The French house has transformed the common fastener into glamorous jewellery

Former Van Cleef & Arpels' artistic director Renée Puissant was intrigued by a suggestion said to have been made by the Duchess of Windsor in the 1930s—transforming the zip fastener into a jewel. In 1950, that idea became a reality when the Zip necklace was born; interestingly, when it is "unzipped", it converts into a bracelet. 

Emblematic of the French Maison's style, the Zip necklace is a reflection of its glamorous universe and exceptional savoir-faire. More than that, it's indicative of the influence of haute couture in its creative world, and perfectly illustrates its penchant for innovative, transformable pieces.

See also: High Jewellery: Van Cleef & Arpel's Romeo & Juliet Collection

Considered one of the Maison's most dazzling technical creations, the Zip has been revisited many times over the years. For instance, the Zip Antique necklace is a faithful reproduction of the original model, the Zip Couture necklace is long enough to create an alluring accessory for the décolleté or a bare back. It has been imagined with monochromatic gems and even designed to evoke an Oriental flavour.

Its ability to be so transformative has given the Zip a playful character, not to mention a veritable source of boundless creativity. Indeed, through the artistry of Van Cleef & Arpels, the fastener has been elevated into a masterpiece that has attained iconic status.