It takes a rare sense of zen to find a silver lining in a violent robbery. Rafaela Amini, owner of Gioia, had been working out of a posh street-level shop in Manhattan for nearly a decade when, one day last year, she was attacked during her security guard’s lunch break. Not only did she survive a brutal beating (in which the two thieves made off with a million dollars’ worth of merchandise), but she credits
the trauma with giving her the incentive to transform her business. “I’d dreamed of working one-on-one with customers, but it’s hard to make a change,” she says. This September Amini unveils her new by-appointment-only showroom in the famous Art Deco–style Fuller Building on East 57th Street, where she’ll display her unique pieces—
including diamond stud earrings with a cascade of rubies “dripping like blood from the back of the earlobe” (though they weren’t inspired by the attack, she says) and a brooch bedecked with diamonds and
a cluster of conch pearls (left). The space will be as avant-garde
as the jewelry, but its key feature has nothing to do with design.
Says Amini: “It’s going to be like Fort Knox.” Call 212.223.3146