By Michelle Graff
Milan—Pino Rabolini, who continued his family’s goldsmithing tradition in launching Italian jewelry brand Pomellato, has died.

According to an obituary published by WWD, the Italian jeweler died of a heart attack at the age of 82.

Rabolini grew up in a family of goldsmiths and launched Pomellato in Milan in 1967, breaking barriers by bringing to market a ready-to-wear jewelry brand that women could don—and buy for themselves—for any occasion, not just formal events.

In the introduction to “Pomellato—Since 1967,” the brand’s 50th anniversary book, Rabolini described to author Giusi Ferré how the idea for his jewelry brand had its genesis at Bar Jamaica, the hangout for Milanese artists and performers at that time.

He was inspired by the women he met there—the singers, actresses and ceramicists—and wanted to create a line of jewelry that paid homage to their spirits and to women’s growing independence in general.

“I admired them all,” Rabolini said in the book, “even though, given my character, I never needed a muse to inspire me. I always devoted my Pomellato creations to women.”

Pomellato is known for using its bold pops of color in the form of cabochons and other unusually cut colored gemstones.

The company added a second brand, Dodo, in 1994. According to the Dodo website, the idea of the company was born on the island of Mauritius, where the now-extinct flightless bird by the same name once lived. The company’s low-karat, whimsical gold charms are designed to appeal to younger consumers.

In 2013, the Rabolini family sold Pomellato and Dodo to luxury goods conglomerate Kering, owner of brands including Boucheron, Alexander McQueen and Yves Saint Laurent.

The brand turned 50 this year and celebrated by introducing Ritratto, a line of rings set with large, rectangular-shaped gemstones, some of which are rarely seen in jewelry.

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