Donatella Pellini

Portrait of Donatella Pellini. Photo Credit: Giovanni Gastel

Milan, 30th June 2021

Color, experimentation, harmony and an insatiable search for beauty. This is Donatella Pellini’s world. Donatella is an innovative artist who gave life to a new style in jewelry, unique and easily recognizable. And she did so by elevating non-precious but original materials such as resin, through craftsmanship of the highest quality.

Since its birth, Pellini firm has represented a female family history of excellence. “I inherited from my grandmother and my mother the passion for jewelry” says Donatella Pellini. “In fact, Pellini Atelier was born in Milan in 1947 thanks to the creativity of Emma Caimi Pellini, my grandmother, who won an award at the jewelry exhibition at the Triennale di Milano and eventually exhibited her creations in New York at Saks Fifth Avenue. Since 1964 it was her daughter, my mother Carla, who carried on the family business with dedication.” Carla opened the first Milanese shop inside the eighteenth-century Palazzo Belgiojoso in Via Morigi 9, where it is still possible to visit the Pellini shop and showroom today.

Showlab Pellini in Palazzo Belgiojoso, Via Morigi 9

The revolution then comes with Donatella, third generation, whose curiosity leads her to experiment with new materials, reinventing the art of bijoux in a modern and completely new way. In particular, it is the innovative resin creations that have now become the symbol of the company in Italy and in the world. “Each resin and inclusion is unique and entirely made by hand, piece by piece in the Milanese workshop where the artisans work alongside me with experience and great skill.”

Donatella Pellini for Thierry Mugler, 1980s. Photo credit: Gio Martorana

“Your creativity led you to create absolutely unique jewels. What does jewelry represent for you, and what does it convey?” I ask her. “Fantasy jewelry – she replies – represents the essence of the person. It conveys who you are. It is a state of mind, which could be joy as well as melancholy. It does not have to communicate luxury or power, but the opposite instead. Bijoux must be accessible to everyone.” Wearing Donatella Pellini’s creations requires a strong personality, either classic or extravagant. But for Donatella Pellini there is no woman to refer to more than others: “Whether they work in a factory, they are mothers of a family, or they are a lawyer or architect, women are all important to me, because all of them, in their uniqueness, represent a source of inspiration. I love to see them light up when they enter my shops, because they want to experience a moment of escape, and to rediscover their femininity through my jewels.”

Pellini boutique in Palazzo Belgiojoso, Via Morigi 9. Photo credits: Gianni Pezzani

Each creation by Donatella Pellini embodies a unique aesthetic sense. “I have always been very close to Italian fashion – she tells me – and very attentive to design. Everything that is art, fashion, design, color inspires me. I love color, I live with color. The sense of beauty makes everything easier as it stimulates self-criticism and selectivity. And there is always a spark that inspires me.” But how to spread beauty and make it become the heritage of the new generations? “Through education. In my case, a great fortune was to always be surrounded by people who led me to look at beauty. The key is precisely knowledge, which allows you to be able to observe and recognize beauty, even in its subjectivity.”

Bijoux Donatella Pellini

And it is precisely in the connection with knowledge and culture that Donatella Pellini sees the future of jewelry. “Everything has become more eccentric, but the inspiration from the past has remained. Because over the centuries, beauty has remained and it will always remain the same. Precisely for this reason I believe that knowledge and tradition are the pillars of the lifestyle of the future. Of course, there will be transformations: today, for example, the new generations tend not to consider the material, but instead the form, the design, the extravagance. But there will always be those who will still love the material, knowing how to recognize its value and beauty. Wonderful things will happen, through technology for example. The future will go on and it will be beautiful, for sure. Because beauty doesn’t stop. This is why I would like to be able to live a hundred years more, to find out how the world will go on and how we will live.”

Artisans at work in Pellini’s laboratory

Donatella Pellini represents Italian excellence. “What does excellence mean to you?” I ask her. “I believe that excellence is passion: all those who work with passion can only aim to reach excellence.” But what to say to young people who, despite being moved by a burning passion, find it difficult to choose which path to take in their future, beacuse of all the uncertainties? “This is what I want to say to young people: if it is passion that guides you, choose your path without fear. If you are talented, don’t give up. Believing in one’s path is essential, and constant commitment must not be lacking.”

Donatella Pellini & Laura Inghirami