Fashion & Style

History of high fashion jewelry

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High Fashion Necklace
Shells, beads and lots of color are mainstays in today's fashionable jewelry
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High Fashion Jewelry has become available to the masses in recent years

Jewelry has been worn for many thousands of years.  In ancient Egypt, Pharaohs and queens wore beautiful, elaborate jewelry as a symbol of their royalty and godhood.  Once the Egyptians fell from power, jewelry became a much simpler thing with the Greeks and Romans, but it never went away entirely.  Throughout all of that time, gold jewelry was the cornerstone of all adornments.  It was not until very recently in human history however, that high fashion jewelry really came into being as a part of everyday life.

The Old Way

In the past, jewelry was known not by the designer, but by the store that sold it.  No one knew who the designer was, but they knew if it came from Harry Winston, Cartier or Tiffany's.

Each store had countless designers providing their product and the name associated with the jewelry was that of the seller rather than the maker.  The stores preferred it that way.  As long as it was their name and not the designer's that everyone knew, the stores had control.  They didn't have to worry about a famous designer defecting and selling his or her wares to another store.

The New Way

Then in the late seventies came the New Designer Gallery as part of the Jewelers of America show.  Suddenly individual designers came front and center in the jewelry industry.  The famous stores would still remain famous, but now collections from individual designers would become equally famous for the first time.

The Stars

Designers began to realize that they would have to market themselves to gain fame and increase their sales.  It soon became common for famous women to appear in a variety of award shows wearing expensive and unique items around their necks and dangling from their ears, and each time they showed up in front of the camera, the announcer would tell everyone who the fabulous necklace and earrings were made by.

Designers would now be front and center as their designs adorned the loveliest necks in the entertainment industry on red carpets.


Now, partly because of those changes of the last few decades, entire businesses are built on the name of a single jewelry designer.  The internet has made this even easier as a designer can now take their product to the entire world without even opening up one single physical store, much less having to have one in every major market.

Many women today find a piece of unique jewelry by chance at a boutique shop, craft or fashion show and thanks to the internet, that chance discovery now becomes a lifetime loyalty to a designer, rather than a one-time purchase.

Thanks to the internet, high fashion jewelry is now affordable and accessible to anyone.  And it's only one click away.

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