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Going For Gold

By Laura McCreddie-Doak 5 Minute Read

FOPE’s Bond Street boutique is the ideal space in which to discover its latest collections.

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What marks out a successful business is ensuring our interactions with its products feel like an extension of the brand, rather than a sales pitch. For FOPE, a brand that has been resident in Vicenza since 1929 when Umberto Cazzola, a goldsmith, opened his workshop in the city, this all comes down to the concept of family.

“We want to make our clients feel like members of our family,” explains Pedram Iraniasl, the boutique’s manager, when we sit down to chat during a quiet moment between appointments. “We know everything about them, while respecting their privacy, of course.” Pedram gives me an example telling me about a client who was getting married in Barbados soon and on the look-out for a necklace. A piece came in Pedram thought would be perfect, so he picked up the phone. Needless to say, upon seeing it, the client bought the necklace.

It is this personal touch that is noticeable in every step of the FOPE experience. Whether a client has an appointment, is a loyal customer or this is their first time at the FOPE boutique, Pedram noted that the emphasis on the personal touch remains the same. The boutique team are all highly trained in haute hospitality with values rooted in generosity and reciprocity; where being hospitable is naturally inherent in the way a person is treated. “We like to try to get to know all our clients,” he says. “It helps us to recommend pieces to them and build a friendly rapport.”

This emphasis on hospitality is no doubt enhanced by the calm boutique interior of its Bond Street address, which was opened in partnership with Watches of Switzerland in 2019. The brand’s signature colour, a beautiful green hue, covers the walls, complemented by the touches of gold that are the brand’s trademark. FOPE’s gorgeous 18-ct gold pieces are tastefully displayed, each design given space to luxuriate, so, despite all ten of the brand’s men’s and women’s collections being available in the boutique, nothing feels cluttered or overwhelming.

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For those who want to really take some time to view the collections, there is a private area on a mezzanine above the main space; similarly calm but with more space to get hands on with FOPE’s fabulous pieces. Because, thanks to its Flex’It technology, FOPE really is a brand that comes to life when you touch it.

Flex’It was a result of FOPE’s continuing love of experimentation, which first started when the brand supplied watch straps to Swiss haute horlogerie brands. What started life as the Novocento mesh – a resilient, non-soldered strap – by the early 200s had become a flexible patented 18-ct gold bracelet; a smooth, sensuous stretchy rope of precious metal that was revolutionary. The Flex’It system, as it was eventually renamed, allowed FOPE to create designs that could be worn by anyone; that could be easily slipped on and off with no need for a partner around to tussle with unyielding clasps. Its message was that this was jewellery for the modern, independent woman and it became a world-wide phenomenon.

Since then, FOPE has transformed this ingenious creation into a myriad of beautiful collections. The top-secret system for making the bracelet features dozens of tiny gold springs, which are masterfully placed between each link of the 18-carat gold chain rendering it fully flexible. Each one is made in-house at the company’s headquarters and production facilities, which are still in Vicenza, and involves a combination of high-tech, robotic technology and the expertise of goldsmiths and master craftsmen who are trained in-house. It is simultaneously ground-breaking and timeless – a vision of contemporary luxury that is uniquely feminine.

So popular have its Flex’It designs become FOPE has curated a line of five of its most successful flexible bracelets – Prima, Eka, Solo, Vendôme and Panorama of which Watches of Switzerland stablemate Goldsmiths will stock the first three – which it is, rather wittily, calling Must Have. Each one now updated with the FOPE logo on the gold roundel with a dainty diamond set in the O. The line is ideal for those who want to dip their toes in FOPE’s gold-saturated waters. Each piece is playful, petite, and perfect present material.

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FOPE’s new Luna collection is a brilliant reimagining of the Flex’It technology. Whereas previous designs using the Flex’It technology have been tightly knitted ropes of 18-ct gold, this is chunkier, more tactile, stretchy. Comprising just necklaces and bracelets in 18-ct yellow, white, and FOPE’s proprietary shade of rose, gold, the pieces are deceptively light, the larger links passing through the hands like luxury worry beads; it’s a collection that plays with the senses, sitting softly on the skin making it an obvious choice for every day.

Also available at Goldsmiths, and the boutique, will be Aria, a delicate collection designed for layering. Nothing is flexing its muscle here; this is a collection of elegantly slim gold chains and dainty diamond details. There are no rings or bracelets in this line, it is all about the necklaces and earrings There’s a gorgeous choker, a very tactile lariat design and an opera length chain as well as a drop earring, which converts in size to be worn multiple ways. This collection also has the new FOPE signature – its logo written on tiny gold cylinders with a diamond set into the O. This is very much an everyday collection that manages to still be intrinsically FOPE even if the aesthetics are a little different.

It's wonderful to be allowed to while away some time in this outpost of Vicenza in London’s Bond Street, but my time is up and, unfortunately, I must walk away empty handed. I’m not sure many people who come into this boutique can say the same.

Explore more from FOPE here at Goldsmiths online or visit us in store at one of our showrooms where our jewellery experts will be delighted to help you. We would also be delighted to welcome you to our FOPE Boutique in Old Bond Street Please visit here to book an appointment.

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