Hidden Gems: Mariana Antinori

Jens Mortensen (jewelry); Rasputin (store)

Sometimes, the best things in life are...right in front of our eyes. 

Mariana Antinori opened her namesake boutique in 2013, but I didn’t notice. New York’s Carnegie Hill has traditionally been a magnet for baby stores. But recently a pair of gold-and-diamond sun-and-moon earrings in the window caught my eye. Surely babies didn’t wear those. Walking inside, I thought, This is the kind of special place I’d expect to find in Italy. If the name Antinori sounds familiar, it’s because the same Florentine family has been in the wine business since the 14th century. The Renaissance Palazzo Antinori is located in Piazza Antinori, not far from the Arno. Mariana, blonde and chic, has spent her life around beautiful things, and that has informed her taste. Her shop is devoted to the best of contemporary Italian design, with a focus on costume and fine jewelry. “I wanted to showcase unique pieces,” she says. “Many of my clients are museum curators and serve on boards of arts organizations. They appreciate the artisanal quality. It’s not about how much money you spend. It’s about getting something special.”

With her network of Italian friends, Mariana has tapped into sources that aren’t widely known in the United States. Countess Isabella del Bono, who hails from a noble family in Parma, designed the sun-and-moon earrings, as well as engravable iron cuffs. Other standouts include Maria Greca’s rose-coral and diamond earrings and Grazia e Marica Vozza’s woven leather handbags tangled with pearls and stones. The store also sells evening bags, scarves, and whimsical hats that can be seen on women at the Central Park Conservancy’s annual Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon. With new merchandise from regular trunk shows, Mariana creates a colorful Italian bazaar—without a romper in sight. 1242 Madison Ave.; 646-476-5108; marianaantinori.com.

Countess Isabella del Bono iron-and-diamond cuff, $3,900, and enamel ring, $1,800. Maria Greca coral, emerald, and diamond earrings, $8,900.