Miriam Haskell, like Coco Chanel, considered costume jewelry a necessary accessory in clothes and managed to make it as prestigious as real jewelry.
Miriam Haskell was one of the first women to pursue a career in the fashion world. With her business partner Frank Hess, she created amazing pieces of jewelry that embody the Art Nouveau style. Miriam Haskell products are highly regarded, and the brand itself still exists today.
Miriam Haskell was born on July 1, 1899 in Tell City, Indiana. She was the daughter of Russian-Jewish immigrants who owned a small grocery store. According to legend, 30 years later, Miriam will drink tea with Coco Chanel at Madame Gripois in Paris, choosing beads for her next collection. They say these two great women talked, shared ideas, exchanged the secrets of their famous clients. Whether it is true or not, now it is no longer possible to understand for certain. But the fact remains – on different sides of the Atlantic, it was these great women who became the queens of costume jewelry. They belonged to a new class of independent women who had built careers in the high fashion world.
Miriam managed to turn around quite quickly and competently; in a relatively short period of time, she opened her own business. Already in 1926, Haskell created her own jewelry boutique. In the same year Frank Hess joined the Miriam company. Their joint activity was fraught with certain difficulties – for example, Haskell and Hess argued for some time over the right to be considered the authors of a number of jewelry released by the label.
However, this did not prevent them from working together until Miriam left the company; Hess, by the way, did not leave jewelry design even after that. In the 1930s, the business moved to Fifth Avenue. During the Great Depression, Haskell jewelry was a great success; the designer actively used glass, rhinestones and gilded products in her work, creating jewelry that is both stylish and relatively inexpensive. Having enjoyed considerable success with the public, the company continued to actively expand; new boutiques opened in major shopping malls, other cities and states, and even in other countries.
Miriam Haskell Jewelry
Miriam Haskell jewelry is handmade and is a unique piece of jewelry of unsurpassed quality. These works of art were most often created using imitation pearls from Japan, as well as Austrian rhinestones and Murano glass, and during the Second World War from plastic and wood.
Some time after the opening of the store, the talented designer Frank Hess joined the work as a designer, thanks to whom the jewelry acquired an unprecedented charm and expressiveness. By the early 1930s, Miriam Haskell, which bore the name of its creator, was well known among the “secular lionesses” both in America and in Europe.
Miriam Haskell’s jewelry was popular not only with lovers of budget jewelry; Haskell’s work has been worn – both at public events and for their own pleasure – by real movie stars like Joan Crawford, Lucille Ball. Gloria Vanderbilt and the Duchess of Windsor. It is known that Crawford had an almost complete collection of jewelry from Miriam Haskell, covering almost 40 years of the label’s jewelry history.
Interesting among collectors, oddly enough, was not only the Haskell jewelry itself; advertising watercolors used to promote new jewelry were also successful. A large number of these advertising posters surfaced in 1978; the Haskell family began selling family archives in order to somehow pay the bills for the care of the already middle-aged Miriam.