Today we take a look back on the legacy of Elsa Perretti, famed jewelry designer for Tiffany & Co who has passed away at age 80.
A member of the Tiffany family since 1974, Elsa Perreti is one of the biggest names in the industry with her bold creations remaining relevant and coveted by many today. From her iconic bone cuff design to elevating the use of sterling silver in high jewelry, she was a woman responsible for a revolution in the world of jewelry design.
The Italian model turned jeweler; her career first began with simple ingenuity. In 1969, she fashioned her flea market find of a sterling-silver bud vase and strung it on a leather cord, later appearing in Giorgio di Sant’ Angelo’s runway show. Catching the attention of many, 4 years later she landed her role as designer at Tiffany & Co. and the rest was history. Known for her mastery in creating collections with organic and sensual forms, she was recognized as a sculptor who uses gold, silver, and diamonds to form jewelry that exudes the power and elegance of an everyday woman.
Some of her timeless pieces include the Bottle, the Bean, and Open Heart pendant that is famous for their minimalist, fluid and ultra-clean silhouettes. The Open Heart specifically appeared in many magazine spreads and played a part in three Bridget jones’s films.
But a design of hers that truly made its mark is the Bone Cuff – inspired by the human bone Perretti kept from a childhood encounter at a church. With its elegant and wrist-defining contours, the Bone Cuff easily became a red-carpet favorite. Worn by Diana Ross, Liza Minelli, and Grace Jones, it is still also seen wrapped around the wrists of today’s A-list stars such as Rosamund Pike, Margot Robbie, and Naomi Watts.
“We could do so much better. I’m trying to do something good.” Peretti once said. As an artist who constantly used nature and the life she lived as her inspiration, she also felt a certain responsibility to give back to her muse. “She believed that taking care of and protecting our planet is a duty of all of humanity,” said the press release. She was president and founder of The Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation that is committed to support the environment, social welfare, human rights, as well as the preservation of arts and culture.
Leaving behind a beautiful legacy that inspires and endures the test of time, the poetry of Elsa Peretti’s designs will continue to be spoken and worn by generations of women to come.