Elsa Peretti

Fashion, Philanthropy and Jewelry Design

Elsa Peretti wearing Diamonds by the Yard necklaces

Elsa Peretti, an Italian jewelry designer, has become an iconic household name most well-known for her bold designs for Tiffany & Co. She attended schools in both Rome and Switzerland; after graduating she began to teach Italian, then became a ski instructor in the Swiss mountain village of Gstadd. In 1963, she moved to Italy to pursue a degree in architecture. As she studied, she was introduced to a cosmopolitan lifestyle and soon was asked to model. In high demand, she moved to New York City where she became a “Halstonettes”, one of the designer Halston’s favored models. Halston was the first designer that showed Peretti’s jewelry on the runway, catapulting her jewelry design career. 

Halston and The Halstonettes in Acapulco, 1976. Photo by Lynn Karlin

Peretti brought sterling silver, once thought to be common and understated, to the forefront of fine jewelry with bold and fresh designs that appealed to models and socialites alike. In 1974, Peretti joined Tiffany & Co., where she designed a collection of sterling silver that proved to be wildly popular. The Diamonds by the Yard® collection combines fine bezel-set diamonds and sinuous chains, to be worn alone or layered. Her feminine yet daring pieces empowered a new generation of women. Today her designs are just as iconic and this fall Tiffany has launched one-of-a-kind mesh necklaces speaking to the timelessness of Elsa Peretti jewelry.

The day Elsa Peretti became a part of Tiffany & Co. was the day we entered a new era in our history of design innovation.

Michael J. Kowalski, former Chairman and CEO, Tiffany & Co.