The philanthropist and former fashion model, best known for her jewellery creations for Tiffany & Co., died Thursday night from natural causes, according to release from her family office.
“Elsa was not only a designer but a way of life,” said a statement on behalf of Tiffany. “A masterful artisan, Elsa was responsible for a revolution in the world of jewelry design.”
Florence-born Peretti grew up in Rome. After a stint in Spain, she moved to New York in the late 1960s to pursue modelling and began designing jewellery for American fashion designers Giorgio di Sant’Angelo and Halston, the latter of whom was a close friend.
Peretti first partnered with Tiffany & Co. in 1974. Her delicate, sculptural designs in sterling silver were instant commercial hits — her first collection sold out on the day it launched — with the simplicity, accessibility and wearability of her creations appealing to a new generation of American women.
In the 1980s, Peretti expanded her range for Tiffany to include china, crystal and sterling silver homeware. Her designs remain a core part of Tiffany’s offering today — among them, her Diamonds by the Yard line, her Bean and Open Heart designs and her Bone wrist cuffs. Her lines accounted for 7 percent of the company’s $4.4 billion in global net sales in 2019, public filings show.
In 1971, Peretti won the Coty American Fashion Critics’ Award for Jewelry. She also received the Rhode Island School of Design President’s Fellow Award in 1981, the CFDA Accessory Designer of the Year award in 1996, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from FIT in 2001.