The resurgence of the Cartier Love bracelet revolutionised jewellery, particularly among the younger generation. It now firmly stands as a staple in every fine jewellery connoisseur’s collection. Despite its popularity in the recent decade—mostly owing to its ubiquitousness in pop culture—most of its stalwart fans will be surprised to know that the design is over 50 years old! Perhaps this is the beauty of love: it is timeless.
Its story starts at 3am in 1969, as 20-something-year-old designer Aldo Cipullo recalls a sleepless night after a relationship came to an end. Ironic, considering that it was on this very night that he designed the most iconic symbol of love: the Love bracelet.
Cipullo wanted to create something which was a physical depiction of love and loyalty, which couldn’t be carelessly removed, replaced or taken away. He visualised that it could be worn in place of an engagement ring—and would stand as a symbol of someone in a committed relationship.
Cipullo saw beauty in simplicity. Using the concept of a medieval chastity belt as its foundation, which was an archaic mechanism worn by women to prevent sexual intercourse, he paired this startling inspiration with the industrial elements he saw in New York, and created the bracelet’s infamous screw-on design.
During this time, he was a designer at Tiffany & Co. and would often be seen wearing a prototype of the bracelet. Tiffany & Co. (un)fortunately rejected the design. Instead of wallowing in defeat, Cipullo quit his job and pitched the idea to the Cartier New York branch, which due to new proprietorship, was seeking a new image. Perhaps, it was love at first sight.