Who Put The ‘Costume’ In Costume Jewelry?


by Sumaris Jewelry December 25, 2015

Jewelry aficionados and casual fashionista alike understand that the term ‘costume’ as applied to jewelry usually means there are no precious jewels involved. But how did the term originate?

Coco Chanel Costume Jewelry History

One explanation involved French designer Coco Chanel. When she moved away from the formal, layered clothing of the 1800’s which she considered old-fashioned and suffocating, she wanted to dress up her simple, loose designs with flashy, inexpensive jewels which she termed ‘costume jewelry’.

1920 fashion jewelry  

Another explanation involves the jeweler William Hobé who made his way to America in 1927 to make costumes and jewelry for the Ziegfeld Follies girls. It is said that Flo Ziegfeld described the jewelry that accompanied Hobé's costume designs as ‘costume jewelry’.

Ziegfeld Follies 1920 fashion

Whatever the origins, costume jewelry became popular with the 1920s flappers, and then female Hollywood icons, and the women who wear jewelry never looked back. Visit Sumaris.com to discover our one-of-a-kind, hand-made costume jewelry.


Sumaris Jewelry
Sumaris Jewelry

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