Kenneth Jay Lane

Lane started designing jewellery and launched his business in 1963 whilst producing bejeweled footwear for Dior and Arnold Scaasi. He first came to public attention after Jo Hughes, a fashion industry insider, showed some of his designs to Wallis, the Duchess of Windsor, who bought several pieces and recommended him to her friends.  As both costume jewellery and society reporting were popular at the time, press reports of this incident launched Lane's business. His talent at copying high end jewellery from a quick glimpse proved popular, his clients proudly wearing the faux pieces.  Jacqueline Kennedy was among those who commissioned fake jewels from Lane in order to enable her to wear them more freely while keeping the valuable originals in a safe.

He has created designs for Elizabeth TaylorDiana Vreeland, and Audrey Hepburn, among many other high-profile clients. More recently in 2011, Britney Spears and Nicole Richie have been seen wearing Lane jewellery. The Duchess of Windsor was rumoured to have been buried wearing one of his belts.  Barbara Bush wore one of his three-strand faux pearl necklaces to her husband's inaugural ball.

In 1993, the year Lane commemorated the 30th anniversary of his founding, The New York Times compared him to Coco Chanel for having successfully made faux jewellery chic, noting that unlike Chanel's wealthy client√©le, his rather more affordable designs were accessible to a far wider audience.

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