Golden brooch set with peridot, ruby cabochons, and yellow diamonds. As seen on Katerina Perez’s fruit gallery (www.katerinaperez.com)
Verdura was founded in 1939 by Fulco di Verdura, a Sicilian duke who began his career as Coco Chanel’s head jewelry designer. After eight years with Chanel, and most remarkably, designing the Maltese Cross brooches and cuffs, Verdura embarked to America in 1934. With a Hollywood connection through his close friend Cole Porter, Verdura designed colorful jewels for stars of the era, including Greta Garbo, Rita Hayworth and Katharine Hepburn. Eventually, Verdura settled in New York on Fifth Avenue (Cole Porter and Vincent Astor were his financial backers) and quickly gained following with fashion’s best-dressed list (Babe Paley was his muse and one of his best clients).
Verdura, appointed “America’s Crown Jeweler” by the New York Times, was one of the leading jewelry designers of the 20th century. In 1985, Ward Landrigan acquired Verdura and continued the tradition of crafting timeless designs from the nearly 10,000 sketches Fulco made in his lifetime. In 2003, his son, Nico, joined him in the family business and currently serves as President alongside his father, who is the Chairman and CEO. Today, Verdura continues to appear on the pages of the top fashion books and walks the red carpet on celebrity fans, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields, Anne Hathaway and Cameron Diaz.