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Carolina Bucci is Fortissimo

Summer nostalgia

It all started at the beach. Forte dei Marmi to be precise.  When jewellery designer Carolina Bucci was growing up, she spend her summers on the beach making bracelets with her friends by weaving colourful string together and tying them around the wrist in a simple knot to remember the summer.

Flash forward to her university years in New York, Bucci had a bit of a nostalgia for those Tuscan summers in the Argentario coast, and recreated those friendship bracelets with diamond cut 18K gold yarn hand-braided with colourful silk thread.  She named her first bracelet design Lucky and so it was. Costume and fashion designer Patricia Field spotted them, placed a few on the wrist of Carrie Bradshaw (immortalised by Sarah Jessica Parker) of Sex in the City and Carolina Bucci took off.

Jewellery for generations

Jewellery isn’t new to Bucci. Her family hails Florentine jewellery dynasty dating back to 1885. As a child, the fourth generation Bucci was front row to the art and craft of fine jewellery making.  “I constantly transforming and reconfiguring designs through sketches that I would present over and over again to my father. It was my informal training”.  With a desire for something different, Bucci moved to New York to study jewellery design at Marymount College and Fashion Institute of Technology FIT.  

“In New York, I learned about storytelling”, she explains, and fused it together with an innate sense of innovation that comes with being Italian.  “That is being Italian and in order to preserve our Italianness and what we do best, we need to keep being provoked. My goal from the very beginning was to fuse two worlds together that didn’t necessarily go together at the time – traditional making techniques and fine materials with a sense of fun and more freedom in style, styling and how you wear your pieces.”

“Fewer better things, slow and done well,” is Bucci’s brand ethos and what she says is the keystone of Italian culture and Italianissimo. “It’s about generations of handmade skill.  What we do is not something that can be learned online. It is something that takes a lot of time and effort”.  Effort, however, that you will never see. “Sprezzatura, the art of effortlessness takes a lot of practice, care, knowledge and experience in the background.   And Italy is the best expression of that.”

Fabulously fortissimo

The FORTISSIMO beads collection is another nod to Bucci’s beach nostalgia.  “I began making bracelets inspired by my kids’ summers in Forte dei Marmi.  They’d string together bracelets with colourful beads only to have to take them off at the end of the holiday, marked the summer as reminder of the beautiful holiday together.  I wanted to recapture the spirit of this emotional value . . . with precious stones”.  

Each bracelet is made of 23 different colours of beads made from semi-precious stones like amethysts or hard stones like malachite and coco jasper threaded on lurex cord capped with 18-karat gold.  Each bracelet embodies the different elements of Carolina Bucci – colourfulness, preciousness playfulness and versatility.

“The idea is that you can do whatever you want, that’s the spirit of Forte beads”, says Bucci.

ISSIMO x Carolina Bucci

The ISSIMO x Carolina Bucci collaboration is a celebration of Italy with inspirations from Il Pellicano and Mezzatorre.  Two unique bracelets made up 30 colourful beads of semi-precious stones match perfectly with Il Pellicano in yellow and white of course,  and Mezzatorre in malachite and blush coral. Fortissimo is the 84-bead multi-kit that you string together yourself- creating the pattern you prefer.

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