MILAN — “It’s beginning to be a serious relationship, almost a marriage,” said Vincenzo Castaldo smiling, speaking of his two decades working at Pomellato.
Named creative director of the Milan-based jewelry brand in 2015, Castaldo still marvels at his personal trajectory within Pomellato and it is obvious he has been taking stock of the past 20 years ahead of the interview.
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Thoughtful and soft-spoken, Castaldo carefully listed three key initiatives he believes could be seen as achievements. But in sync with his low-key persona, he wondered aloud, “I can be kind to myself a bit, can’t I?”
The first step, which he calls a watershed, was working with chief executive officer Sabina Belli on “distilling the codes of the brand to identify its pillars.” These emerged as the Nudo, Sabbia and Catene lines.
Rabolini translated the concept of ready-to-wear into jewelry, introducing the idea of pieces worn on a daily basis and chosen by women for themselves.
“We asked ourselves which collections would telegraph the identity of the brand,” said Castaldo, who evolved each family of jewels “into new territories,” expanding the range of products.
“It’s similar to working with musical keys to create new harmonies and movements,” he explained.
The second step was to design a collection that would pay tribute to the Milanese goldsmith tradition, and Castaldo conceived the Iconica line in 2017. Pomellato has always been linked to the city of Milan, launching last year a campaign to underscore this connection. “I think Iconica fully represents Pomellato, with its sensual yet irregular gold chains, and distinctive rings,” Castaldo said.
The third accomplishment was the launch of Pomellato’s first high jewelry collection in 2020. “It was an important moment that reflected our confidence in being experimental, less tied to tradition,” Castaldo said.
In pure Pomellato style, he underscored that these are pieces that can be easily worn daily. In this segment, Castald has aimed to “maintain the same irony and irreverence that Pomellato has always brought to traditional jewelry.” The fourth collection will be presented in Paris in July.
Born and raised in Tuscany, Castaldo first attended the school of art in Lucca and then studied architecture in Florence. Graduating from the Marangoni Institute in fashion design, the first 15 years of his career were in fashion, first at Romeo Gigli, then at Dolce & Gabbana.
“I still like fashion, but at the time I felt that my cycle in that industry had come to an end, although I learned a lot from those experiences,” he said.
Pomellato’s then-creative head, Sergio Silvestris, who had been working with the brand for 30 years, offered Castaldo the opportunity to work with him. “I felt it was a privilege and an honor, and it was a real induction.”
An architect at heart, he learned from Silvestris “the subtle beauty of imperfection in Pomellato and the sensuality of the shapes.”
Castaldo worked with Silvestris until 2014, the year before Kering bought Pomellato. He was named creative director in 2015.
Recalling the acquisition, Castaldo said he was “euphoric [and] enthusiastic. I felt Kering was offering an opportunity to Pomellato to fly even higher, as the family business was in transition. I felt there was a super power, and we could move away from the concept ‘we’ve never done this, we’ve always done it this way.’”
Castaldo’s passion for jewelry is palpable. “It’s such a fascinating world, the magnificence of Mother Nature offering these gems,” he said. Spinels are among his favorites, thanks to their boundless range of colors.
“Pomellato has a unique and unmistakable personality, and each collection needs to be consistent with the previous ones in a smooth exchange,” Castaldo said. Looking ahead, he is hopeful and confident Pomellato will continue to “engage and seduce new generations around the world.”
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