstorm. It’s always go, go, go. We’re surfing the waves of enthusiasm.

How does the DARKAI perspective shape your business?

Leilo: There are very few brands or shops that understand jewels have a personality that needs to be expressed and matched with the buyer. The thing we love about is they Broken English is open to new designers like us. We have a lot of history in our background but we are still very new brand at two years old. Making these gummy bears, aliens and colorful chains is not easy to express this mentality to traditional jewelers. It’s a playful aesthetic but made with craftsmanship, it’s really about the personality and the vibe.

What are some of your favorite pieces from the line?

Leilo: For the fine jewelry we went with a 90’s aesthetic. When we were drawing the Gemmy bears, I wanted them to be realistic but they really came out beyond my expectations.

Giacomo: For me, I love the Earth Alien pendant with the emeralds. For the chains I would take the electric blue.

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