You may or may not know, but the 90s are back. For anyone who lived through the decade, the high-street’s recent store windows will have brought back a rash of memories –Topshop’s grunge (all flannel check shirts & chunky boots), Zara’s minimalist clean lines, and the sporty crop tops and bright hoodies of American Apparel. There is also another retro throwback that has seen a resurgence in the last few seasons – the friendship bracelet. At last week’s press days I saw no less than three different companies championing the knotted wristpiece – one supporting the makers in Thailand, another a £10 macramé number as seen on Rita Ora, Heidi Klum and Beyonce and the third by one of the originators of the fashion friendship bracelet, Links of London.
A selection of friendship bracelets by Links of London (as seen at Trace PR SS14 press day)
Not to be confused with the humble knotted lengths of my youth, the Fashion Friendship Bracelet (or FFB) often retails upwards of £50 and when worn in multiples, has become quite a style statement. The trend was started by Links of London’s sterling silver and fabric accessories and gathered momentum with the Indian charm pieces beloved by travelling fashionistas. Blame Ibiza ravers or a longing for a misspent youth – whatever the reason this fad shows no sign of abating.
And so to the brands making these pieces… The first, by Gina Stewart Cox, are durable cord bracelets that incorporate precious metal charms. The label produces ethical pieces (all made in Thailand) that support the Elephant Conservation Network and ensure a fair price for the makers in the surrounding Thai villages. These retail for £40-£65 and have been worn by Jessie J, Cheryl Cole and The Saturdays.
Rose gold coin tassle bracelet, £55, by Gina Stewart Cox
Silver skull rope bracelet, £50, by Gina Stewart Cox
The second comes from Italian lace-makers Cruciani. After a commemorative four-leaf clover bracelet sparked massive demand in 2011, the label launched several macramé wrist-pieces in a range of colours and styles, which have since been spotted on the likes of Rita Ora, fashion doyenne Anna Dello Russo and the fabulous Beyonce (as seen in main holding image above). “The absolute confirmation of the trend happened about one month ago when Beyonce Instagrammed a picture of her wrist full of our bracelets that she bought in the Capri boutique,” said Cruciani founder, Luca Caprai. Costing just £10, and available at Urban Outiftters, Fenwicks and Harvey Nichols, these are the ones to load up in multiple colourways.
Cruciani bracelets in an array of colours at MLPR SS14 Press Day
Clover bracelet, £10, as worn by Beyonce, from Cruciani
The final is Links of London who can perhaps be credited with initiating the revival, with the launch of their Original Friendship Bracelet in 2006. The iconic Friendship collection sees colourful cord woven through sterling silver and is a firm fashion favourite. These pieces are far more hardy than a simple knotted braid, a fact reflected in the higher prices, with items starting at £65 and going up to £4000(!) for the 18ct gold woven bracelet.
Red and gold glitter bracelet, £150, by Links of London
Hot pink Friendship bracelet, £140, by Links of London
Turquoise and pink woven cuff bracelet, £225, by Links of London
Selection of men’s bracelets to celebrate next month’s Movember (with colours to match your hair type), by Links of London
This trend harks back to days of youth, when you wore your heart on your sleeve and your friendships on your wrist. If you’re not already a devotee, then add one of these pretty knotted numbers to your collection pronto. Or better still make one yourself.
Main holding image features Beyonce, Rita Ora, Dita Von Teese and Heidi Klum in Cruciani Bracelets. For more info and to purchase online go to: www.crucianibracelets.co.uk;
For Gina Stewart Cox visit www.ginastewartcox.com and for Links of London: www.linksoflondon.com/gb-en/online-shop/collections/friendship
For similar articles also visit: http://www.elle.com/news/fashion-accessories/cruciani-bracelets