Elsa Peretti, famed jewellery designer from Tiffany has died at the age of 80. The company released a statement in tribute to Peretti: “A masterful artisan, Elsa was responsible for a revolution in the world of jewellery design. Her collections of organic, sensual forms have inspired generations. Elsa’s relationship with style and the natural world was profoundly personal and strongly reflected in her creations. Elsa explored nature with the acumen of a scientist and the vision of a sculptor.”
Born in Florence, Italy, she had a varied career, as a ski instructor, a fashion model, and studying interior design in Milan. Next, she moved to New York City as a fashion model but her looks did not fit the All- American type, so she began designing for Halston, creating the designer’s signature teardrop perfume bottle.
She began working for Tiffany & Co in 1974, and became renowned for her Bone cuff, inverted snake designs, Jewish star necklaces and Diamonds by the Yard. Peretti credited Halston with teaching her the secret to versatile jewellery design: “When I started doing jewels that I thought were great but too expensive, he said, ‘Make small, medium, and large.’ It may sound simple, but it was very useful, and I have never forgotten it.”