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Capture the Spirit of Rio de Janeiro with Hipanema Bracelets

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Blame it on Rio — or, rather, thank the city’s vibrant colors, the tangy and spicy flavors of the cuisine, the exuberance of samba, and the warmth of its beaches for inspiring two Parisian girls to launch a jewelry line rooted in Brazilian culture.  Having met while in Rio de Janeiro, designers Jenny Collinet and Delphine Crech’riou hatched a plan to venture back to Europe and create a jewelry brand specializing in colorful bracelets featuring tassels, braided multi-colored thread, seashells and cowrie shells, paillettes, ribbons, and chains — all steeped in a distinctly Brazilian aesthetic. By doing so, they hoped to bring a small piece of the City of God with them as they journeyed back to France. In Summer 2012, they officially unveiled their beachy, Bohemian-flavored line: Hipanema.

Each Hipanema bracelet features multiple components, mixed and matched to create one standout piece. Rather thank having to stack on bracelet after bracelet, these different elements are integrated into a single hefty piece with  magnetic clasp, so that you can pull off an easy, free-spirited look without having to tie or clasp a stack of bracelets one by one (or, for that matter, to tangle and untangle them). Within each piece, you might find a row of silver-toned, mirrored paillettes, dangling freely as they would from a samba dancer’s bikini; a colorful, braided friendship bracelet with geometric patterns; a Brazilian wish ribbon (known as a “Fita do Senhor do Bonfim da Bahia”), pieces of silk or polyester thread with writings on them that have long been considered good luck charms; rows of seed beads adorned with frayed ribbon tassel accents; single snake chains or chunky curb link chains; thread-wrapped rope cords; and much more.

Take, for instance, the Hipanema Saint Tropez bracelet ($108 at Shopbop.com), shown above second from top, which measures 1.25″ in width and 7 inches in length. The multi-strand piece incorporates a thick friendship bracelet along the top, made with yellow, pink, orange, white, and magenta threads braided to create a diamond pattern; a silver-toned box chain with green thread woven around it; a slim cord wrapped in purple, aqua, gold, and pink thread, creating a repeating pattern; a row of pebble-like, cylindrical, copper-toned beads with faceted sides tied together with neon green thread; a line of round, glass, translucent magenta beads wedged in between two silver-toned box chain strands; a yellow wish ribbon with green lettering; and more.

Shown above at top, the Hipanema Biarritz bracelet ($118 at Ylang23.com), meanwhile, also features a Brazilian wish ribbon (this time an orange strand with black lettering) and a strand of glass beads wedged in between two silver-toned box chain strands (this time the beads are a translucent red tone and the chains and beads are all woven together with sky blue ribbons), but this piece also incorporates a chunky silver-toned chain link strand with colorful ribbons woven through its links; a row of silver-toned discs with etchings on their flattened surfaces, making them resemble medallions; a tubular cord wrapped with gold thread and tiny gold chains; and even a slim piece of thread featuring a cowrie shell.

Pictured last above, the Hipanema Santiago bracelet ($98 at Ylang23.com), meanwhile, captures some of the flash and sizzle fo Carnaval with a strand of round beads adorned by red tassels to give the piece a bit of movement and even flat, round, silver-toned discs  with starburst-like etchings dangling from the bottom strand.

Best of all: those silver- or gold-toned magnetic clasps, embossed with the Hipanema logo, make snapping each bracelet on and off easier than ABC. And, with summer in full swing, it’s the perfect way to add a beachy feel to any ensemble.

Hipanema bracelets vary in price from $58 to $118 and are available at Shopbop.com, Ylang23.com, and Henri Bendel.

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