There is so much creative energy in the city of Florence. There is the traditional, that stems from a love of history and the techniques of the past. Then there is a forward-thinking approach when it comes to Italian design. Angela Caputi combines both of these qualities: modern styling with traditional handmade craftsmanship utilised to produce stunning statement jewellery for the fashion-forward woman. Walking into her stores and showroom is bedazzling. And not just because of the jewels, but the whole shop experience itself.

Established in 1975, the company began with producing jewellery pieces inspired by the glamour of 1940’s Hollywood films. Today Angela Caputi is one of the most recognized names in high fashion costume jewellery carrying the "Made in Italy" label. Her pieces have featured in fashion exhibitions both in Italy (at Palazzo Pitti and Palazzo Strozzi) and in New York (The Museum at FIT and The Metropolitan Museum of Art).

Angela’s passion for elegant yet modern design is ever present. When we meet in her store, she is wearing a series of bold coloured bangles offset against her sleek black attire. This contrast is carried throughout the store. Pristine white draws open to showcase stunning pieces of bejewelled art in black lined trays. Each piece of her jewellery is unique, combining colourful plastics and resin to create playful and sophisticated items. A recent collection, Ocean, was inspired by coral and shell shapes from the Italian sea. There are also animal pieces and even earrings featuring Michelangelo’s famed statue, David. Half the fun is exploring each draw to see what pieces you’ll discover when it slides open.

All pieces are created by hand in the company’s Oltrarno workshop, using locally produced resin. The team work to detailed maps of the size, colour and number of beads per jewellery piece so that each is a one-of-a-kind creation. Besides the flagship store on Via di Santo Spirito, there is a second shop on Borgo Santi Apostoli, by the river Arno at Ponte Santa Trinita, which also sells handbags and clothing. When we travel, we often want an original keepsake and what better than a unique handmade piece of jewellery by a legendary Florentine designer. Just the shop experience is worth the trip – however, exiting the store without a purchase may prove a little problematic.

Photo credit: Ilaria Costanzo