The savvy words from Kenneth Jay Lane sum up the vision that has been inspiring his jewelry designs for five decades. Michigan-born Lane graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 1954 and moved to NY where he began experimenting with jewelry while designing shoes for Christian Dior. Drawing from the great names in jewelry and driven by the notion that costume jewelry could be as beautiful as the real thing, Lane launched his jewelry line in 1963, revolutionizing the heretofore dull world of costume jewelry. His eye-catching pieces spread through Manhattan boutiques to major stores such as Bonwit Teller and Neiman Marcus. Saks Fifth Avenue sold its entire initial inventory in one day! And in 1966 Lane received a Coty American Fashion Critics special award. The key to his success was making pieces that appealed to everyday women as well as women who could obviously afford the “real thing” such as Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy. Today the likes of Madonna and Sarah Jessica Parker are among the many celebrities who wear KJL, but he still keeps his commitment.
"I believe that every woman has the right to be glamorous and have always believed that a woman can be just as glamorous in costume jewelry as million-dollar bangles and beads."
Acclaimed by Time magazine as "the undisputed King of Costume jewelry" and named "one of the three great costume jewelers of the 20th century" by Women's Wear Daily, today Kenneth Jay Lane has his shops in the U.S., U.K., France and Austria, along with his flagship store in New York City's Plaza Hotel. His baubles can also be found in Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, and many museum stores. All Mr. Lane's pieces are signed and thus considered collectible, with vintage ones selling at Christie’s and Sotheby’s. In addition to jewelry, Kenneth Jay Lane currently offers belts and eyewear, as well as his own line of cubic zirconia.
In 1974 Mr. Lane was added to Vanity Fair’s International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame, and in 1996 his book Faking It was published by Harry N Abrams.