Creations

The Zip necklace

A masterpiece of ingenuity, the Zip necklace stands out as one of Van Cleef & Arpels’ boldest creations. In the late 1930s, Renée Puissant, the Maison's Artistic Director and daughter of Estelle Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef, set out to develop a piece of jewelry inspired by the zipper. This idea is said to have been sparked by a suggestion from the Duchess of Windsor, who was fascinated by this new type of fastener just starting to appear on garments of the time. With the assistance of jewelry designer René-Sim Lacaze, Puissant began the ambitious undertaking of bringing this ordinary object to life through precious materials.

  • Drawing featuring a Zip necklace, circa 1951, Van Cleef & Arpels Archives

    Drawing featuring a Zip necklace, circa 1951, Van Cleef & Arpels Archives

The original Zip necklace, created in 1950, is a testament of the Maison’s spirit of innovation and technical ingenuity. Exceptionally versatile, this creation can be worn in two ways: open as a necklace, or closed as a bracelet. Its adaptability and striking design made the Zip necklace an instant icon of Van Cleef & Arpels, which has gone on to create versions of the piece in both gold and platinum, adorned with hard and precious stones.

Its adaptability and striking design made the Zip necklace an instant icon of Van Cleef & Arpels.

In 2005, the Maison introduced a new iteration of this classic design, the Zip Couture necklace. With its slender silhouette, this creation can be worn along the neckline, or gracing the back as a nod to the piece’s utilitarian source of inspiration.