The Cartier Love bracelet is having a major resurgence, in part fuelled by one of the most divisive celebrities around.
In 2013, the Huffington Post pointed out that Kylie Jenner — then just 16 — was wearing roughly $40,000 worth of the iconic bracelets.
In 2014, MTV said that she was “casually [wearing] the price of a college education on her arm.”
As expected with anything with the name “Cartier” attached to it, the bracelets are pricey. The cheapest ones are pink or yellow gold, and run for $1,630 — but those aren’t even the iconic bracelets. Those have a simple clasp that permit the wearer to take them off.
The iconic bracelet has two halves and comes with its own mini screwdriver, making it difficult to remove without the help of another (and the screwdriver).
The cheapest versions of that bracelet are pink or yellow gold and cost a steep $4,500. The yellow gold bracelet with a diamond is $5300. With more diamonds, the bracelets (expectedly) get increasingly expensive; a pink gold bracelet with pink diamonds starts at $40,400.
According to luxury reselling site The Real Real, the bracelet was created in 1969 by designer Aldo Cipullo. The screwdriver component was crucial to the bracelet’s meaning.
“Love,” Cipullo said, according to The Real Real, “has become too commercial, yet life without love is nothing — a fat zero. What modern people want are love symbols that look semi-permanent — or, at least, require a trick to remove. After all, love symbols should suggest an everlasting quality.”
And now that Kylie Jenner has skyrocketed from a supporting character in the world of the Kardashians to her own full-fledged star, consumers are more privy than ever to what she wears. (Although, according to recent photos, it appears she doesn’t wear the bracelets by the bundle every day.)
Other celebrities have worn the bracelets; Town & Country checked off a star-studded list with names ranging from the iconic Elizabeth Taylor to Naomi Watts.
Unsurprisingly, this has benefited Cartier to some extent.
Cartier was the #19 brand for cool “It Girls” age 13-29, according to a study executed by Goldman Sachs and Teen Vogue.
According to The Real Real, it was one of the top five resold brands that shoppers purchased on the site in 2015. A representative from The Real Real informed Business Insider that the site sells between ten and twenty bracelets a month, and they sell within minutes after they’re posted.
In the six months ending in September 2015, Cartier’s parent company Richemont’s sales were up 15%, and jewellery sales were up 18%, even though analysts were underwhelmed with the results and concerned about the state of the luxury category, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“Richemont’s results confirm a difficult demand environment for luxury goods, and a likely low key end to a soft 2015 for the industry,” Exane BNP Paribas analyst Luca Solca said to The Wall Street Journal in November.
But jewellery has remained Cartier’s — and therefore, Richemont’s — strong point.
On a recent earnings call, Richemont’s Head of Investor Relations, Sophie Cagnard, said Cartier “continued to record very strong jewellery sales, driven by the Etourdissant high jewellery collection who generated substantial sales within months of its launch. A second high jewellery event recently took place to display the rest of its collection and the results are, again, promising. Jewellery sales also enjoyed strong momentum sustained by the new Amulette, Juste en Clou, LOVE and Panthere collection.”
“Jewellery is growing regionally everywhere, at all price points,” Chief Financial Officer Gary Saage said, via The Wall Street Journal. “Jewellery is probably more dynamic than watches.”
“The creativity and the sensibility of the products for both Van Cleef and Cartier is extraordinary. And as we’ve said in the past, the jewellery business is an event business; it’s fabulous. Men like to give jewellery and women like to receive it. So we’re in a good place with that. And we have exceptional teams,” Saage said on an earnings call in November.
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