Elsa Peretti (Photo: Jack Mitchell/Getty Images)

Elsa Peretti passed away Thursday night at age 80. The Italian jewellery designer and former model created some of the most iconic and enduring pieces for Tiffany & Co. like the Bone Cuff and Open Heart over her more than four decade partnership with the American jewellery house.

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Elsa Peretti passed away Thursday night at age 80. The Italian jewellery designer and former model created some of the most iconic and enduring pieces for Tiffany & Co. like the Bone Cuff and Open Heart over her more than four decade partnership with the American jewellery house.

Born in Florence, Peretti got her start in the fashion industry as model in Barcelona. After signing with Wilhelmina in New York in 1968, she became one of designer Halston’s favoured models, nicknamed the Halstonettes, alongside Pat Cleveland and Anjelica Huston. The following year, she created her first jewellery design—a sterling silver bud vase strung on a leather cord and worn as a pendant necklace—for a Giorgio di Sant’ Angelo fashion show. Decades before model-designer collaborations became the norm, Peretti became a regular collaborator of Halston.

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Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti Bone Cuff, BAZAAR, March 2018. (Photo: Camilla Akrans)

Peretti’s fluid, tactile designs, often in silver, looked nothing like the fine jewellery of the day. She won a Coty Award for jewellery design in 1971 and opened her own Bloomingdale’s shop-in-shop in 1972. In 1974, she began what would become her most enduring collaboration with Tiffany & Co., signing on as a byline designer of a jewellery collection that grew to include china, crystal, and silver designs for the home. Peretti’s biomorphic Open Heart, Bean, and Bottle pendants, Diamonds by the Yard chains featuring bezel-set stones, and, of course, her Bone Cuffs, are still some of the New York jeweller’s most popular offerings.

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Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti cuff, BAZAAR, September 2020. (Photo: Naila Ruechel)

“I don’t have the feeling that I need to add a lot to my collection, because I have an incredibly wide range of things,” Peretti told BAZAAR.com last year on the occasion of a capsule collection celebrating her rich archive. “This is part of the secret of my things, that they are still valid.”

This article first appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US