Name Anton Heldwein Occupation Jeweller Education Goldsmith and gemmologist Family Married to Barbara, 6 children Travels by Metro Contact www.heldwein.at, www.pomellato.com
“Now you can finally get Pomellato in Vienna, too!” Jeweller duo Anton and Barbara Heldwein heard that often when they opened the shop in the Goldenes Quartier. When in fact they had actually stocked the brand in their own store for some 25 years. It was because of this long cooperation that the Italian label made an exception for the Heldweins: they are allowed to run the Pomellato store in parallel to their own traditional jewellery shop. Pomellato itself was founded in 1967 by Pino Rabolini. Since then, the brand has been regarded as the pioneer of prêt-a-porter jewellery. Tell us three characteristics that describe the jewellery label Pomellato in a nutshell! Feminine, suitable for everyday wear, and chic. The brand ambassador changed recently: is the Pomellato woman more Tilda Swinton or Salma Hayak? For me the Pomellato superwoman was Nadja Auermann. Tilda Swinton is an extreme person and probably very good, too, because she doesn’t show women how they should look. Tilda Swinton definitely didn’t distract from the jewellery. Not men, anyway. Hayek is more the kind of woman where you can say, “Wow, I want to look like that.” If Salma Hayek came into your shop, what would you want to ask her? I would ask her what her favourite Pomellato piece is. After all, she is the wife of the top boss (Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault). What does tradition mean to you? Learning from the past, retaining what’s good and developing new things while moving forward into the future. Tradition is not about “But that’s how we’ve always done it”. Which talent is important professionally? I am a goldsmith, designer and gemmologist. I am well versed in jewels. I have ideas and visions. You can build something quickly in your mind, but then you have to be able to translate that idea into practice and know what’s possible. And what isn’t. Your favourite gemstone? Increasingly, it’s diamonds. A stone has to enthral me. I have to see the fire, the life in it. White or colourful? Both. The combination of turquoise with rock crystal from the Pomellato’s Capri series. I find that exciting – on one side it sparkles, on the other it doesn’t. People often think of jewellers as conservative. I don’t think that the jewellery industry has ever missed anything. Pomellato saw very early on that the future was in ready-made jewellery, which was undoubtedly frowned upon at first. But people’s attitude to buying things off the rack has changed. After all, people buy a Kelly or a Birkin bag, too. The quality has to be right, the design has to be practical and easy to wear. What do you give your wife on your anniversary? Einen Ring. Your wife is still happy about being given jewellery? Yes. She lets me know what piece would make her happy. What is near and dear to you? That something sits well and fits like a glove. In my case, that something is usually a suit by Brioni. How do you make customers happy? Not by giving them a flawless jewel or 18-carat gold, but by showing them something that they like in their hearts and that they have a good gut feeling about, and which therefore makes them happy. What makes Vienna unique? It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the Ringstraße, at Schönbrunn Palace or on Neubaugasse: all of the buildings are immaculate. The city is alive. And the metro is complete.