Kenneth Jay Lane Jewelry
Designer Fashion Jewelry
Acclaimed by Time magazine as "the undisputed King of Costume Jewelry, and called "one of the three great costume jewelers of the 20th century" by Women's Wear Daily, Kenneth Jay Lane transformed a previously undistinguished field into the height of fashion. "I believe that every woman has the right to be glamorous and have always believed that a woman can be just as glamorous in costume jewelry as million-dollar bangles and beads," Lane has said. "Style has little to do with money and expensive possessions; attitude and flair make all the difference."
Kenneth Jay Lane Ball Bracelet
A cluster of shiny spheres, some adorned with Swarovski crystals, adds drama in a big way.
â€¢ 22k electroplated gold and silver
â€¢ Toggle closure
â€¢ Three strands
â€¢ 7Â½" long
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Lane attended the University of Michigan for two years, then went east to earn a degree in advertising design from the Rhode Island School of Design. In 1963, while his day job was designing shoes, Lane worked nights and weekends creating jewelry. His work was enthusiastically received, written about, and photographed by the fashion magazines. Neiman Marcus in Dallas and Bonwit Teller in New York placed orders for rhinestone earrings. Within a year, his jewelry was bringing in $2,000 a month wholesale and by June 1964 sales had risen to $10,000 a month wholesale. His part-time jewelry business became a full-time career.
Lane considers himself a fine jeweler, and eschews the traditional methods of making costume jewelry. First, he fabricates his designs in wax by carving or twisting the metal. He often sets the designs with opulent stones highlighted by their cut and rich colors. Many of these stones, particularly the larger ones, he has created for himself. He sees plastic as the modern medium: lightweight, available in every color, and perfect for simulating real gems. He likes to see his jewelry intermixed with the real gems worn by his international roster of celebrity customers.
Kenneth Jay Lane counts former first ladies Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush (she wore a strand of white faux KJL pearls to one of her husband's inaugurations) and Hillary Clinton (KJL gave Clinton a sparkly saxophone pin when her husband was elected) as clients.