Roberto Sacal is the creative force behind the Bracaletti collection of fine leather goods and jewelry, but he — along with his team, Shawn B, David A, Rafael A, Guillermo A. and Charles G. — are also caretakers of a legacy that stretches back decades and spans generations. Bracaletti "was the name of my father's jewelry store when he was 27," says Sacal. "It was meant to be a pronounceable portmanteau of the Italian words for "bracelet" and "cuff links" — bracialetto and gemelli." In fact, I first met Sacal, in New York, at his debut presentation of what’s come to be a signature collection of exactly those items, bracelets and cuff links (plus a spectacularly handsome money clip).. I also learned that Sacal's Mexico City factory is home to an extended family of artisans, some with links to an older brand known as Casa Aries, which Roberto's father, Rafael, once owned and helped make world-famous. At its peak, Casa Aries was known for its luxurious leather backgammon sets — the Kennedys owned one — but, by the first decade of the 21st century, its scope had been reduced to the manufacture of office products. At which point, Roberto stepped in, and picked up where his father left off.
Despite his pedigree, the younger Sacal hadn't planned on designing accessories. True, he spent much of his childhood running around his father's factory; but when it came time to choose a career, he majored in political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and parlayed his passion for technology into a career at Apple Computers. Then, in 2012, a new idea took hold, as Rob sought more creative forms of self expression. In partnership with Shawn B. (his neighbor at the time) and the Mexico City factory team, he founded Bracaletti and — working late nights and early mornings in his spare time — designed the silver cuff links and bracelets, made in New York, that still form the core of the collection. "I wanted my business to pay homage to my dad's," he says. But this concept quickly morphed into something grander, based on Rob's observation of the marketplace. "Women have more adventurous taste than men," he says, explaining his expansion into handbags, clutches and other small leather goods (in addition to the fine men’s belts and other accessories he was already producing). "If I'm going to pour my heart and soul into something, I want to do it in the most powerful arenas.” This meant turning to his factory's team of artisans — and going back to his roots.
Today, Rob Sacal and Bracaletti are based in New York, but the Mexico City atelier is still the heart and soul of the company. Rob works with his craftsmen to develop three stages of prototypes for every design, and he relies on their knowledge and expertise to help him realize each element, including all of the brand's signature hardware. This "ah-hah” quality of uniqueness — of recognizability — is important to Sacal: his favorite childhood memory is of visiting the Houston Galleria with his father, and spotting a woman carrying a handbag designed by his dad. "At Bracaletti, I’m CEO, designer, bookkeeper, accountant and importer," Rob explains. "This company is my full-time hobby, and it's something that I love doing. I'm happy selling my designs to family, friends and anyone else who truly appreciates them." Rob pauses, as his thoughts shift away from his musings to the business at hand. "I never want that to change. When you divide things up too much — become too big — you lose the soul of the company." I suspect there’s no danger of that ever happening: in the years I’ve known Rob, I’ve seen his collection expand in ways that can only be described a organic, with one product giving rise to the next. Meanwhile, thanks to Sacal’s perfectionism, Bracaletti remains an insider's secret, passed from one connoisseur to another. Consider this your invitation to join the club.
Style expert, art director and writer, ShowBoats International, 1010 Park Place and Fashion As a 2nd Language, and former creative director, ForbesLife
Mark received his B.A. in anthropology from Columbia University, but earned the equivalent of a fashion Ph.D. working at Vogue with some of the world's most demanding editors: Derek Ungless, Anna Wintour, Polly Mellen and Alexander Liberman. He went on to produce fashion portfolios photographed around the world, and to write about a range of topics for the discerning consumer; his stories have explored everything from Cartier's high-jewelry ateliers to the making of a new Hermès fragrance. He currently lives in Manhattan, where he works as a market editor, creative director and writer. English is his native tongue, and, having studied in Paris, he has a (shaky) command of French, but he's fluent in Fashion as a 2nd Language.
Please take care to avoid exposing your product to any harsh chemicals. Substances containing bleach, chlorine, or ammonia can damage your jewelry. We recommend always removing your jewelry before swimming, be it in the ocean or in a pool. Always put your jewelry on after you dress to avoid contact with perfumes, cosmetics, or household chemicals. Products with gemstones should be kept clear of extreme temperatures, hot solutions, abrasive cleaners or ultrasonic cleaners. Leather products should be kept clear of any liquids, and as with all genuine leather, they may wear over time.
Bracaletti jewelry is carefully treated to resist tarnishing. We electroplate all of our pieces, adding an additional layer of rhodium, white gold, pink/rose gold, or 18k yellow gold. This extends the amount of time your product will remain polished. As with most jewelry that is plated, some wearing away of the finish may occur over time. Never use silver polish or tarnish removers on your pieces as you may damage the finish.
Any piece of our collection may be taken to a trusted jeweler if polishing is needed. Keep in mind that polishing Vermeil or Rhodium-plated silver may wear its finish. If you would like to arrange repair or polishing of your piece, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for an estimate.
Our vermeil (pronounced ‘ver-may’) products are made of fine Sterling Silver (925 silver), which is then plated in 18 karat gold to provide a beautiful golden finish that is less susceptible to tarnishing than un-plated Sterling. Vermeil according to the US Code of Federal Regulations: “An industry product may be described or marked as “vermeil” if it consists of a base of sterling silver coated or plated on all significant surfaces with gold, or gold alloy of not less than 10 karat fineness”. An old tradition, Vermeil originally stemmed from actual gilding of silver artifacts.
Our collections are created with a diverse range of precious Metals, Alloys, and Leathers. We offer products made with a base of Sterling Silver, Brass, and Geniune Leather. Some products are also plated in Rhodium (a chemical element, member of the Platinum group), Pink/Rose Gold, 18 karat yellow gold, and white gold. Our product’s cases include wood, acrylic, and fabrics to hold the pieces in place.
We recommend storing your new purchase in it’s original case whenever possible.
YOU MAY RETURN ANY PRODUCT ORDERED ON THE BRACALETTI.COM WEBSITE FOR REFUND OR EXCHANGE WITHIN FOURTEEN (14) CALENDAR DAYS FROM THE DELIVERY DATE. RETURNED PRODUCTS MUST BE IN THEIR ORIGINAL CONDITION, UNUSED, UNWASHED, UNALTERED, AND IN THE SAME CONDITION IN WHICH IT WAS RECEIVED WITH ALL TAGS ATTACHED, AND IN THE ORIGINAL PACKAGING (INCLUDING, IF POSSIBLE, THE ORIGINAL DELIVERY BOX). THE ORIGINAL INVOICE MUST BE PROVIDED WITH ANY RETURN.
TO RETURN A PRODUCT, CONTACT CUSTOMER SERVICE AT CUSTOMERS@BRACALETTI.COM OR CALL (917) 310-0887.
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