Chanel costume jewelry – from earrings that boldly spell out C-H-A-N-E-L to brooches that boast the recognizable double-C motif – are all the rage right now. But how did the French fashion house get started in this particular category? Let’s go back in time and look at how Gabrielle Coco Chanel and her successors changed the world of jewelry with some of the most memorable costume pieces.
The beginnings of the luxury Maison Van Cleef & Arpels dates all the way back to the 19th century, making VC&A one of the oldest fine jewelers in the world. But, how exactly did it get its start, and what made it into the household name it is today? Dive into the rich and complex history of the Parisian jewelry house with our 101 guide.