Depazzi Captures All That Is Australian
The Depazzi story began over 140 years ago. The Tully family were amongst the earliest pioneers to settle the remote grazing lands of Outback Queensland. They soon discovered that just below the surface of the harsh terrain lay deposits of exquisite boulder opal.
Bruce Tully has spent most of his life in the outback on the family property and mining opal. In 1998 he sold the property to pursue his interest in opal mining. His desire for Australians to share in his passion for opal led him into design, where he was able to incorporate his knowledge of working with raw materials such as leather, metals and opal.
Depazzi (named after Bruce’s Grandfather) was launched at the Brisbane Hilton in 2002.
In 2003 Bruce was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to study design in Florence Italy. He received a commission from Florentine socialite Elisabetta Gucci who later presented his exhibition at Cafe Pitti, Florence, attracting 160 guests and the Italian media.
Exhibitions soon followed in Basel, Vienna, Cairo and Hong Kong and the Depazzi Brisbane store opened in June 2006.Depazzi now operates from Brisbane and Hayman Island Resort on Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef.
Subject of ABC’s Australian Story episode “Romancing the Stone” in 2005, Bruce describes opal as a hologram from ancient times and crocodiles the perfect predator – living dinosaurs with the lines of time etched into their rugged beauty – the ultimate in luxury leather.
Primary materials incorporated into Depazzi designs are opal, crocodile leather, South Sea pearls and precious metals.
Indigenous Australians believed opal empowered women.
The design concept is striking in its simplicity. It is innovative, raw and sensual. Combined with these exquisite materials, the result is pure Primal Elegance.
TIMELINE – THE EVOLUTION OF DEPAZZI
This involved travelling to:
- The USA attending gemstone trade fairs; meeting with international patent lawyers and meeting with people at top of diamond industry in New York & Chicago as well as studying major brands and their histories and marketing techniques
- Munich, Germany – attending jewellery trade fairs especially famous for their new designer section.
- Milan, Italy – attending Milan fashion week shows.
- Florence – studying jewellery design, geometrics, rendering, jewellery manufacture, creative arts and Italian language (also studied history of major design labels)
- Began discussions with Isabel Herrera (one of his tutors who was already an established name in Mexico) on the intricacies of starting a label. Consequently they planned to do a show in Florence.
- Was introduced to Elisabetta Gucci they became good friends – she commissioned Bruce to make a piece of jewellery for her.
- Basel, Switzerland – attended jewellery trade fair, exhibited several pieces.
- Sardinia – looked at possibilities of doing a show there.
Travelled to Germany, Italy, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China to look at materials, manufacturing, branding and marketing techniques