It's the Bangle of the Moment, from Louis Vuitton's Volt to Cartier's Love Bracelet
When you have the choice of having all of them, why would you choose just one?
There is a good chance you will see a Love bangle in any high-end restaurant, whether it is in New York, London, Melbourne, or Mumbai. From a token of love worn by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton to a millennial status symbol, Cartier's instantly recognisable design has been on influential wrists since its conception in 1969.
Despite not disclosing sales figures, Cartier's wrist is the top-searched jewelry on Google, contributing a significant amount to Richemont's $11.6 billion in jewelry sales (by March 2022). The wrist is a strategic focus for other luxury houses too.
A padlock-inspired bangle with a price range from $6,900 for a plain yellow or rose gold bangle to $36,000 for a chunkier white-gold, full pavé diamond version, Tiffany & Co launched the Lock bracelet in September 2022. As a result of its social media promotion on influencer couples' wrists, it drew inevitable comparisons to Cartier's Love, which requires two people and a screwdriver to take on or take off as a permanent symbol of commitment designed by Aldo Cipullo. According to Rich Report, Cipullo first suggested the design to Tiffany, where he worked in the 1960s.
According to Tiffany's Executive Vice President of Product and Communications, Alexandre Arnault, the Lock launch was hugely successful. A modern design and modern lines make Lock rings, earrings, and pendants a very versatile piece that appeals to people of all ages. The house recently launched Lock rings, earrings, and pendants, cementing the motif's status.
It's not the only contender for Cartier's crown. The Bois de Rose bracelet, previously open-ended, has been relaunched as a gently undulating closed bangle by Dior, Van Cleef & Arpels' slender Perlée bracelet, and Louis Vuitton's LV Volt offer customers the opportunity to display their brand loyalty. During Milan Fashion Week, Pomellato introduced its Together bangle, while Bulgari's Serpenti Viper bracelet is pared back.
Brands encourage customers to put on their own '#wristparty' with these bangles, which are Unisex, stackable, and designed to be worn all day. Kylie Jenner, a woman who was credited with igniting Gen Z's love affair with the Love bangle after posting an Instagram image of her wrist decorated with more than $50,000 worth of the style, inspired Gen Z's love affair with the style.
WGSN's senior strategist for footwear and accessories Jane Collins states, "Bracelets are an easywear accessory; new ways of living and working are fueling demand for everyday pieces." Bracelets are symbolic of conscious consumption as well. “Fleeting fashion trends are no longer a priority: consumers look to products that they can invest in and trade, should they want to.”
In the case of Cartier Love bangles, there is a robust secondary market that demonstrates how iconic items can be resold.
As Collins explains, when it comes to challenging Cartier's crown, attention to detail is key. "We're planning to create character classics in 2023, which update timeless designs with distinctive features. Combined with clever marketing, this will ensure success." Ubiquity, she says, only increases demand." It is important for brands to develop products that are easily recognisable.
A solid-gold tribute to the humble nail, Aldo Cipullo followed the Love in 1971 with the Juste un Clou. Cartier relaunched the design in 2012; it is now nearly as popular and recognizable as the Love. Cartier's director of image, style and heritage, Pierre Rainero, says the formula for a hit isn't secret.
“Certainly, the Love and Clou share common points: they possess good design, an authenticity that’s deeply Cartier, they are contemporary and symbolic—these are necessary ingredients,” he explains. “But the status of these creations went beyond any plan. The public decided they would become such a big hit. You could call it a ‘je ne sais quoi’—we don’t know if it will happen again.”