The Fabulous ‘Fake’ Kenneth Jay Lane And His Sparkling ‘Fake’ Jewelry

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Famous For Faking It – Kenneth Jay Lane

Late last month, in July 2017, jewelry designer Kenneth Jay Lane died at age 85, in Manhattan.

He designed costume jewelry which was sold en masse but also created costume jewelry especially for glamorous Hollywood stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Greta Garbo; celebrities such as Jacqueline Onassis; and royalty – both Princess Margaret and Princess Diana were clients.

Below is an excerpt from his obituary by Enid Nemy in The New York Times, which you can read in full by following this link . On the next page, you’ll find some examples of his jewelry :

”Kenneth Jay Lane, the designer and bon vivant who built a global business from glittering acts of unabashed deception, producing fake and junk jewelry — or, as he liked to say, tongue in cheek, “faque” and “junque” — has died at his home in Manhattan. He was 85.

Chris Sheppard, the executive vice president of Mr. Lane’s company, said Thursday that Mr. Lane had died overnight in his sleep. No cause was given.

“I myself am a fabulous fake,” Mr. Lane once said. The son of an automotive parts supplier from Detroit — or “Day-twah,” as he would pronounce it with a wink — he was indeed one of his own most striking creations.

He came to be regarded as the first American jewelry designer to make it not only acceptable but also chic to wear fake jewelry, and in reaching that plateau he transformed himself into a high-society, jet-setting businessman with a lifestyle that was anything but cheap.

Darkly handsome in his glory years, always suave and impeccably tailored, an amusing and witty man who frequently poked fun at himself, Mr. Lane unapologetically wanted the best of everything — from the luxurious duplex apartment in a Stanford White mansion on Park Avenue to a coveted place on the “A” guest lists for all the best parties everywhere, be they in the United States, England, France, Italy or Spain. (The occasional blowout soiree in Morocco or Egypt also had him on a jet.”

Below is a pic of Kenneth Jay Lane in 1970 “I myself am a fabulous fake,” he once said of his success, and his memoir was titled ‘Faking it’ – see the image of the book cover (available on Amazon) below.
Credit: Neal Boenzi/The New York Times

Information, quote and image of Kenneth Jay Lane on this page courtesy The New York Times and book image courtesy Amazon

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