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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
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 ornamental and precious stones.
Its adaptability and striking design made the Zip necklace an instant icon of Van Cleef & Arpels.
Assembling of the chevrons and of the fastener, Zip Antique Conte de Fée necklace
Check of the necklace features, Zip Antique Conte de Fée necklace
Setting the square-cut diamond onto the pin, Zip Antique Conte de Fée necklace
Engraving the piece, Zip Antique Conte de Fée necklace
Zip Conte de Fée necklace, Rose gold, round, square-cut, pear-shaped and baguette-cut diamonds, round and oval mauve sapphires, 48 pear-shaped rubies for 51.83 carats (Burma), Peau d'Âne collection
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.
Zip Antique Orient necklace transformable into a bracelet, Rose gold, turquoise, white coral, white cultured pearls, diamonds, Zip collection
Zip Couture delicate ribbon necklace, White gold, emeralds, tsavorite garnets, diamonds, Zip collection
Zip Antique Rayon necklace transformable into a bracelet, Yellow gold, yellow sapphires, diamonds, Zip collection
Zip Antique Origami necklace transformable into a bracelet, White gold, diamonds, Zip collection