Looking at Luca Cantarelli’s Instagram profile, one is not immediately sure whether it’s a brand’s page or an inspirational outlet, and after years spent ping ponging between design teams at fashion and fine jewelry houses, Cantarelli felt the time had come to channel this creativity into a solo jewelry project.
“As the pandemic was escalating, I felt the need to set my creative voice free. In my previous jobs [within design studios], I always had the feeling it was choked and considered too daring, simply too much,” the designer said.
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One year in the making, his first namesake collection debuted earlier this year with a small range of pieces crafted from silver and boasting sports-tinged, clean, minimalist lines enriched with enamels and precious stones, such as sapphires, quartz, malachite and garnet.
Courtesy of Luca Cantarelli
Dubbed “Second Round,” the collection nods to Cantarelli’s background. After graduating in law, he studied fashion design at Milan’s Burgo Institute before working alongside fashion designer Chicca Lualdi and subsequently landing a job at Milan-based fine jewelry brand Spallanzani.
Since its inception, Cantarelli has targeted a precise clientele for his genderless creations, made up of male sports enthusiasts attracted by the jewels’ geometric lines and bourgeois ladies who want to have fun with well-executed but approachable pieces.
“I’ve been designing my jewels so that they can be worn by both,” Cantarelli said. “Not only the genderless approach is trending in fashion right now but most importantly it really represents who I am. With my collection, I’m talking about values that I’m really keen on,” he added.
Influenced by a raw aesthetic drawn from countercultures and London’s underground scene, he is dropping the second batch of jewels with images starring bodybuilder Clara Sella and musician Thomas Costantin.
Filippo Thiella/Courtesy of Luca Cantarelli
The pieces are entirely produced in Italy by a Valenza-based goldsmith and the use of silver allows the designer to experiment with shapes and construction all the while offering affordable prices between 250 euros and 500 euros.
The collection is sold via the brand’s e-commerce site and Cantarelli is slowly but steadily trying to build a wholesale network. “It’s not easy when you’re an emerging brand to get noticed and embraced by established retailers,” he said. Currently available at the Ivan Perini online jewelry store, the brand is in talks with potential new stockists.
“It’s just the beginning and it’s tough, but I’m proud. I had no family connections in the jewelry world, which is very closed, but I kept pressing on, and here we are, it’s a message of hope for all young designers out there,” he offered.