The CEO of “Cruciani C,” Luca Caprai, visits Japan. Under the leadership of Mr. Caprai, Cruciani C marked its name as a brand for lace bracelets. Mr. Caprai has visited Japan over 150 times since his first visit in 1984. We interviewed him to understand more about the success of Cruciani C.
- What prompted the company to make the lace bracelets?
Before we started to produce these bracelets, there was a foretaste of a boom for Italian bracelets. The starter was a plastic bracelet with a stone which is said to be good for the body.
Our bracelets, though, were completely different in material and concept. The lace bracelet represents our family’s DNA. My father’s company not only manufactures lace but also puts emphasis on collecting vintage lace.
We first sold our bracelets in June 2011 at the Cruciani boutique in Forte Dei Marmi, a resort in Toscana, Italy. We designed the bracelet with clovers, and it became a hit in an instance. It wasn’t just a temporary fad of the clover motifs. The trend for our lace bracelet created an entirely new market for Cruciani C. We currently have over 15 countries on our waiting list to tie future business with.
- How many bracelets have you sold up until now?
Around 10 million. All bracelets are manufactured in Italy. At present, we produce around 1 million a month.
- You already have a significant number of fans in Japan.
We started to prepare selling the bracelets in Japan from the fall of 2011. Japan is the first country we marketed our Cruciani brand to outside of Italy, so we have a special feeling towards your country. I came to Japan this time partly for business and partly as my vacation. My first visit to Japan was in 1984. Since then, I've revisited for over 150 times, but I still have a vivid memory of riding the HSST linear motor car at The International Exposition in Tsukuba back in 1984. I was absolutely amazed with the country that I was visiting. I am very honored that such an amazing country accepts our bracelets.
- What is the market share of the bracelets for Japan?
Around 11%. The bracelets are sold mostly in Italy, followed by the Middle and Near East. Spain and Japan are tied and rank third for our international market. Given its growth, we predict Japan will take on 20% of the market share in the near future.
Our bracelets are very popular right now among women worldwide, but I feel that the Japanese market has the highest potential. Japanese people, including men, are very keen on fashion and attentive to details. I think that our bracelets will be appreciated by both men and women here in Japan.
- You released a limited collaborative bracelet with Japanese brand G.V.G.V.
We sometimes select our collaboration partners based on whether we hit it off with them or not. Sometimes we collaborate with a famous jewelry brand to create a luxurious bracelet, and sometimes we work with young brands. The tie up with G.V.G.V. was the latter. We thought it would be fun to tie up with a fresh, up-and-coming brand.
We usually don’t set a number for limited edition models, but for the butterfly design bracelets, we created 5,555, and it sold out quickly. The diamond and gold bracelets with Damiani was produced for 3,000, and sometimes we create even less, to just a 1,000. With G.V.G.V. we created only 500 bracelets, the smallest number in our history! It is very precious.
- Can you tell us about the designs of the new bracelets?
We introduced the national flag collection in Italy about a month ago. We selected around 50 countries and created designs based on the color of the flags. We chose a star motif for the USA, tulips for the Netherlands, the Eiffel Tower for France, and the rising sun for Japan. We often create limited edition models in line with major events and anniversaries. We also produce special editions for charities.
- I heard that Cruciani donated 10 million yen with the Tohoku Earthquake charity bracelets.
Yes, we made donations to Ishinomaki City. It is a small amount, but we are very honored to be able to contribute. I have personally gained so much from Japan, I wanted to give back something. So to me, it was the natural thing to do. Japanese people’s kindness, their consideration for others, and the culture of taking care of even the smallest things and situations always teach me many many things.