While doing some window shopping, I was drawn to the most fabulous bracelets, enticing me with their vibrant colors. But there was something else that caught my eye, a familiar ribbon signifying luck, the Brazilian wish ribbon or “fita.” Having a fascination with the Brazilian ribbon, I immediately had to know more about these bracelets. Inquiring with the shopkeeper from Lee and Birch, she explained that they found them in L.A. and the company creating them is called, Hipanema. Furthermore the bracelets are each unique and can take up to 36 hours to make.
I Googled “Hipanema” and my eyes were delighted! Not only are the bracelets to die for but the typography, brand, and story enlightened my face! I was hooked on Hipanema!
It all began with two Parisian women influenced by the colors depicted throughout their travels in Brazil. Inspired, they began designing these trinket bracelets.
Meeting someone from Salvador, Brazil or venturing there yourself ensures that you will either receive or see a fita/wish ribbon. They are an amulet of the Igreja de Nosso Senhor do Bonfim (the Church of Saint Bonfim.) Visiting the church you will find thousands of colored ribbons tied to the fencing surrounding it. Each one of these ribbons represents a wish or an intense plea for dreams, love, success, health, peace, energy….
The ribbons, in a myriad of vibrant colors have the words, “Lembrança do Senhor do Bonfim da Bahia”, or in remembrance of the savior of Bahia written on them, and are a 200 year old tradition. The original fitas were made of silk and written on by hand in silver. These fitas were draped around the neck and adorned with medallions and holy depictions. Nowadays the ribbons are worn as a good luck charm petitioning for miracles big or small.
In order for the ribbons to fulfill a wish, a protocol must be adhered to:
∆ Ribbons are to be given as a gift.
∆ They are worn on the left wrist.
∆ The knots are to be tied by a third-party.
∆ They are tied with three knots, with each knot a wish is made.
∆ When the ribbon naturally breaks down and falls off it is believed that your wishes will come true.
The ribbons may last for months or years latching on by a thread. But rest assured it’s worth your wishes!
The Parisian gals from Hipanema devised a way for us to wear our fitas as a fashion accessory. They created a chic magnetized clasp (in gold or silver) that wrap vibrant trinkets of pearls, shells and multi-colored threads around your wrist.
Another appeal is that each Hipanema bracelet is named after a region or city, giving it character, representation and significance to the wearer.
For lovers of charms, travel and vibrant colors this bracelet is a summer must!
For those unfamiliar with the Brazilian Wish Ribbon/Fita or interested in a historical depiction I’ve written about them before http://michelleswift.com/2012/08/21/brazilian-wish-ribbons/
If you live in GR and want to shop locally you can pick up a Hipanema bracelet at Lee and Birch http://www.leeandbirch.com/