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Kenneth Jay Lane

American, 1932-2017

The father of so-called “fabulous fakes,” Kenneth Jay Lane was a spirited innovator within the jewelry industry, designing elegant and luxurious pieces without the use of real jewels. And while Lane aspired to create classic designs for earrings, bracelets and necklaces intended for everyday wear, his pieces caught the attention of celebrities, royalty and socialites.

From a young age, the Detroit, Michigan-born Lane was a lover of fashion. He studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and the University of Michigan. He pursued a design career in New York City, and a failed start in the art department of Vogue magazine led to a decade of designing shoes for the likes of Delman and Christian Dior.

Lane would occasionally develop shoe designs for friends he had in the fashion world such as Bill Blass and Arnold Scaasi. A show for the latter afforded him the opportunity to beautify shoes with rhinestones and create bangles and earrings to pair with the footwear — he found plastic bracelets at discount variety store and had them embellished by craftspeople at a shoe factory.

A love for costume jewelry design emerged thereafter. Lane created his own collection and admirers such as Jackie Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor showered him with praise. A pearl necklace he designed was worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. In the early 1960s, ready-to-wear pioneer Hattie Carnegie purchased Lane’s jewelry line. Lane was given the position of design director for Carnegie but he soon changed course, moving instead into a small studio and pursuing his own path.

Lane worked with milk glass, gilded silver hardware, faux coral and other materials, and sold pendant necklaces, dangle earrings and modern bracelets to private customers. He was fond of renowned fine jewelry houses Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels and designers such as Jean Schlumberger, and cited having found inspiration in Egyptian and Indian jewelry over the years as well as Art Deco jewelry. Lane’s designs, which he called “faque” and “junque,” became well-known for their distinctive color combinations and clever characteristics such as embroidery. By the time he purchased a small jewelry factory in Providence, Rhode Island, where his accessories would be made during the 1960s, Lane had secured relationships with top Manhattan boutiques and his work had caught the attention of fashion magazines.

Directed by the filmmaker Gisèle Roman, a 2018 documentary about Lane’s life and work called Fabulously Fake: The Real Life of Kenneth Jay Lane features interviews with legendary fashion designers Carolina Herrera, Tory Burch and Diane von Furstenberg.

On 1stDibs, find a collection of vintage Kenneth Jay Lane brooches, rings and other accessories.

Average Sold Price
$282
Styles
70s Massive Red & Turquoise Resin Statement Ring (Size 6.5) By Kenneth Jay Lane
By Kenneth Jay Lane
Located in Los Angeles, CA
- Vintage item - Collectible costume jewelry piece from the '70s - Extremely rare, hard to find design - Ring size 6.5 (US) - Gold plated - Cherry red lucite - Faux Turquoise ...
Category

1970s Modern Vintage Kenneth Jay Lane

Kenneth Jay Lane Gold Plated Faux Coral Crystal Starfish Bombé Cocktail Ring
By Kenneth Jay Lane
Located in London, GB
Beautiful Kenneth Jay Lane gold plated bombé cocktail ring, set with pale and dark faux coral stones, and embellished with a lovely crystal starfish. Ring size UK N, US 6 1/2, but wi...
Category

1990s Kenneth Jay Lane

1990s Kenneth Jay Lane Starfish Earrings
By Kenneth Jay Lane
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Beautiful Kenneth Jay Lane earrings from the 1990s. Gold tone textured starfish with faux coral cabochons centres. Clip ons with plastic backings for comfort on ears. ©KJL marking on...
Category

1990s Kenneth Jay Lane

Materials

Gilt Metal

Kenneth Jay Lane Pave Sapphire Cubic Zirconia Flower Button Clip On Earrings
By Kenneth Jay Lane
Located in Milford, DE
A pair of glittering flower button clip on earrings by Kenneth Jay Lane. Clear and dark-sapphire cubic zirconia crystals add a sparkling flair these stylish clips! Dark gunmetal ton...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Kenneth Jay Lane

Materials

Zircon

CZ KJL Cubic Zirconia by Kenneth Jay Lane Pave Crystal Flower Bangle Bracelet
By Kenneth Jay Lane
Located in Milford, DE
Floral-themed bracelet by Kenneth Jay Lane. Features a flower decorated with clear and lemon cubic zirconia crystals, set on a wide black acrylic band. Hallmarks: none Inner circu...
Category

2010s Modern Kenneth Jay Lane

Materials

Zircon

Kenneth Jay Lane 1980s Satin Gold Hoop Pendant earrings
By Kenneth Jay Lane
Located in New York, NY
Kenneth Lane 1980s satin gold tone pear shape pendant hoop earrings with oval white cabochons. Each earring is 1.38 inches wide and 2.75 inches long. The top round button has a clip ...
Category

1980s Vintage Kenneth Jay Lane

Materials

Gold Plate

CZ by Kenneth Jay Lane Amethyst Crystal Drop Earrings with Bow Motifs, Post Back
By Kenneth Jay Lane
Located in Milford, DE
Cubic Zirconia by Kenneth Jay Lane P/8 Cttw oval with bow drop earrings . Each earring features two amethyst cubic zirconia crystals accented with clear crystals. Post backs. Cubic ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Kenneth Jay Lane

Materials

Crystal

KJLK Kenneth Jay Lane Floral Gold Crystal and Faux Pearl Leaf Link Bracelet
By Kenneth Jay Lane
Located in Milford, DE
A stylish floral themed bracelet by Kenneth Jay Lane. This link bracelet features flowing, gold-tone leaf and branch motifs, accented with glass pearls and clear crystals. Hallmark...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Kenneth Jay Lane

Materials

Crystal

Browse all Jewelry from Kenneth Jay Lane
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Kenneth Jay Lane Sellers

Fuchsia Treasures Corps
4.8
Coach House Antiques Fashion
4.9
Fashionista Palm Beach
4.5

Kenneth Jay Lane jewelry & watches for sale on 1stDibs

Kenneth Jay Lane Jewelry & Watches available on 1stDibs. These unique items were designed with extraordinary care, often using gold. While looking for the most stylish antique or vintage Kenneth Jay Lane jewelry to pair with your ensemble, you’ll find that Kenneth Jay Lane crystal jewelry & watches, from our inventory of 95, can add a particularly distinctive touch to your look. This collection contains 302 pieces as well as a number of other designs by this jeweler. Contemporary and modern are some of the most popular styles of Kenneth Jay Lane jewelry & watches available on 1stDibs. While this collection reflects work that originated over various time periods, most of these items were designed during the 20th Century. Many customers also consider jewelry & watches by Cellini, Trifari and KATHRYN New York.. Prices for Kenneth Jay Lane jewelry & watches can differ depending upon gemstone, time period and other attributes. 1stDibs's price starts at $110 and tops out at $2,685, while pieces like these can sell for $375 on average.

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