High Jewelry

Zip

A familiar object, seen through new eyes, can become a work of art. The humble zipper is here transformed into an item of beauty.

 

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 In an instant, buttons become outdated.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.

Zip Antique Sunflower rose necklace

  • Zip Antique Rayon necklace transformable into a bracelet, Rose gold, pink sapphires, rubies, diamonds, Zip collection, Van Cleef & Arpels
  • Zip Antique Rayon necklace transformable into a bracelet, Rose gold, pink sapphires, rubies, diamonds, Zip collection, Van Cleef & Arpels
Zip Antique Rayon necklace transformable into a bracelet, rose gold, pink sapphires, rubies, diamonds

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 Couture Nœud émeraude necklace

Zip Couture Nœud émeraude necklace, white gold, round and princess-cut diamonds, baguette-cut emeralds, Zip collection, Van Cleef & Arpels
Zip Couture Nœud émeraude necklace, white gold, round and princess-cut diamonds, baguette-cut emeralds, Zip collection, Van Cleef & Arpels

Zip Couture Nœud émeraude necklace, white gold, round and princess-cut diamonds, baguette-cut emeralds

 

Zip Antique Padma necklace

  • 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, Private collection, Treasure of rubies collection, Van Cleef & Arpels

    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

Zip Couture Boucle mystérieuse necklace

  • Zip Couture Boucle mystérieuse necklace, White gold, rose gold, Traditional Mystery Set sapphires, sapphires, diamonds, Zip collection, Van Cleef & Arpels
  • Zip Couture Boucle mystérieuse necklace, White gold, rose gold, Traditional Mystery Set sapphires, sapphires, diamonds, Zip collection, Van Cleef & Arpels
Zip Couture Boucle mystérieuse necklace, white gold, rose gold, Traditional Mystery Set sapphires, sapphires, 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, archives, Van Cleef & Arpels

    Design of the first Zip necklace created in 1950.

    Van Cleef & Arpels Archives

  • Facsimile of a drawing featuring a Zip necklace, circa 1938, archives, Van Cleef & Arpels

    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.