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We are in Paris, in the 1930s. Fashion designers have been searching for a simple way to fasten garments, to keep their surface smooth and their lines flowing. In an instant, buttons become outdated. It is the zipper's turn to steal the limelight. Inspired by the advent of the zipper in couture, Van Cleef & Arpels creates an ingeniously elegant way to celebrate its design.
Renée Puissant, daughter of the Maison's founding couple and Artistic Director at the time, was intrigued by a suggestion said to have been made by the Duchess of Windsor in the 1930s: transform the zip fastener into a jewel. In 1950, the Zip necklace was born. This beautiful piece cleverly converts into a bracelet when fully zipped.
Zip Antique Padma necklace transformable into a bracelet, white gold, rose gold, 14 round rubies for 15.70 carats (Mozambique), rubies, white cultured pearls, diamonds
The Zip collection pays homage to the world of couture in more than one way. Aside from recreating the zipper itself, the Maison has also realized filigree lacework, glittering bows, ruby ribbons and sumptuous tassels of precious stones, all honoring the craftsmanship of couturiers.
Design of the first Zip necklace created in 1950.
Van Cleef & Arpels Archives
Facsimile of a drawing featuring a Zip necklace, circa 1938.
Van Cleef & Arpels archives
A necklace and a bracelet: a unique creation that unites art with technique.