Pictured above: Miriam Haskell Jewelry Advertisement
VAV!/August 13, 2014
On July 30, 1926, Miriam Haskell (1899-1981), newly arrived to the Big Apple from Indiana, was granted a business permit to open a costume jewelry boutique... and thus, a legendary line of jewelery was born. The boutique, known as "Le Bijou de L'Heuare", and translated as "jewels of the time," was located in the grand Hotel McAlpin. Certainly an impressive backdrop for Miriam's boutique, the Hotel, now known as the Herald Towers in New York City, was built in 1912, and considered the largest hotel in the world at the time featuring a Turkish bath, its own orchestra and more telephones than any other building of its day.
Haskell, one of the new breed of up and coming independent women of the 1920s, launched the relatively new concept of costume jewelry in America. The legendary Coco Chanel had earlier introduced costume jewelry in Europe , through her own vrais bijoux en toc, or "real fake jewelry," collection initiated in 1924. Haskell, whose jewelry was handmade from imported glass beads and crystal, modeled her collections from the always vogue French fashion. Her custom-made jewelry, featuring three lines, beginning at the top with the A line, followed by the B line, and the C line, became a sought after and treasured commodity. Consequently, as her jewelry gained attention, so did did she garner the attention of the legendary Coco Chanel and many society women of the era.