Pomellato is a company that, in its own words, changed the rules. The rules of jewellery. It removed it from its traditional formality and made it younger, sexier, more universal in appeal. It introduced meaning to its pieces, rather like the language of flowers. Meaning transmitted by gemstones, by words, and above all by animals, motifs that have become the mainstay of DoDo, the House's second major brand. Pomellato's success is also based on the cross fertilisation between design and fashion. The high quality of crafts workmanship (the lost wax technique) was adapted to industrial production, with positive results in terms of innovation and image.
Pomellato was founded in 1948 by the Rabolini family, which still holds ownership. The company premises are in Milan, where the two main lines are manufacturered: Pomellato gioielli, and Dodo. The name comes from "cavallino pomellato," meaning a pinto or piebald pony.
However Pomellato only became a true brand two decades later, in 1967, when Pino Rabolini met Luigi Signori. This initiated the transformation from a crafts jewellery to global fame, with the development of pendants and necklaces in gold with diamonds. In 1982, Pomellato opened a boutique in Via San Pietro all'Orto, Milan, and from the mid 1980s, the company opened stores all over the world. Products in silver were introduced in 1983, and watches in 1989. In the 1990, gemstones began to be used intensively, diamonds, but above all large coloured stones with cabochon cut, used to create highly evocative pieces of jewellery.
In 2002, the company began sponsorship of WWF Italy, and launched the project "The earth can save man," with the objective of safeguarding the 100 most threatened eco-regions worldwide. Queen Raina of Jordan was the testimonial for the project. In Autumn 2002, the company launched "Stress," a limited-edition woman's watch, which attained remarkable sales success.
The company decided to try a flagship store, and opened one in Naples, on Via Filangieri. Total sales for the Pomellato group reached 67.3 million euro in 2002, up 22.5% on 2001.
In 2003, Pomellato USA exhibited their products at Sotheby's, and retail distribution began in department stores in New York, Greenwich, Boston, San Francisco and Aspen.
The "M'ama non m'ama" (love me, love me not) range is one of Pomellato's best sellers. It is based on a gold band with gemstones, for a total of 9 different rings, each with different meanings and colours. For example, garnet (red) for pleasure, green tourmaline for hope, red tourmaline for love, blue topaz for tenderness. A combination of different rings can be used to create a personalised piece of jewellery. It is promoted by means of engaging graphic design, and recently by a video featuring Tilda Swinton. This has proved to be a remarkable piece of marketing. The phrase "tilda swinton m'ama non m'ama" has become one of the most often-searched phrases in the jewellery sector on the internet.
In 1994, Pomellato had declared its "commitment to the protection of the natural heritage," and it created DoDo, a range of modular jewellery which could tell a story and communicate messages of universal meaning. The name of course comes from a bird that was rapidly driven into extinction by Dutch colonists on the island of Mauritius. The classic DoDo products are their animal pendants, each of which has a specific meaning (they are listed below). They are made in yellow or pink gold on a black-waxed cotton cord, with some pieces, such as the Fortunello and Uno Su Mille charms, in white gold and diamonds. DoDo went from strength to strength and in 2002, 47% of Pomellato's total sales was made up by the DoDo brand, performing particularly well in countries outside Italy. The best market was in fact Japan, where boutiques were opened in 2002. New charms are added every year.
LUXOS online resources for Pomellato
Pomellato at the Selfridge's Wonder Room concession, London
The Colpo di Fulmine collection by Pomellato
The Pomellato 2011 collection
Pomellato 2011 product carousel
Bahia and M'ama non m'ama product carousel
Dodo brand profile