Kenneth Jay Lane, 1932 – 2017

Kenneth Jay Lane took costume jewellery to a new level in the 1960s when his fake gems graced a new swath of sophisticated women, including the Duchess of Windsor.

Lane was born April 22, 1932 in Detroit, Michigan, and attended the Rhode Island School of Design. Lane had worked in Vogue‘s art department and designed shoes for Arnold Scaasi when he began experimenting with jewellery design.

He launched his own line of costume jewellery in 1963 and was soon noticed by Diana Vreeland, who promoted his work. Tasseled earrings, animal theme bangles, and huge dinner rings all came from Kenneth Jay Lane. In 1966 he won a special Coty Award and in 1968 the Neiman Marcus Fashion Award.

Lane wrote his memoir Faking It, in 1996, and a documentary about his life is in the works by an English film maker. He died in his sleep, during the night of July 19/20.

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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