We associate jewellery with happy events in our life – a special occasion, an achievement, a treat. In a modern world it’s not just men who give gifts of jewellery (wonderful as it is when it happens) but women are becoming more and more comfortable at treating themselves to a piece that makes their heart flutter. But how would you feel if a piece designed by one brand, albeit a lesser known to a wider audience, was introduced as a new design by a top luxury brand?
Ramon is a Spanish family run jewellery brand that was started many years ago, in 1888 in Barcelona, to be exact. My parents knew the matriarch founders and now a younger generation of my family keeps the traditions by being the customers as well. A few years ago two rings pictured below were purchased from Ramon. I have adored wringing them since then – they are modern, yet timeless and I feel very glamorous when I have them on my fingers, even when I am in jeans and a casual shirt.
Last year I received an e-mail from the manager of Italian luxury jewellery brand Pomellato in London, telling me about their new collection, Arabesque. The e-mail said ”The Festive Season is not far away and I wanted to take this opportunity to remind you that all Pomellato jewels are handmade in Milan and can take up to 60 days to create. In order to guarantee your gift is ready on-time I invite you to come and visit us in-store where we would be happy to assist and show you our latest collections.”
I e-mailed back with a question about the similarity of designs to my Ramon Rings and the manager kindly requested that I pop into the shop to show my rings. I send him the images and he promised me to follow it up with the Italian head-office – I am yet to hear anything back and we are in spring now. To the best of my knowledge it’s not the first time Pomellato ‘copied’ the designs but sadly there is not much Ramon, being a smaller brand can do about it – is that what we call ‘fair competition’ ? Ramon works with Chanel, among their other customers, and their shop is a treasure trove where I can be happily lost for hours, browsing the designs and asking questions. Their service is always prompt and courteous and their designs appeal to a wide audience of customers, including very young customers.
Today Pomellato is one of the Top Five Brands with the fastest sales, alongside Bulgari, Chopard, Tiffany and Cartier, with the prices to match and beautiful Salma Hayek as the face of their latest campaign. The brand was founded in Italy in 1967 in Milan. They have a reputation of innovators, which considering this issue, doesn’t sit well with me personally. From a brand like theirs I would expect originality, especially considering their prices, yet they seem to get away with what they do and ignoring the questions from a customer that raises the issue that makes me, for one, feel uncomfortable.
In our day and time, when everything is super fast and quickly available, I view originality and craftsmanship as true luxuries. How does one originate ideas? Where does one’s inspiration come from? What’s first – the chicken or the egg? We all love Zara and shop there but they don’t pretend to come up with original ideas when it comes to clothes & accessories design. From a brand like Pomellato I would expect uniqueness when it comes to their collections. A dash of honesty would help as well.