An interview with Maria Elena, visionary Italian entrepreneur, animated by a great passion for beauty and the ability to recognize it immediately.
Can you tell us the history of the brand?
The birth of Chantecler is deeply related to an extraordinary historic moment, for Italy and the world itself. Those were the years between 1943 and 1944, when the last fires of World War II were anticipating the much desired peace and an unprecedented economic boom. In the background, a great friendship between Pietro Capuano, young Neapolitan jeweller, and Edda Ciano, the daughter of Benito Mussolini. In Capri, in 1944, there was an American Air Force rest-camp. Pietro Capuano, inspired by Archangel Michael’s legend, decided to create a bronze bell to be given to US President Roosevelt, as a good viaticum for peace.
What does the name Chantecler mean?
Chantecler is the «name of art» of Pietro Capuano. The name was inspired by the resemblance between Pietro’s character, eccentric, irreverent and charming, and the rooster Chantecler, main character of the homonymous 1910 play by Edmond Rostand, (most famous for his «Cyrano de Bergerac»), where the actors are disguised as animals in a chicken coop.
What does Capri represent for Chantecler?
Capri is where everything started for us. Everyday its energy, colours and scents give life to something extraordinary and unique, which we lovingly turn into jewels. Chantecler wouldn’t be the same company it is today if Capri, as well as being the focal point of our equilibrium, were not also at the centre of a world that marks time and influences styles.
…and the nature of this island?
Capri’s enchanting beauty is the raw material behind Chantecler’s creative genius. We design pieces of jewelry with love that each reflects the vibrant hues of this island – the shades of its crystal clear sea, the famous sea grottos and the romantic Faraglioni rocks.
Augusto Gardens, Capri
What are the most iconic pieces of jewellery created?
A little bell, whose tinkling is still a sign of peace and happiness. The ”campanella” is an emblem, the sublimation of Chantecler’s savoir faire, the epitome of all values of the brand. Unconventional, playful and collectable, the Campanella has lived through eras and trends, preserving through time its unique design and style
The elegant Chantecler boutique in Capri
The iconic Campanella
Chantecler jewellery has a distinctive style that is always and immediately recognisable. What is this due to?
Each jewel becomes a piece of a goldsmith’s work of art thanks to the vivid colours, the sinuous shapes, the volumes and important proportions – a whimsical game of plenums and voids revealing even the smallest crafted detail. All Chantecler creations are surprisingly pleasant to the touch; each individual joint designed to be flexible so the jewel is soft, lithe and sweetly musical.
What is your relationship with the Made in Italy?
“Made in Italy” is the most recognizable brand in the world and Chantecler jewels are among the best expressions of the Italian “beautiful and well-made”.
My first Campanella is the Chantecler jewel dedicated to Children. What does it mean to you?
It’s about a magic legacy as well as an initiation ritual. A childhood memory is something destined to become unforgettable, as “My first Campanella”.
Ph credit: Francesco Mantino