Интернет-магазин DONTA

A Brief History of Elsa Peretti’s Impact on the Fashion World

The late Tiffany & Co. jewelry designer would have turned 84 years old on Wednesday. 

A Brief History of Elsa Peretti’s Impact on the Fashion World

A Brief History of Elsa Peretti’s Impact on the Fashion World

A Brief History of Elsa Peretti’s Impact on the Fashion World

A Brief History of Elsa Peretti’s Impact on the Fashion World

A Brief History of Elsa Peretti’s Impact on the Fashion World

View ALL 15 Photos

Elsa Peretti had a massive impact on the fashion world, creating iconic jewelry motifs that still resonate with modern-day shoppers.

Peretti, who would have turned 84 years old on Wednesday, is best known for her work as Tiffany & Co.’s jewelry designer, a position she held for nearly 50 years. During her tenure at Tiffany, Peretti designed some of the jeweler’s most widely known styles, such as the bean, the bone cuff, the bottle pendant and many others. 

“I don’t have the feeling that I need to add a lot to my collection, because I have an incredibly wide range of things,” Peretti told WWD prior to her death in 2021 about her designs. “But I’m happy to see designs that are so important to me reinvigorated in this way, made even more modern and relevant. This is part of the secret of my things, that they are still valid.”

Peretti first entered the fashion world in the ’60s as a model in Spain. She later moved to New York City and signed on with Wilhelmina Modeling Agency. Her modeling career was defined by her close professional relationship with late fashion designer Halston — she was one of his many muses, at the time referred to as Halstonettes. 

A Brief History of Elsa Peretti’s Impact on the Fashion World

Elsa Peretti and Halston attend the Fragrance Foundation’s dinner together in the Plaza Hotel.

In addition to modeling for Halston, Peretti began her design career by creating jewelry and accessories collections featured during Halston’s ready-to-wear shows. Peretti famously designed Halston’s teardrop-shaped perfume bottle in the early ’70s. Peretti was also creating jewelry for other designers at the time, such as Giorgio di Sant’ Angelo.

Her work quickly garnered attention and accolades in the fashion world. In 1971, Peretti won the Coty Award for jewelry design, and the following year, Bloomingdale’s opened an in-store boutique dedicated to her designs. 

It was Halston who ultimately introduced Peretti to Tiffany & Co., which hired her as its jewelry designer in 1974. Peretti’s designs, many of which are still popular to this day, have become core to the fine jeweler’s identity. Peretti is known for popularizing Tiffany’s sterling silver items and creating many everyday jewelry pieces. At one point during her tenure, her designs represented 10 percent of the company’s revenues. 

Peretti created several long-lasting jewelry motifs at Tiffany & Co., including the bone cuff, which is emblematic of Peretti’s design ethos of reimagining the everyday. It was said the motif was inspired by Peretti’s own encounter with a human bone during her childhood. 

A Brief History of Elsa Peretti’s Impact on the Fashion World

Jewelry designer Elsa Peretti models her snake charmer belt-necklace and bone cuff bracelet.

There’s also the open heart motif, which was inspired by the work of sculptor Henry Moore, and the bottle pendant motif, which Peretti created as an homage to young girls in Portofino in the ’60s. 

Peretti later expanded her designs for Tiffany into homeware in the early ’80s, creating China, crystal and silver collections. 

Before her death, Peretti returned to Tiffany & Co. in 2020 to debut a jewelry collection inspired by her archival designs with nine one-of-a-kind items based on pieces from her personal library, as well as pieces Peretti created in collaboration with craftsmen in the Catalonia village she resided in until her death. 

The collection was meant to symbolize Tiffany’s commitment to Peretti’s heritage at the company. The previous year, it was reported her designs comprised 7 percent of the company’s global net sales. 

Peretti’s designs are still being honored by Tiffany & Co. and the larger fashion and art worlds. Her jewelry styles can be found in the permanent collections at institutions like the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.