1970 newspaper advert for the Cartier Love Bracelet

1970 newspaper advert for the Cartier Love Bracelet

The Cartier Love bracelet is iconic, it's loved by the fashion set, is a celebrity favourite and you can't scroll through any social influencers feed without spotting one or two or even an armful of Love bracelets, but this iconic piece that's very much a style favourite today is almost 50 years old. 

Designed in 1969, New York, the Love bracelet was the creation of young Italian jewellery designer Aldo Cipullo. Inspired by the chastity belt and the idea that symbols of love should be everlasting, the bracelet’s unique charm lies in its locking mechanism. Cipullo designed the narrow gold bracelet in the shape of an oval to fit snuggly around the wrist because he believed “Jewellery should be part of the body.”  Bold screwhead motifs punctuate the surface and one works as the clasp.  A small screwdriver that accompanies the bracelet is used to tighten the screw and fix the bracelet somewhat permanently on the recipient’s wrist.

“Love,” said Cipullo, “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.”

When the bangle was launched in 1969, Cartier presented them to 25 couples at a ceremony in New York, including Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti and the ill-fated romantics Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

Initially, you weren't allowed to buy the bracelet for yourself, only as a gift for a loved one, but today the meaning of the Love bracelet has shifted.  It is not exactly about romance anymore,  today it’s about the love of the Love bracelet, in other words people don’t just wear one but stack as many as five on their arm to make a sweeping style statement.