Renato Cipullo pictured above with Me (Michou Mahtani) / Below Right Aldo Cipullo
A Hamptons Summer - Le Must De Cartier
While being out here for a Hamptons Summer we run into legends on a daily basis! Here below we had a weekend guest; Mr. Renato Cipullo, brother of the renowned Aldo Cipullo creator of the legendary Cartier Love bracelet and the recent reintroduction of the "Juste Un Clou".
While Thomas and I were looking for wedding bands it was so hard to find something masculine, timeless and legendary. As Aldo himself is quoted saying:
“Jewelry has to be part of a person. It enters the psychology of the person, it always represents love, affection — all this kind of symbolism. That is why jewelry will never die.”
This gave us even more reason to find something that became a part of us. Today Renato brother of Aldo carries on his legacy by designing modern pieces with a timeless elegance.
In 1959, a handsome young Italian man in his early twenties migrated to New York City and, within a decade would make an indelible mark on the world of high jewelry and high fashion through his creation of one of the most iconic and recognizable jewelry designs. That man was Aldo Cipullo and that creation, the Love bracelet of Cartier, is one of the bestselling jewelry items of all time. Though his life was relatively short, it was marked by great accomplishments and moments of staggering genius that have earned him a well-deserved place as one of the most important jewelry designers of the 20th century.
Having left Italy and an apprenticeship at his father’s silver and costume jewelry factory in Florence to pursue larger ambitions in the jewelry world, Aldo Cipullo was quickly recognized for his talent and employed by both Tiffany & Co. and David Webb. However, creating grandiose jewels in traditional style under the umbrella of these strongly branded companies was ultimately unsatisfying for the young artist and in 1969 he joined the design team at first year as a designer that Cipullo created his most iconic piece — the sleekly modern and unisex Love bracelet. In a 1972 article by Marian Christy for the Reading Eagle, Cipullo remarks, “Love has become too commercial, yet life without love is nothing — a fat zero. What modern people want are love symbols that look semi-permanent — or, at least, require a trick to remove. After all, love symbols should suggest an everlasting quality.”
If any item of jewelry has retained an everlasting quality, it is certainly the Love bracelet. Yet, Cipullo was not content to rest his laurels on this one important design. Immediately after the creation of the Love bracelet, he produced the famous “Juste un Clou” — the Nail collection. In keeping with the designer’s thoroughly modern aesthetic, the Nail collection sought its inspiration through the iconography of the manmade world by pulling design focus away from the dainty and feminine to the strongly masculine. The famous piece of this collection is, again, a bracelet which is formed as a single bent nail that wraps around the wrist. In 2012, Cartier produced an exhibition of Cipullo’s work and re-released the Nail bracelet in three colors of gold and a special version pave set entirely with diamonds.
Aldo Cipullo left Cartier to establish his own atelier in 1974. As a freelance artist, Cipullo continued to produce high end, popular jewelry such as a renowned men’s collection (which won him the prestigious Coty award), a costume collection for Trifari and cheeky dollar sign jewelry – about which Cipullo remarked that the dollar sign “[was] the electric eye that reflects the mood of this country.” (Telegraph-Herald. Nov. 28, 1975). In 1978, the American Gem Society commissioned a limited collection to feature American gemstones such as Montana sapphires, diamonds from Arkansas and Arizona turquoise. The 31-piece grouping utilizing important precious and semi-precious stones toured the United States before being donated to the Smithsonian Museum’s impressive mineralogical collection. Yet, financial success and international acclaim were not enough for this ambitious designer. He planned to publish a book showcasing the development of this collection that would be used as a sort of guidebook for the future jewelry students he hoped would come to study at Aldo Cipullo, ltd. Unfortunately, this dream never came to fruition.
His legacy lives on through Cartier and his brother always bringing his designs back to life!