The spirit of Capri, since 1947. Discover a unique legacy that spans the better part of seventy years and embodies the energy of the Dolce Vita.
Pietro Capuano and Salvatore Aprea decided to turn their friendship into a partnership in the late 1940’s. An instant success, Chantecler became a favorite with the European Jet Set, the jewelers’ counting some of the most famous and stylish women in the world amongst their clients – Jackie Onassis, Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman and more. Today, Chantecler’s fame stretches far beyond the shores of the Island. Aprea’s children – Maria Elena, Costanza and Gabriele – sit at the helm of the business, transforming it from a sophisticated niche brand into an international recognized company.
Maria Elena spoke exclusively to LUISAVIAROMA about honoring her father’s legacy and the tradition behind the brand.
Chantecler has such a rich heritage. How do you translate this elements for the contemporary customer?
One of the things I learned from my father is the importance of beauty: the value of a jewel is not the price on the tag but the one conferred by its beauty. Only beauty has the ability to overcome time and fashion. It is for this reason, our clientele wears jewels they bought yesterday with the same pleasure that they wear the ones they have bought decades ago. Our jewels are about pleasure, not duty or power. My challenge is to always keep the product’s aesthetic and artisan quality intact while meeting the contemporary Italian and international client’s stylistic demands.
Can you tell us, in your own words, about the limited editions created exclusively for LVR?
The island of Capri is fabulous and picturesque, in large part due to the ceramics or ‘Maioliche’. The glazed terracotta tiles decorate villas, streets and hotels, coloring the island with their bright elegant patterns. The exquisite ‘Maiolica ‘jewels have been conceived exclusively for LVR in a daring and fashionable color combination to reflect the incredible concept store’s diverse clientele.The same approach has been used with the ‘Campanelle’ pink gold diamonds pavé: our iconic jewel has been reinterpreted to commemorate its seventieth anniversary.
What do you hope to evoke with the collection?
In Capri everything is more: the smell of jasmine, the colors of the sunsets, the intriguing smile of a young woman, the scent of lemons… Our challenge is to reproduce the many shades of Capri’s nature and the shapes of its architecture by replicating the intensity of emotions the Island evokes in a jewel.
Made in Italy is the most recognizable brand in the world and Chantecler jewels are among the best expressions of the beautiful and well-made Italian crafts.
Where and how are each of the pieces created?
I don’t really have one place where I conceive a new design. When I create a piece of jewelry, my mind looks to everything that characterizes the Island for inspiration: its originality, its natural yet luxurious beauty and its vivid colors. Just like a tailor would in his atelier, I try to capture this beauty through each of my creations, ensuring that even the most hidden finish or tiny details is perfectly executed. When I create a jewel I envisage the women who will wear it and her character; even if I use a multitude of stones and varied materials, the thread I use to sew them together is one and the same.
What has been the highlight of your journey so far?
Since the very beginning, Chantecler has always possessed a soul with a strong positive attitude towards life and the world. We cultivate empathy, the magic of our origins, and we emphasize interpersonal talents as fundamental to our success. The challenge for the future is to keep the product’s aesthetic and artisanal quality intact, and to preserve its extraordinary uniqueness.
How has Capri influenced and shaped the collection?
Capri’s enchanting beauty is the raw material behind Chantecler’s creative genius. Capri, one of Italy’s most glamorous islands, has inspired visitors for centuries, not only for its shimmering seas and stunning coves and beaches but also for its fine art, culture, unique atmosphere and lifestyle. When admiring Chantecler’s jewelry one cannot miss the intentional use of colors and its daring combinations, which are deeply reminiscent of the isle of Capri: the turquoise of the water in the Blue Grotto, the white and soft pastel shades of the houses on the Island, the coral red of the Pompeian roman ruins… all of them illustrate the uniqueness of Capri.
What is it about Capri that continues to intrigue and excite people?
The freedom to express individual distinctive styles, rather than succumb to industrial standardization, reigned supreme during the years of the Dolce Vita and is still a distinguishing feature of Capri. To this day, it continues to be a ‘must’ destination for the international jet-set thanks to its amazing landscapes and chic understated way of life.
Images and videos courtesy of Chantecler
This interview has been edited and condensed.