Celebrating The Life Of Elsa Peretti

Elsa Peretti in her studio. Photographed by Duane Michals, Vogue, December 1974.

Today we’re remembering one of the most iconic jewelry designers of all time, Elsa Peretti who died on March 18th at the age of 80. We believe that it is truly important to celebrate the lives of jewelry design icons across the globe as they have transformed the way we view jewelry design today. It is without a doubt that Elsa Peretti will go down in history as one of the most inspiring female jewelry designers of all time. This blogpost is a celebration of Elsa Peretti, who we have always known to be, one of Tiffany & Co.’s most successful designers.

Who was Elsa Peretti?

Elsa Peretti for Vogue.
Image Source: Elsa Peretti Official Instagram.

Elsa Peretti was born in 1940 in Florence, Italy but her modeling career took her to Spain, and eventually, New York City. In New York, Elsa Peretti became part of the legendary Studio 54 crowd, which is how she started collaborating with Halston (the brilliant fashion designer) on jewelry and perfume bottle designs. From there, Halston introduced Elsa Peretti to Tiffany & Co. and the jewelry world was never the same. Elsa Peretti’s first collection with Tiffany & Co. came out in 1974, which sold out and by 1979 she was their most successful designer. Elsa Peretti designed over 30 collections for Tiffany & Co.

Elsa Peretti was a ferociously independent thinker who revolutionized the world of jewelry design. The stunning originality of her evocative organic shapes with their undulating surfaces enchanted the world. Elsa Peretti once said,

Jewelry is not fashion, it has to last, not be dicarded as soon as something else comes along.

Elsa Peretti’s Work

Elsa Peretti’s eye was drawn to powerful metallic shapes. Elsa Peretti traveled the world which sparked the inspiration for most of the iconic jewelry pieces you see in her collections. Elsa Peretti admired and collected art, especially Asian art. Elsa Peretti’s intriguing jewelry is irresistibly sensual and tactile, and she is known for her distinctive sculptural, and organic aesthetic. Elsa Peretti’s famous designs are as modern today then they’ve ever been.

One of Elsa Peretti’s first designs at Tiffany & Co. was the Bottle Open Bottle Pendant which became style icons instantaneously. These designs are open and can hold a flower.

Elsa Peretti's Bottle Open Bottle Pendant Collection.
Elsa Peretti’s Bottle Open Bottle Pendant Collection. (Image Source: Tiffany & Co.)

Let’s not forget Elsa Peretti’s Mesh collection. The Mesh collection is made of gold or silver intricately woven into fabric that flows like water and drops like silk.

Elsa Peretti's Mesh Scarf Necklace.
Elsa Peretti’s Mesh Scarf Necklace. (Image Source: Tiffany & Co.)

Let’s draw the eye to Elsa Peretti’s Open Heart design. The Open Heart has an evocative sensual shape with clean simple lines which enchanted the entire world.

Elsa Peretti's Open Heart Mesh Pendant.
Elsa Peretti’s Open Heart Mesh Pendant. (Image Source: Tiffany & Co.)

There are many pieces that one can fantasize about from Elsa Peretti’s collection, but we cannot forget about Elsa Peretti’s Diamonds by the Yard collection. Diamonds by the Yard was yet another example of Elsa Peretti’s gifted jewelry design abilities. Elsa Peretti’s Diamonds by the Yard collection comprise the finest quality bezel diamonds floating on a chain. Elsa Peretti Diamonds by the Yard collection changed the way we wore a diamond necklace, she designed a diamond necklace that is versatile and can be worn every day.

Elsa Peretti's Diamonds by the Yard Necklace.
Elsa Peretti’s Diamonds by the Yard Necklace. (Image Source: Tiffany & Co.)

Shop Elsa Peretti’s collection at Tiffany & C0.

In closing, we share a retrospective film celebrating the legacy of Elsa Peretti’s iconic designs for Tiffany & Co. This short film was shot and premiered in Japan in 1990, Madoff Productions produced this film from top to bottom in honor of Elsa Peretti’s designs for Tiffany & Co. Enjoy!

Elsa Peretti’s impact and lasting designs will continue to inspire generations of jewelry designers for many years to come. What did you admire most about Elsa Peretti? Let us know by clicking the comments button below.

Written by Bianca Mac Donald 

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