David Yurman talks about crafting the bracelet that became an icon and how, three decades later, there’s a reason to clamor for it like never before.
18k yellow-gold Renaissance stone tips bracelet set with emeralds ($35,000).
Ask David Yurman to name the most successful design in his considerable portfolio and he doesn’t hesitate, pointing to one of his earliest—an open-ended cuff that he crafted as a twisted helix of cables, adorning the ends with gemstones. He christened it the Renaissance bracelet, and it was a hit, “fortunately, right from the very beginning,” he says.
It’s now the stuff of industry legend that Yurman’s career was born largely out of two passions: his love of sculpting and his love for his then girlfriend, Sybil. In the ’70s, he created a few pieces of jewelry as a present to her, using the techniques and materials he favored for his art: a process of heating, melting, and twisting long metal rods to create new forms. Sybil wore the jewelry to an art show, where it attracted the attention of a buyer, who inquired if it was for sale. Yurman said no at the same moment Sybil said yes. And just like that, David Yurman was a jewelry designer. He and Sybil will celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary this year.
David Yurman selects gemstones in his workshop.
Not long after that seminal moment, Yurman came up with the design for his Renaissance bracelet, which indeed became the bedrock of his business. Over the years he has reinterpreted the design in hundreds of ways, using different combinations of metals and stones, with his evergrowing fan base always eager for the latest iteration.
For the bracelet’s 30th anniversary, Yurman and his son, 32-year-old Evan, have designed a limited-edition collection entitled “30 Years of Cable,” which the two celebrated with a cocktail party at the jeweler’s King of Prussia boutique. Attended by guests including Susan Hanover, Kathy Opper, and Jessica Troiano, the high-profile event benefited Doylestown’s James A. Michener Art Museum.
The jeweler’s King of Prussia boutique.
Bracelets in the collection are rendered in brilliant tones such as violet and rose. “The saturated colors have the feeling and fun of Pop Art and are a nod to fashion,” Yurman says. Other designs include a monochromatic style in sterling silver or 18k yellow or rose gold as well as more classically inspired designs in yellow gold accented with gemstones.
All of which is to say that, 30 years later, Yurman is far from out of ideas. But “cable has been and will continue to be a constant,” he says. “It’s the river that runs through everything I create.” King of Prussia Mall, 610- 265-6370