MILAN — Pomellato marks its 50th anniversary next year and to present its latest collection the Italian jewelry company is harking back to its early days.
This story first appeared in the February 25, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Pomellato will hold an event on Thursday at Bar Jamaica in the arty Brera district here, where founder Pino Rabolini would meet with other designers, artists, writers and intellectuals from the late Sixties.
In her first interview since taking the helm as chief executive officer in December, Sabina Belli underscored the tie between the brand and Milan, where it was founded and continues to be headquartered. “There is more energy in Milan after last year’s international Expo. It’s become more of a destination, with a new modern skyline, new restaurants, new cultural spaces such as the Fondazione Prada,” she said, also pointing to the upcoming opening of a Pomellato boutique in Via Montenapoleone in April, possibly during the international furniture and design show Salone del Mobile. The existing unit in nearby Via San Pietro all’Orto will remain open.
The new store, covering a total of 1,080 square feet, is nestled opposite the Hermès boutique and near the new Pasticceria Marchesi, owned by Prada. For the first time, Pomellato worked with Dimore Studio on the store concept. Without disclosing details about the design, Belli described it as “a very chic and feminine project, sort of a friendly home, with touches of the Pomellato colors.”
The executive, who has worked for companies ranging from L’Oréal, Helena Rubinstein and Giorgio Armani to Christian Dior Parfums, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin and Bulgari, joined Pomellato parent Kering last April and spoke of the “incredible explosion of colors ” the jewelry brand develops for its signature Nudo rings, for example, “in contradiction, perhaps, with the foggy, gray skies of Milan.” Belli said the company will continue to leverage its staple collections such as the Nudo, the Tango, the Sabbia, the Vittoria, the M’ama non m’ama or the Capri and their “recognizable, absolute immediacy of design and visual power.”
She spoke of new materials, such as the Japanese ceramic employed for the Capri collection for 2016 and its pearly effect in colors including black, white, pink and turquoise, creating delicate flower compositions with rubies, blue sapphires, tsavorites and amethysts, which will be unveiled at the Milan event during Fashion Week. While these retail at around 1,000 euros, or $1,107 at current exchange, Pomellato is also launching a limited-edition version with turquoises or corals that can retail at around 30,000 euros, or $33,216.
“Stones are acquiring more market value, and we want to help customers understand that the world of gems is evolving. It can be an investment even with stones that were considered semiprecious, such as aquamarine or citrines,” said Belli.
The executive pointed to the new advertising campaign once again featuring Salma Hayek and photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. “These images show a more mysterious side” of Hayek, said Belli, touting the actress as “socially engaged” and underscoring her “charisma and aura.” The campaign will bow in April.
While declining to provide business figures, Belli said France is Pomellato’s second-largest market in Europe and also pointed to Germany as a “very solid market.” She named the U.K., the Middle East and Russia as other relevant regions and said the company was “well-placed” in the U.S., with flagships on New York’s Madison Avenue, Miami and Chicago, and strong business with department stores including Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.
“My ambition is to reveal to the largest number of people how absolute avant-garde Pomellato’s identity is, modern and contemporary, how strong, immediate, organic and sensual are the shapes of the jewels and how pure the brand is — never a blemish in 50 years,” said Belli.