Gaia Spallanzani

Designer, Spallanzani Jewels. Milan

By: Meagan Wilson
Styling: Meagan Wilson
Photography: Renée Rodenkirchen

When we grow up, we want to be Gaia Spallanzani.

Spallanzani’s set up is dreamy for many reasons, including, but not limited to: the fact that she lives in a palazzo with a tenth floor patio that has a roof-top pool overlooking all of Milan, she has a picture-perfect family (two daughters, one son and a very French husband), and her 9-to-whenever involves playing with sparkly things. But in reality, it’s a lot more than that: as the fifth generation in her family to head up Spallanzani Jewels, Gaia’s leading the charge with an entire legacy of fine jewelry to live up to. No pressure, right? Rather than let it intimidate her, though, she does the most important thing—she actually has fun with it.

Because it, ahem, appears that we all forgot this somewhere along the way, Spallanzani is example par excellence that it is possible to have a high-pressure creative job (because we’d say generations on generations of your ancestry’s blood, sweat, and tears equates to pressure) and—gasp—have a good time while doing it. That's not to downplay her passion—believe us when we say she eats, sleeps, and breathes what she does. Instead of letting it all feel daunting, Spallanzani elects to roll with the punches—and never let them get in the way of a good time.

So what exactly is Spallanzani prescription for keeping all of the above in perspective? For one, she has a considerable appetite for enjoying herself (her most recent birthday involved jumping into a swimming pool and eating pasta at dawn, and she was readying herself for a costume party in Capri during our visit), and having a refreshingly real outlook on what can occasionally be an intimidating world (that would be fashion).