Cartier has invited Chitose Abe of Sacai to reimagine its iconic Trinity ring. The collection of six limited-edition pieces brings together one of fashion’s most prolific collaborators—Nike and Dior Men number among Abe’s highest profile hook-ups – with a jeweller who has rarely, if ever, invited clothing designers into its atelier. Abe wears an armful of Cartier bangles—a Love bracelet with diamonds and the nut-and-bolt Écrou de Cartier, included—but it’s her design process of “turning the familiar into something new” that makes her such an inspired partner for the historic jeweller.
When the Trinity ring was introduced in 1924 it was downright radical. “It was daring for a house like Cartier, well known to supply all the kings and queens and aristocrats of the entire world, to propose such a simple object, so intimate in the lives of our clients,” Pierre Rainero, Cartier’s director of image, style, and heritage, said. “That it could be worn by both men and women, by different generations, the young and also more mature, was something very interesting for the 1920s.”
A century later, the Trinity ring is a classic—an idée mère, or mother idea in the words of Louis Cartier, that has begotten all manner of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. That’s precisely the kind of thing Abe likes to get her hands on and manipulate. At Sacai, the brand she launched in 1999, she’s famous for motorcycle jackets that turn to reveal a womanly bustle, tops that are one part cable knit sweater, another part printed silk shirt, and peacoat-puffer jacket hybrids.
Her rethink of the Trinity ring extends two of the intertwined bands of the original, so the bands can be worn over multiple fingers. “It goes back to the idea of my clothes,” Abe explains. “There are many different ways to wear them. I wanted to apply that theory to the design of Trinity—the individuality in how to wear the piece.”