Kenneth Jay Lane costume jewellery
First of all, Kenneth Jay Lane costume jewellery is a legendary American brand. The massive and luxurious jewelry by KJL is out of time and seasons, and it doesn’t become either old-fashioned or non-wearable. Such things, despite the lack of precious stones and metals, are not so much for shopping season, but for the collection. And such a collection is worth to be inherited. Interestingly, one of the first and perhaps the most prominent connoisseurs of the brand was Jacqueline Kennedy. Meanwhile, Kenneth Lane was a famous virtuoso copying celebrity jewelry, and made perfect copies. Thus, one day Jacqueline Kennedy asked Lane to create a copy of a precious necklace that Aristotle Onassis had given her. Since then, the creator of the KJL brand became known as the “king of counterfeiting and imitation of jewelry.” By the way, Kenneth Jay Lane jewelry appeared in such iconic films, as “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, “Dallas”, “Dynasty”, and “Sex and the City”.
According to Kenneth Jay Lane, the elegance and good taste never go out of style. Indeed, it is not possible to disagree. After all, who if not the “King of American jewelry” could state this.
Kenneth Jay Lane was born in 1932 in Detroit, studied in New York at the School of Design in Road Island. He worked as an art director in «Vogue» and was an assistant to the famous French shoemaker Roger Vivier for the American company “Delman.” In 1956-1963 Lane worked in Paris for shoe line “Dior”, and in 1963 opened his own company for the production of original jewelry and exclusive shoes for special occasions.
Lane became famous for his fake jewelry of famous people – for example, the huge success enjoyed imitation of necklace of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis of emeralds and sapphires, which was sold at the department store “Saks Fifth Avenue” for $ 250. Lane offered his clients copies of ornaments of known firms – Bulgari and Cartier, Roman medallions and coins and so on.
Jewellery «Kenneth Jay Lane» was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is the highest praise in the world of American fashion. He was the master of creating accessories for the famous American television series of the 1980s, such as Dallas and Dynasty and for many years was the official jeweler of the award ceremony Oscar.
The story of his career – a typical embodiment of the “American dream”, starting with the moment when the ambitious twenty-year-old shoe designer was invited to the branch of the fashion house Dior. However, Kenneth Jay Lane remained there one and only among the many nameless employees working for well-known brands. He had “the idea in a million”: this, he proposed to adorn ladies satin and velvet shoes with crystals of rock crystal. Bosses of the company approved the undertaking of an adventurous young man … and asked Mr. Lane to lead the branch. For someone else it would be the peak of a career. For Kenneth – only the beginning.
In the early 60s just three largest store in Manhattan went on a risky step and bought jewelry from the collection of unknown to anyone, except employees of Dior house, designer. The risk was in the collection itself: too unusual and too cheap … for Manhattan elite materials. Instead of gold – gold plating, instead of precious metals – the insertion of plastic … much, and many cultured pearls! An unusual collection was called “midnight”, because Lane was working day and night in the “Dior”, created his decorations mostly at night.
After his debut in Manhattan, Kenneth Jay Lane quickly gained the love of wealthy New York ladies. However, a truly royal glory brought him orders from the two “queens” – Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy Onassis. For Audrey Lane made the legendary necklace of cultured pearls, familiar to anyone who watched “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” or at least saw the famous poster for it.
US first lady turned to Lane with a request to make a copy of a diamond necklace with emeralds donated by her second husband, Aristotle Onassis, the Greek billionaire. Original necklace estimated at 300 thousand dollars … A copy made by Kenneth Jay Lane, after the death of Jackie went at auction for two million!
By the way, in 1980s, with a similar request – to make copies of expensive jewelry, so to safely wear it at meetings with the public, turned another “Queen”. This time it was the Queen of people’s hearts – Princess Diana.
Despite his advanced age (83), the King to this day continues to delight fans with new collections, catchy and provocative. Among the regular clients of Lane – Sarah Jessica Parker, the Olsen sisters, Michelle Obama, Nicole Kidman, Madonna, Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie.
Lane himself says that “any woman can look glamorous in a set of jewellery … unless, of course, it is the right jewelry.” By the way, for his jewelry king chooses materials with a truly royal scale: nearly all products labeled KJL are 22-karat gold-plated, with the use of rhinestones, once glorified Lane still in the “Dior”.
Taking into account the cost of materials and a big name of the author, all Kenneth Jay Lane jewelry belongs to the category of luxury. In addition, all products are marked, which automatically increases their collector’s value. Special interest collectors show to the products that the King himself has posted on the pages of his best-selling book “Faking it!”. For example, page 85 is adorned with the famous character from “Alice in Wonderland” Humpty Dumpty:
If you are the happy owner of jewelry from Kenneth Jay Lane, to determine its approximate age can be easily done according to the type of marking:
– K.J.L. – Marking with unsigned copyright was used from 1962 to the end of the 70s, including marked the very first, “midnight” collection.
– KENNETH LANE or KENNETH © LANE – 1960 – 1970s, exclusive marking for jewelry sold in the “Sax” on Fifth Avenue.
– K.J.L. for AVON or KENNETH LANE for AVON – from 1980 to 2004. Labeled as decoration, ordered from Kenneth Jay Lane’s company Avon. This title can be found on the Avon’s box and velvet boxes.
– KENNETH JAY LANE or KENNETH LANE – 1980 – 90s, marking for products sold in the company store KJL.
– © KJL – marking, used exclusively for the company QVC during the period of the brand KJL.
Kenneth Jay Lane costume jewellery