The Zip necklace, a masterpiece of ingenuity, is undoubtedly one of the most avant-garde creations in the history of Van Cleef & Arpels. The story behind it dates back to the late 1930s. The Duchess of Windsor is said to have suggested to Renée Puissant, the Maison’s Artistic
Director and daughter of the founding couple, an idea for a piece of jewelry inspired by the zipper. Finally produced in 1950, the Zip necklace has the distinctive ability to transform into a bracelet by sliding the gold and diamond tassel. Clearly illustrating the influence of couture on
Van Cleef & Arpels’ creative universe, this creation also exemplifies the Maison’s penchant for transformable and multifunctional jewelry. This yellow gold Zip necklace from 1951, one of the first models created by the Maison, is made up of wheat links trimmed by hearts of braided gold
threads set with sapphires, emeralds, rubies and diamonds.
Drawing featuring a Zip necklace, circa 1950.
Van Cleef & Arpels Archives