The best reinvention success stories happen when you believe in your product enough to know it’s time for a cool change. Such was the case for Italian jeweller FOPE.
When Umberto Cazzola founded FOPE in 1929, it was a much different company. Its focus was on crafting stretchable watchbands, using gold and other metals. The bands were such a hit that FOPE became a trusted supplier to some of Switzerland’s biggest watchmakers.
Over the years, FOPE continued to grow; and with so much potential, it soon found itself at a crossroads of change. The 1970’s saw the company drawing on its wealth of expertise to create its very own unique mesh technology. And with the third generation joining the family business, FOPE was more than ready to transition from a watchband supplier into a fine jewellery manufacturer.
FOPE’s business shift has been a celebrated one, not only in Italy but also internationally. The brand is best known for its Novecento gold mesh chain, which has become a modern day icon in the jewellery world with its distinctive construction and design. The Novecento’s 18K gold parts, which make up the chain, are interlinked, making the jewellery softer and easier to wear.
The Novecento mesh is also the star behind the global success of FOPE’s patented Flex’it lines. Extensive research on design and flexibility has been made to ensure that the products display excellence both in function and aesthetics. Gold springs that echo the mechanical characteristics of stainless steel springs give the bands exceptional resilience, movement, and durability.
FOPE is an Italian acronym that translates to ‘Factory Goldsmithing Precious Export’. Headquartered in Vicenza — nicknamed the ‘City of Gold’ for its long history of goldsmithing — FOPE beautifully transforms gold into exquisite works of art. From its humble beginnings until now, FOPE maintains its workshop in Vicenza, meticulously crafting each piece of jewellery in-house before shipping them to more than 50 countries worldwide. Although the company is enjoying continued growth and great visibility across the globe, the Cazzola family notes that its success is not without challenges.
“The challenges FOPE face are the challenges we seek,” shares Umberto Cazzola, the brand’s current president, emphasising that the brand’s pioneer approach to always look for something new and technologically cutting edge is the core of their R&D work. “Thankfully, the incredible R&D team we have in Vicenza has always managed to overcome them and find state-of-the-art, groundbreaking solutions.” The current technology FOPE uses is a testament to its ability to bridge the past and present.
Unique, original and timeless, FOPE’s jewellery epitomise the high style and grace of the ‘Made in Italy’ brand. At BaselWorld 2019, the brand will once again put the spotlight on its signature Flex’it lines and present four new collections: Eka Anniversario, Eka MiaLuce, Eka Tiny, and Love Nest. These four specials are designed for today’s contemporary taste, yet remain true to the founder’s values: great attention to detail, top-notch quality and unmistakable elegance.
Reinvention is once again knocking on FOPE’s doors as it celebrates its 90th anniversary. FOPE will be unveiling a major branding makeover, which will involve a new logo, new colours, communication tools, and all things related to brand identity. The new and upcoming elements will be revealed gradually throughout the year, and will mark the brand’s 90 glorious years in the industry.