FOPE - 90th Anniversary
Dating all the way back to 1929, Umberto Cazzola started his first goldsmith’s workshop which had about 20 employees which eventually lead to him passing on his innovative, pioneering approach to his son Odino. The company specialised in making watchstraps from gold and other metals, which lead them to become suppliers to Switzerland’s biggest watch making brands
After the Second World War, things changed. The workshop soon became a cutting edge factory due to the huge economic growth in the country at the time. Odino started to invest in modern technologies which made him able to excel in the industry and develop products which would become revolutionary such as the flexible metal straps which became the core of production until the 1960’s. In the year of 1948 FOPE presented some works of the finest modern goldsmiths at the Vicenza fair for the very first time.
In Italy FICM, which at the time was an acronym for Italian factory metal strap, was the first company to make these products, unique and original in both manufacture design. The leading Swiss watch makers demanded for very high standards and FOPE managed to become the leading supplier in Italy. At the end of the 1960’s Odino changed the company name from FICM to FOPE which translates into Factory of Jewellery Precious Export.
Fast forward to 1980, FOPE launched the famous Novecento chain mesh which is today known as one of the brands iconic features. This signature style is what brought FOPE success in Italy and later, worldwide.
In the year of 2000, FOPE set up HQ in the centre of Vicenza, this is where production takes places and where the company continues to blend craftsmanship and state of the art technology, while securing leading distinctive jewellery collections. In these years the fourth generation joined the family firm: Giulia, Umberto’s late daughter who sadly passed away at the beginning of 2019, opened the American branch in New York. Later she started to manage the brands marketing strategies and became the company’s board playing a fundamental role in launching FOPE worldwide.
2007 marked the year of style and innovation for FOPE. The Flex’it lines feature stretchable bracelets and rings crafted solely in 18 carat gold and rendered fully flexible thanks to tiny gold springs hidden between each link. FOPE invented this ground-breaking system a few decades ago, they then patented it and applied it to its signature gold mesh chain in 2007. Since day one, Eka has represented a true revolution in the way women wear their jewellery, with the original roll-on mesh chain becoming a new must-have to keep on the wrist and around the clock.
FOPE has been a Responsible Jewellery Council member since 2013 and became a certified member in 2014.
The RCJ certification (renewed in autumn 2017 after a second audit) provides further guarantee of the quality of the FOPE jewellery and the ethics of the production process. The Responsible Jewellery Council is an international non-for-profit standards and certification organization with more than 500 member companies that span the jewellery supply chain from mine to retail.
2015 was a very special year for FOPE, who has enjoyed the success of the Venice flagship store which has exceeded any expectation. The new jewellery store is located under the ancient arcades of the Procuratie Vecchie and has two large windows overlooking the beautiful San Marco square. FOPE worked side by side with architect/designer/art director Flavio Albanese to completely re-design and respectfully refit the existing premises and inserted a few contemporary touches. The outcome is a sophisticated environment consisting of two cosy rooms with wooden niches, Venetian fabrics and the brands signature pattern on the wallpaper.
The future is bright for FOPE and we are excited to see what more unique and innovating jewellery they will bring forward.
View our FOPE collection here