He was the ultimate, most glamorous copycat.
Kenneth Jay Lane, who died at age 85 last year, made his fame and fortune designing stylish costume jewelry, based on some of the world’s most exclusive jewels. His enamel and gemstone Maltese cuff bracelet was famously modeled after Chanel’s Verdura cuff. “I myself am a fabulous fake,” he once said, according to his obituary in The New York Times. He was the son of a Detroit auto parts supplier who went on to become besties with the Duchess of Windsor.
Over the years, his creations have been worn by Rihanna, Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Bush, Beyoncé and Carolina Herrera. Since his death, his beautiful necklaces, bracelets, earrings and even belts can still be found online at kennethjaylane.com or Etsy, even TRR.
And sometimes, if you look closely at any enamel piece you see, at a TJ Maxx store near you. But will his work increase in price in the future? It will be interesting to see. Lane had such a rich life story, I think owning even one of his creations is a treasure.