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  • Inside the wardrobe of

    Carolina Bucci

    Discover the world of renowned Italian designer Carolina Bucci, the creative force behind some of our most coveted and treasured accessories. 

    Words by Petro
    Photographs by EVA K SALVI

    To say we’ve been eager to step inside the home of Carolina Bucci would be an understatement. We’ve long loved her jewellery and worn her designs. And, to be fair, she’s not just any designer. Carolina is the first woman to oversee her family’s jewellery dynasty, which began when her great-grandfather opened a workshop in Florence in 1885, specialising in pocket-watch repairs. Today, she blends her Florentine heritage with her own cool aesthetic, creating coveted collections that mix established Italian craftsmanship with modern ideas, to beautiful effect. As you might expect, running an empire and raising children means that Carolina also knows a thing or two about creating an effortlessly stylish and versatile wardrobe and home. Here, she shares her favourite spaces, memories and treasures.

    “My office is at the back of the house and is like a little glass box, full of light. Because my desk faces the front door, my husband likes to call it my check-in desk, as I keep an eye on everybody’s comings and goings. But really it is where I love to sit and play with ideas and design, surrounded by lots of my favourite things. On the wall is a large, slightly ruined gilt mirror that I drove back from Florence, and the desk itself is in the style of Memphis, while my office chair is from the 1950s, designed by Ico Parisi.”

    “Like most creative processes, there are times when the ideas come very quickly and easily, and others when it is hard work. The most important thing that I have learnt over the years is to move on very quickly when things aren’t clicking. You need to be ruthless with yourself.”

    “My new Girandola ring came about because of a request from Harper’s Bazaar to draw or design something inspired by the lockdown and the pandemic. I have always loved colourful pinwheels, and suddenly they felt very appropriate – full of hope but also needing to be taken outside to come alive.”

    “I have been working with Audemars Piguet since I redesigned their women’s Royal Oak for their 40th anniversary. This is my limited edition for Carolina Bucci, which features our Florentine Finish, just like the big cuff. The K.I.S.S. bracelets are our latest collaboration, inspired by my time working on their watches. K.I.S.S. means ‘Keep It Super Simple.'”

    “The Carolina Bucci woman likes to mix and match and wear our pieces in a very relaxed way. Our collections can sometimes look very different, but I like to think that the aesthetic feels coherent. You can wear K.I.S.S., Lucky and FORTE Beads together and it still works.”

    “I love glass and collect as much as I can, especially Venetian. For the past few years, we have worked with LagunaB, from Murano, Venice, creating our own amazing glass vessels inspired by Florentine marbleised paper. The vase here is by Archimede Seguso – there is a store in Florence, too, where we had a wedding list. The amber glass box came from a brilliant interior design shop in Florence called Flair.”

    “I bought this dress in Hudson, in Upstate New York – there is a great vintage store there run by a friend from the jewellery world. It feels very sporty to me, so I like wearing it with trainers – these are Anya Hindmarch.”

    “I have always made colourful bracelets of plastic pony beads with my two boys, and over the years, I played with the idea of a jewellery collection that took that inspiration of colour and personalisation. So, in 2018, after about three years of getting things just right, we launched FORTE Beads which has been phenomenally successful. The beads are all semi-precious hard stones, and the cords are finished in 18k gold tips. The name FORTE relates to my summers growing up at the beach in Forte dei Marmi.”

    “Because one of the important influences on FORTE Beads was the Florentine tradition of working with pietre dure to decorate furniture, I found one of the few remaining craftsmen in Florence still working with this technique. We are making tables with words and designs picked out in lapis and malachite etc, but I’m not sure where it’s going just yet. For now it’s just for fun and to celebrate this amazing craftmanship.”

    “I cannot resist colour, and I’m happy to mix bright, contrasting shades. This dress is a bit of a joint effort with my sister. She has a brand of laid-back, tie-dyed styles, called Sabal, and I asked her to create some fabrics for me. I took the fabric to my favourite seamstress in Italy and asked them to copy some of my vintage nightdresses to pair the intense colour with an unexpected piece of clothing. It works really well with an acid green belt from my friend Marta Ferri, and my favourite easy slides from Hermès.”

    “I LOVE dresses, whether it’s Loretta Caponi, which I have been wearing since I was a little girl, vintage Pucci, which I mostly started wearing by borrowing my mother’s nightgowns… Gül Hürgel, Isabel Marant, Ulla Johnson, LoveShackFancy, The Row, Gabriela Hearst, Missoni, Borgo de Nor, Marta Ferri… the list is long.”

    “This is a pretty random bunch – some paper flowers that my boys made for me for Mother’s Day a few years back, a Richard Ginori egg with the Giglio (the symbol of Florence) and another egg from Archimede Seguso (I love eggs), all underneath a time-lapse photograph of 4th July by Richard Misrach (my husband and I first kissed on 4th July, in NYC).”

    “I love Mehry Mu and how flexible her bags are – they work with pretty much anything. Over the years, my bags have got smaller and smaller – I used to carry huge bags and half an office around.”

    “All my slippers are from Le Monde Beryl – I think the brand is a beautiful and focused reinterpretation of a Venetian silhouette. The kimono is from Rianna + Nina and I haven’t had a chance to wear it yet – I am saving it for a day in the sun.”

    “I am normally moving around so much during the day that almost all of my shoes these days are flats. I love seeing them lined up with their different colours – all of my getting dressed is a question of experimenting; I never have set outfits in my head, so I need to see things to get inspired.”

    “My bedroom is multifunctional and not just for sleeping – part office, sometimes yoga studio, and part hang-out area to watch American Idol with my son.”

    “I am definitely a summer person – I just don’t suit the cold! Never have done. These bags sit on top of the closet, reminding me through the long winter that the sun is coming back.”

    “I am not a digital-calendar person. My brain still works best with a written diary – as I write things down with different coloured sharpies, my plans all seem to fit together more easily. My memory is very visual. We have so many new things coming this year and I need to be able to organise them visually in my head to think through their launch and marketing effectively.”

    “Our interior design is more of an accumulation rather than a coherent plan. When I look around the room, it is a little like a photo album of past years – remembering where we bought things or who we bought them from.”

    “The new home fragrance started with a need for our store – I always insist that the store feels like ‘us’ from every perspective… the look of the jewellery, obviously, but also the art, the furniture, the music and, very importantly, the smell. I worked with an Italian nose, Giorgia Navarra, to create a fragrance that is inspired by a particular smell that I remember from the fields around my childhood home in the hills above Florence. And to make it more than just a fragrance, I also worked with LagunaB to create the most beautiful glass diffuser vases that are works of art in themselves.”

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