Style, Trends, Shopping

Band of Brothers — The History of The Friendship Band and The Designers Doing It Today

 
Band of Brothers — The History of The Friendship Band and The Designers Doing It Today

Friendship never ends, they say. They are the ones who make you laugh, make you cry, they are our brunch dates when we had no significant other and give bad advice during our teenage breakups. Sure, it’s almost certain that friendships, like all other forms of relationships, will eventually end and that’s okay. But friends truly are forever, as they are our chosen family.

Much like how we constantly project and reassert relationships in our lives through material items, there is a material object to cement friendships. One of spiritual origins and historical value — they were the friendship bracelets.
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The British lad who brought the trend back in the early noughts — Jude Law.

If married couples are tied on sacred bonds with a ring to symbolise a union, friends have friendship bands instead. At the height of its popularity (and I mean when we were all fiddling around in Secondary School instead of studying), these unisex bands, worn on both the ankles or wrists, are a symbol of trust and dreams.

They are as sacred as a pinky promise and riddled with underlying significance. Its original half-hitch knot construction made it strong and everlasting, to imply unbreakable ties that will last for eternity. So yes, it’s basically an engagement ring with your friends, but burdened with less of the work.
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Prince Harry’s version is big on price and shine. 

These bands come with one rule — you must never take them out as it resembles the act of ending a friendship. Though one might assume these bands are purely just repulsive acts of our immaturity then, and that we should know better than to indulge in them as we grow older (or any other early 2000s trend as a matter of fact), these longstanding friendship bracelets have grown up with us as well.

In fact, we’ve spotted celebrities, such as Prince Harry (who wore it to pay tribute to his late mother, Diana) and Jude Law, wearing these bands. However, in order to understand how we got here and why it’s slowly returning into popular culture, we have to examine its origins.
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Paul Newman’s version is as aggressively rugged as the man himself.

Friendship bands have been around for a few millennia, way before it landed on every Etsy seller’s front-page, and its design dates back all the way to China during the Han Dynasty. They reappeared in popular culture during the 1980s during political rallies as protest symbols for the disappearance of Mayan Indians and peasants in Guatemala, and were subsequently brought into North America by various religious groups for use in political rallies.

As it soon became widely known, the friendship bands started to appear in magazines across the world. “Wear it forever and let it fall naturally, that way your biggest wish will come true” was its traditional significance, and was one of the many reasons teenagers became obsessed with them. Stores in malls started selling pre-made ones, or overpriced do-it-yourself kits, and soon it evolved beyond that.
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Now more than ever, friendship bands come in a variety of styles and material choices for all kinds of personalities. Bottega Veneta’s interpretation of the band is in the form of a bracelet and is refreshed with its well-known leather weaving technique — the Intrecciato. The styles come in various colours and charms to go along with it too.
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Consider Dior Men’s bracelet for more challenging relationships. With the absence of a fastener, this friendship bracelet in silverware, makes it easy to remove in-between the day, so you won’t have to put up with it for life. Just be sure to have it on when your best friend is around.
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Gucci’s silver-corded bracelet with an interlocking G is a bold statement piece for a friendship bracelet, so if you have a friend who’s always in the mood to pre-drink before the sun sets, or if that person is you, then this is the one.
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If you’re into classics, consider the Hermès Tourneys Tresse bracelet — the go-to bracelet for you and your best friend. The bracelet comes with four choices of colours, from matte blue to orange, so your friend and you won’t have to settle for just one colour.
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Louis Vuitton’s friendship band comes with a monogramed logo charm for avid fans of the brand.
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If you’re in it for a cause, take a look at BOTTLETOP’s #TOGETHERBAND — a series of sustainable bands made to raise public awareness of the 17 Global Goals.

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If friendships last forever, you would want the bands to do so too. So consider our picks for a perfect friend-Valentine’s day gift, because after all Valentine’s day is meant to celebrate friendships — but be sure to get two.

Note: I wouldn’t be too sure about wearing them forever, but if you could, don’t bet on them falling off without you noticing.