I first spotted these embroidered bracelets years ago on the wrist of my fellow journalist, Pam Pastor. They came in patterned designs, such as four-leaf clovers, flowers, and animals in different colors. Of course I immediately wanted my own to add to my friendship bracelet collection! I found out they’re from Italian brand Cruciani, known for their luxury bags and accessories. The price tag: €22 for a basic design (around ₱1,200 per bracelet). Well, they don’t call it luxury for nothing.
Disheartened by the hefty price tag, I decided to wait until I saw it in more mainstream stores in Manila and for a sale price. Although the Cruciani bracelet craze started back in 2011, and I continue to spot it on the wrists of celebrities like Beyoncé and Pharrell. Unlike the Rainbow Loom trend that plunged after a year, Cruciani bracelets seem to have kept its steady pace around the globe.
The official Cruciani Philippines online store opened in 2013. They sold original bracelets imported from Italy for ₱495-795 each, but sometime after 2014, their social networking accounts disappeared. Knowing the Philippine market, the price tag might have been too pricey to sustain it.
But I spotted one just last month. I finally purchased my first Cruciani at the Sanrio Store in Century Mall, Makati. The Hello Kitty bracelet, originally priced at ₱750, was on sale at ₱375. It was the last piece at the store, so I bought it. While it’s labeled as an original Sanrio product, I didn’t see the Cruciani logo on the packaging. I hope it’s not a knockoff!