Heartache & Heartbreak: The Truth Behind the Cartier Love Bracelet

The Cartier Love and Juste Un Clou bracelets have become staples in the luxury world. One might even go so far as to call them iconic. They are two of only a handful of products that are easily identifiable in design alone- no brand name or logo necessary. The former, is one of the most Googled pieces of jewelry worldwide, and also boasts a significant resale value on the market today.

Image Credit: @xoxo__jess

Though celebrated by many, few know the man behind the simplistic yet impactful design of the Love Bracelet. That, however, is likely to change with a new book shedding light on the creator of this everlasting treasure. That designer is Aldo Cipullo, and the book- Cipullo: Making Jewelry Modern, will detail the love, loss, and indeed- sadness, behind the Cartier Love Bracelet…

Aldo Cipullo, Image Credit: Getty Images

Born in Naples, Italy in 1935, and raised in Rome, Aldo Cipullo led a very regimented childhood at the behest of his strict father, Giuseppe. Part of a family of jewelers, growing up the young Cipullo became increasingly enchanted with the wanderlust of American culture and society. He one day dreamed of immigrating to the land of opportunity from post-war Italy. This is noted in the book by Cipullo’s younger brother, Renato, who is also a jeweler.

Fast forward to the 1960s, and Aldo found himself at the center of the action- New York City. In a few short years, the young and charismatic Aldo was designing for Tiffany and Co. It was during this time that Cipullo came up with the design for the love bracelet. Despite enjoying the success of his endeavours, the young designer suffered a debilitating breakup in 1969. It was the end of this great love that paradoxically served as the inspiration for the Love bracelet…

Image Credit: @herlvcc_31

Wanting to hold on to a love that was not to be, Aldo was quoted as saying that he

felt very sad… [he] wanted something no one could take away from [him]… [he] was searching for a permanent symbol of love.

The screw design itself came from the many hours spent in American hardware stores with his brother. In fact, lingering between rows of nails, paint, saws and screws, was something of a favorite pastime for Aldo. This theme subsequently served as grounds for the creation for the Juste Un Clou bracelet as well- a simple, elongated nail that elegantly wraps around one’s wrist.

Image Credit: @threadsstyling

Today, the Love Bracelet is almost all but solidified in association with Cartier, however that might not have been the case if Aldo had his way. Upon conceiving the idea, he immediately took the design to Tiffany’s, but they rejected the concept just as quickly as Cipullo showcased it to them. He then presented it to Cartier…

Image Credit: Nils Herrmann, Collection Cartier, courtesy of Cartier

Sophia Loren, Ally McGraw, Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Caroline of Monaco were only a few of the high profile women who sported the Love Bracelet throughout the 60s and 70s, and helped it garner international adoration. The 1970s saw the Love Bracelet soar and both Cartier as a brand, and Cipullo individually, enjoyed great success.

With his “breakup bracelet,” Aldo had realized his lifelong dream. Sadly, though, it was all short-lived. In 1984, the bright and brilliant talent that was Aldo Cipullo died of a double heart attack. He was 48 years old.

Aldo Cipullo pictured at a Manhattan party in 1978, Image Credit: Renato Cipullo, Vogue

Decades later, Aldo Cipullo’s star still shines bright; his creations some of the most well known by all. Born out of sadness, yet grown with love, the Cartier Love Bracelet endures. One wishes that Cipullo would have lived on to see the admiration earned by his design, and that his goal of creating an endless symbol of love was more than simply achieved, but has become of personification of the very thing…

Image Credit: @hellofrombanisland

For more on Cipullo, Cartier and the Love Bracelet that brought them together, click here.

Love, PurseBop

XO

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