“juste un clou” by cartier, a liberating road movie

For its new “Juste un clou” collection, launched more than 40 years after the first nail bracelet was created by Aldo Cipullo, Cartier celebrates freedom and audacity in a rhythmic video that looks like a road movie.

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Sep 11 2017, 6:30pm

Swedish director Christian Larson has created a dynamic commercial for Cartier, 46 years after the release of Aldo Cipullo's "Nail Bracelet." The video stars two young girls on a road trip with an air of contemporary Thelma and Louise -- with wild dancing, skate sessions, joy rides in race cars, hotel nights, and parties until the break of dawn.

The two protagonists take off to a soundtrack composed by Magnus the Magnus. They're adorned with pink and yellow gold bracelets, set with diamonds. Half-lucky charm, half-partner in crime, this piece of jewelry is the expression of an audacious generation that flashes across the screen in a video conceived like a shot of youth. An elixir-jewel for free spirits to wear while they navigate between universes -- futuristic architecture with skateboards vs. rococo-styled hotel rooms, sportscars racing on the docks vs. choreography in a classical theater; studio recording scenes vs. nocturnal swimming pool dips. These oppositions are highlighted and celebrated, they are the metaphor for a connected generation which more than ever lives in a flow of fluctuating points of reference.

A publicity campaign that echoes the ebullience of early 70s New York, where the first "Nail Bracelet" was born. In 1971, Cartier launched a bracelet with an industrial inspiration: a plain bangle bringing together opposing forces: the rounded and the sharp, protection and action. Luxury Do-It-Yourself. Its creator Aldo Cipullo declared that, "The hardware store is my second home." This was the moment when Robert Mapplethorpe discovered photography when he borrowed his friend Sandy Daley's Polaroid camera -- Patti Smith was his first model; Warhol created his Flowers series, a symbol of the hippie counterculture of the 60s and 70s. "Just a nail" reflected the anti-conformist energy that fueled New York. A simple nail transformed into a precious object. Sophistication twisted from the casual that echoes with pop art.

IAldo Cipullo revolutionized the codes of classical jewelry and facilitated a critical exploration of the definition of the jewel in the following decades. At the start of the 70s, Cipullo was a regular of New York's clubs alongside Liza Minnelli, Andy Warhol and Ian Schrager, future founder of Studio 54. Much like Warhol -- a major client of Cartier's -- the designer was immersed both in the underground and the establishment. Navigating between both worlds, like "Juste un clou," the jewel became an encapsulation of his life. A crude and precious piece of jewelry, a stylistic oxymoron. A unisex bracelet -- preceding the punk movement -- fully relevant in our era.

Cartier's "Nail Bracelet" charms the new generation that recognizes itself in its creative audacity and androgynous design. A generation both heir to and nostalgic for its avant-garde history. Indeed, the 1970s are in the top tier of the nostalgia charts; they appear less corseted and regulated than the 2010s. It's no surprise then that this golden age of creativity currently enjoys a resurgence of interest.

Discover the collection here.