Elsa Peretti, who went from a regular Halston and Studio 54 model in the 1960s and 1970s to one of the world’s most famous jewelry designers with timeless and flowing Tiffany Co collections, often inspired by nature, has died. She was 80 years old.
He died Thursday night while sleeping at his home in a small town outside Barcelona, Spain, according to a statement from his family office in Zurich and the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation.
Peretti’s sculptural bracelets with bean designs and open heart pendants are among his most acceptable works. She also lent her classic aesthetic to functional products, including bowls, magnifying glasses, pocket knives, and even a pizza cutter made of sterling silver, a metal she favored and helped popularize as a luxury option.
“Elsa was not just a designer, but a way of life,” Tiffany said in a statement Friday. “Elsa explored nature with the acuity of a scientist and the vision of a sculptor.”
Born in Florence, Italy, to wealthy conservative parents and educated in Rome and Switzerland, Peretti moved to Barcelona when she was 20 years old and began working as a model, where she connected with a community of artists that included Salvador Dali, according to one profile. August in The Wall Street Journals. . Shortly thereafter, she moved to New York and began modeling for Halston and other top designers who took to the art and fashion jet set. It was then that she began making jewelry, turning to the designers she worked for to incorporate her pieces.
It was Halston a close friend who introduced her to the highest echelons at Tiffany, an exclusive collaboration that lasted throughout her career.
Frank Peretti began designing for Tiffany in 1974. In celebration of her signature 50th anniversary by embracing the Bone Cuff, Tiffany released new versions, including some with turquoise and jade stones.
Describing herself as a retired from the Wall Street Journal, she kept her hand on communicating with artisans around the world and monitoring the work of her workshops.
“Their inspiration was often drawn from everyday items: a bean, a bone, an apple, it could be transformed into cufflinks, bracelets, vases or lighters,” said the family statement. “Scorpions and snakes became attractive necklaces and rings, often silver, which was one of their favorite materials. She herself affirmed that ‘There is no new design because good lines and shapes are timeless’ ”.
Of Peretti’s designs, Liza Minnelli told Vanity Fair in 2014: “Everything was so sensual, so sexy, I just loved it. It was unlike anything I had ever seen.”
Peretti’s more than three dozen collections for Tiffany established her in luxury, but she also understood the need for budget flexibility among consumers.She was behind Tiffanys Diamonds on the yard line that started in 1974 based on the idea of extending the stones in a simple and offering them in a price range. Today, the line costs between $ 325 and $ 75,000.
“You have to be able to go outside with your jewelry,” she told the Journal. “Women can’t go around wearing $ 1 million.”
Peretti’s designs are in the permanent collections of the British Museum in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, among others. In recognition of her work, Tiffany established the Elsa Peretti Chair in Jewelry Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, the first endowed chair in the history of FIT.
She was also a philanthropist who established her foundation in honor of her father in 2000. She supports a variety of projects, from human and civil rights to medical research and wildlife conservation.
The small town of Sant Marti Vell where he died in Catalonia was always close to his heart, the family statement said. In 1968, he bought a mustard yellow house there and lovingly restored it for the next 10 years. Later, he had entire swaths of the town restored by acquiring and preserving buildings, including a church. He also supported the excavation of Roman ruins and the archive of the town’s history and established a functioning vineyard that has produced wines with the Eccocivi label since 2008.