There’s something about a wide cuff bracelet, or better yet a pair of cuffs, that transcends fashion and gives meaning to the term “statement jewelry.” According to Peggy Grosz, V.P. of Development at Assael, “Large cuffs are worn by confident women…and they show confidence.”
An Iconic Style
The cuff bracelet has been a talisman of empowerment since ancient times, when warriors covered their wrists and arms in metal armor. Throughout history, many strong and influential women have embraced ultra-wide cuffs as their signature style. And today cuff bracelets are more popular than ever, thanks in part to the female superheroes portrayed in Wonder Woman and The Black Panther.
In the 1930s, Duke Fulco di Verdura presented Coco Chanel with a pair of bejeweled lacquered cuffs with a Maltese Cross motif. “Known for layering precious pieces and costume jewelry, the fashion icon often wore these cuffs with her statement-making trousers—thus, the power cuff was born,” said Jill Newman, Executive Editor, Style, of Robb Report.
Legendary Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar editor Diana Vreeland was a big fan of the power cuff too. Her trademark matching cuffs were made of horn and metal. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis preferred hers in hammered 18K yellow gold, a luxe take on an ancient Greek design.
Why We Love Them
Unlike earrings and necklaces, which we see mainly in the mirror, bracelets are in our line of sight all day (and night). Whether it’s fierce and tribal or intricate and lace-like, the cuff bracelet encircles the delicate wrist with a bold and protective surround…the ultimate power piece.
Perhaps British jewelry historian Vivienne Becker summed it up best in How to Spend It magazine: “There’s a touch of toughness and a certain androgyny (Marlene Dietrich liked a good cuff) that speaks of today’s assertive femininity, yet highlights a sense of something secret and precious, vulnerable even.”
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