MILAN — As it marks five decades in business, Pomellato is also celebrating the wonders of nature and the stones it generates.
The Italian jewelry firm, controlled by Kering, is reinterpreting the Ritratto collection of rings and pendants in 50 jewels celebrating the five decades. “With [creative director] Vincenzo Castaldo, we wanted to work with and renew a classic Pomellato code, opulent yet with a very minimal and immediate design, and a predominant stone, sometimes a cabochon or a faceted one, and the griffe [claw],” explained chief executive officer Sabina Belli.
Castaldo traveled to Germany’s Idar-Oberstein, known for its tradition of stone cutting, and chose what Belli calls “new precious” stones due to their increasing rarity, from rhodochrosites to zoisites. “Vincenzo wanted to work with more mineral stones, and he identified in each mineral plaque a special aesthetic structure,” said Belli. Mounted in “portrait cuts,” antique Indian cuts that used to cover portraits and miniatures, and framed by Pomellato’s staple claws in precious stones, from emeralds to brown diamonds, rubies and sapphires, each jewel is unique because of its organic nature. The poetic names given to the rings such as Foggy Morning, Persian Mystery, Secret Garden or Stormy Weather contribute to the story telling.
“This is the second level of Ritratto, driven by our desire to be always avant-garde in the research of materials and stones,” said Belli. “These stones used to be ‘mistreated,’ labeled as semiprecious, but they are now seen in a different light because of their scarcity. Their value is abstract. Each is like a unique natural creation, a natural miracle.”
Belli compared the collection to haute couture. “It’s not only the stone and its geologic family, but the craftsmanship behind it that makes each a small work of art. We have here the excellence of nature, of the designer and of the craftsman. It’s magic.”
The rings retail at around 9,500 euros. They will be sold during one-to-one appointments and will be available in Paris and New York in November. “These jewels will be considered on an emotional level rather than merely for their value,” predicted Belli. “At Pomellato, 73 percent of our customers are women who buy for themselves and to please themselves, not to be ostentatious.”
At the same time, Pomellato, which will hold an event on Sept. 21 during Milan Fashion Week to mark its milestone, is launching the Iconica collection, the re-edition of the first storied ring introduced by founder Pino Rabolini and a tribute to the Milanese goldsmith tradition — a strong link with the brand, which is based in the Italian city.
The collection includes distinctive cocooning rings, chain bracelets and necklaces in gold or pink gold, at times enriched with inserts of diamonds in the shape of drops, triangles and other graphic designs. The bracelets can also be joined together and worn as necklaces or chokers. “I compare them to the white shirt — you can mix and match them and they always add an elegant touch,” said Belli.
The Iconica collection will be available in stores starting from November. Rings will retail at between $2,360 and $3,510 and up to $6,550 for the styles with diamonds. Bracelets retail at between $9,950 and $23,000 and necklaces at between $2,180 and $3,270.
Also part of the celebrations, Pomellato is launching a new service called “Try Me On,” which Belli compared to reading a book left by another guest at a holiday resort. “It’s about sharing the experience. I pass what I liked onto you, thinking you could also like it — it creates female complicity.”
The company is now launching “Try Me On” in New York at its Madison Avenue boutique, offering 50 jewels to 50 customers, who can borrow one for up to a week. It is available to existing customers as well as to new ones. Pomellato plans to export the service in other markets.
Speaking of Pomellato’s female customers, Belli underscored that the company was also “very involved in corporate social responsibility in line with [Kering chairman and ceo] François-Henri Pinault,” focusing efforts on fighting domestic violence and on men’s and women’s equality in the workplace, among other issues. Belli said more than 70 percent of the company’s employees are women and that Pomellato also partners with jewelry schools to train new artisans and designers, such as Milan’s Galdus, and referred to the hashtag #pomellatoforwomen.
While declining to provide financial details, Belli said that after Kering’s purchase of the company in 2013, the brand had “obviously seen a change of pace, reporting the second year of double-digit growth,” showing that the company “has an enormous strength, a superpositive image and a very high quality of distribution.”
The company has 40 stores, including its presence in department stores, in main cities and streets, such as Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré in Paris, Via Montenapoleone in Milan, which opened last year, and Madison Avenue in New York. Pomellato has strengthened its presence in department stores in the U.S. and U.K., said Belli, remarking on the revamp at Harrods, which offers “better visibility and more traffic.”
The new store concept by Dimore Studio introduced at the Via Montenapoleone boutique was rolled out at the flagship on Milan’s Via San Pietro all’Orto, in New York, Paris and Rome. “Our previous concept was more in line with the Nineties, it was darker and showed less products, but now customers are used to circulating around islands showing the jewels.”
Pomellato has also revisited its communication, making it “more dynamic, more immediate and closer to customers,” said Belli, with a stronger presence in digital and social media. She mentioned the brand’s latest campaign. As reported in February, Pomellato tapped Peter Lindbergh to photograph a group of strong, charismatic and international women who include artist Anh Duong; brand adviser Helen Nonini; nutritionist Rosemary Ferguson; art curator Caroline Corbetta; writer Pihla Hintikka, and model, artist and photographer Larissa Hofmann. “These are not celebrities, they are not models, they are very interesting women with personal histories and [are] close to the brand. And Lindbergh is one of the icons of women’s portraitists.”