Luca Caprai

With his bracelets attracting celebrity followers from Dita Von Teese and Paris Hilton to Michelle Rodriguez, Vision catches up with the founder of Italian fashion brand Cruciani to find out what makes his designs popular all over the world and asks ‘why Dubai’ as the location for his latest boutique? 

What was the inspiration behind your fashion brand, Cruciani? My vision for the brand was based on my family’s heritage in producing fine Italian goods, impeccable craftsmanship and attention to detail. I wanted to create something that was pure in materials and aesthetically beautiful.

The recent popularity of Cruciani macramé lace bracelets has been phenomenal. How did it start? The original design saw endless queues for 60 days outside the Cruciani boutique in Forte dei Marmi, and we sold more than seven million pieces in a little over a year in Italy. I then decided to try other markets and you can now find the bracelets in Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul. We also designed limited editions for the Vogue Fashion Night Out event in Florence, in collaboration with Pitti Immagine.

What is it about the bracelet designs that people like so much? People around the world love the “four leaf clover” designs because they represent a story – each leaf symbolises a message of charity, passion, love and fun, among other ideas. They are easy-going ways to bring luck and meaning to someone.

Why did you decide to open a Cruciani boutique in Dubai? The Dubai Mall attracts a wealth of international and local customers – more so, I find, than in any other place I have visited. I am convinced that Cruciani is best suited in The Dubai Mall as it responds to the demands of a whole variety of people and cultures from across the world.

What is your opinion of the Middle Eastern luxury market? The Middle East is one of the most sensitive markets when it comes to the importance of quality and the respect for style. For me, Dubai is a window through which one can see the Middle East as is Hong Kong for China.

What do you like most about Dubai? You wouldn’t believe it, but I sleep better in Dubai than anywhere else in the world. I normally only sleep three hours per night anywhere I go, but I am more relaxed here. Also, Dubai is still a big city within human dimensions; it is not a monster of a place.

What values does the Cruciani brand try to reflect? My brand Cruciani carries the tag Made in ‘Casa’ or “made at home” . This saying exemplifies the true meaning of class, beauty and heritage, all of which I see in Dubai. Here there is a concept of being refined, elegant and dressed to your best, and these are qualities that Cruciani follows.  

How have you used the bracelets to support charitable causes? The Cruciani x 3/11 bracelet was created especially in support of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, which helped raised 10 million yen for the Japanese government to purchase a fishing boat, a practical asset helping the local population to regain primary sustenance.

What’s next for Cruciani? Cruciani can now be found in all the major capitals of the world. I want to continue to make quality garments that are stylish and elegant, but I’d also like to get more involved in art. For example, I have been working with artists such as Marco Bertin who included the four-leaf clover designs from the Cruciani bracelets in two of his recent works of art. In addition, the latest collaboration with photographer Giovanni Gastel was launched during Milan Fashion Week in September 2012 with 17 ironic and iconic pictures featuring the bracelets. I want to go more in this creative direction – to develop more of a synergy between Cruciani’s designs and work by visual artists.

Luca Caprai was speaking to Rebecca Anne Proctor