“From Milan to Tokyo Exhibition: A Journey Through Craftsmanship, Creativity and Design” runs at the Tokyo Jing exhibition space from Friday to Oct. 30. This is the first exhibition for Pomellato, which was founded in 1967 in Milan by the late Pino Rabolini, and is now controlled by Kering.
“Tokyo, like Milan, is an elegant, generous city where design meets fashion, craftsmanship and innovation,” said Pomellato chief executive officer Sabina Belli in an interview. “Milan is a city that has made its quest for quality and beauty its distinctive characteristic.”
Belli expressed her “absolute conviction of the strong synergy with Milan and its style. Pomellato jewels reflect the spirit and lifestyle of the city.”
“Milan is one of the few cities that is currently an international capital of both fashion and design,” said Alba Cappellieri, curator of the exhibition and chair of jewelry design at the Politecnico di Milano. “This is thanks to its inclusiveness, where the past can exist alongside the future, where both craftsmanship and professionalism are valued, and beauty meets elegance. Milan unites opposites and values differences. As this exhibition shows, Pomellato expresses the values and spirit of Milan.”
The exhibit is divided into three areas, each dedicated to a characteristic of Milanese style. “Creative Design” is the first area, celebrating Pomellato jewels that draw their inspiration from Milanese inventiveness in fashion, architecture and art.
This is achieved by juxtaposing Pomellato’s signature pieces with three furniture icons of Milan. The Iconica jewels meet Gio Ponti’s SuperLeggera chair made by Cassina while Nudo is seen with the Proust armchair by Alessandro Mendini for Magis. The Catene collection connects with the Arrangements Lamp by Michael Anastassiades for Flos.
The second area is dedicated to the concept of “Supreme Mastery,” honoring the heritage of Pomellato’s manufacturing skills, a continuation of the legacy of the centuries-old craftsmanship of Milan’s master artisans.
This section features a sound installation of a recording of gold being hand-hammered, pointing to the human element that is key to Pomellato’s jewels entirely made by hand.
The third theme is called “Milanese Elegance,” where Pomellato’s style is shared in the privacy of Milan’s gardens and theaters.
“We set the tone and objectives with Alba, we didn’t want it to be too pedestrian in expressing the concept,” Belli explained.
“Milan is a reserved, understated city that is never on show, which eschews stolen glances to reveal itself in private, in the hidden inner courtyards,” she continued. “The unexpected beauty of Milan’s concealed courtyards is echoed in Pomellato’s unconventional jewels that disclose their charm in secret details.”
The exhibit follows the launch in September of an ad campaign called “From Milan & All Around the World,” with images that also linked Pomellato jewels to Milan’s architecture.
While Belli is planning for the exhibition to be a traveling one, the first leg being in Japan points to the importance of the market for Pomellato.
“Japan has shown a very strong resilience in luxury shopping and for jewelry in particular and Japanese clients are always fascinated by Milan,” Belli observed.
The company opened a store in Tokyo’s Ginza in 2019 after years of only being available in key department stores. “We have experienced a very energetic growth in Japan and the store is a very strong sign of belonging to the high street. After boutiques in key cities in the world, from Via Condotti in Rome to Via Montenapoleone in Milan, this added symbolic strength to our image and we’ve seen a very positive reaction,” Belli noted.
The exhibition is also an opportunity to offer a global preview of five one-of-a-kind jewels from the La Gioia di Pomellato collection of high jewelry, said Belli.
At the ribbon-cutting event to unveil the exhibition on Thursday evening, Belli welcomed celebrities ranging from South Korean actress and singer Krystal and actress Yoshino Kimura to models Yoshiko Chris-Webb, Shiho, Mai Shin and Makiko Takizawa, model and actress Maria Tani and actress Emiri Henmi, among others.
The brand is also gearing up to next year celebrate the 20th anniversary of Vincenzo Castaldo as creative director of Pomellato. “We are planning a global tribute to his work,” said Belli.
In 2021, Pomellato celebrated 20th anniversary of the brand’s Nudo design.