Among Van Cleef & Arpels many iconic designs, the Zip Necklace is celebrated as one of the most innovative creations in the universe of high jewellery. By pulling the Zip Necklace to a close, it readily transforms into an elegant bracelet. It truly captures the essence of the avant-garde fashion movement in the early 20th century, as haute couture experimented with new silhouettes and constructions with the help of the humble zipper.
1. Royal Origins
Legend has it that the idea for this bold and daring design came from the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson, who captivated the world with her bold and daring romance with King Edward VIII. Fascinated by this new fixture in modern 1930s clothing, she suggested the concept to Renée Puissant, the daughter of Van Cleef & Arpels’ founding couple and then maison’s artistic director.
And for the next few decades, Puissant and her close collaborator, René-Sim Lacaze, embarked on a journey to bring this piece to life.