by laurie brookins | March 19, 2014 | Style & Beauty
18k yellow-gold Renaissance stone tips bracelet set with emeralds ($35,000).
How many cable bracelets has David Yurman sold over the years? It’s hard to know exactly—Yurman has estimated the answer might top 300,000—but suffice it to say the total unquestionably justifies a proper celebration.
It’s been more than three decades since Yurman, an artist and sculptor, crafted a few pieces of jewelry for his then-girlfriend, Sybil; he used the methods and materials he favored for his art, a process of heating, melting, and twisting long metal rods to create new forms. It’s now the stuff of industry legend that Sybil wore the jewelry to an art show, where it attracted the attention of an interested buyer who inquired if it was for sale. David said no, while at the same time, Sybil said yes. And just like that, David Yurman became a jewelry designer. He and Sybil will celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary this year.
14k yellow-gold and sterling silver Renaissance Carre bracelet with blue topaz and lolite ($2,600).
But there’s another anniversary that’s also top of mind. Not long after that seminal moment, Yurman crafted a cuff-like piece, an open-ended, twisted helix of cables with finial ends adorned with gemstones, and he christened it the Renaissance bracelet. How quickly was it a success? Says Yurman, “Fortunately, right at the very beginning.” Over the years Yurman has created hundreds of variations of his Renaissance bracelet using different combinations of metals and stones, with his ever-growing fan base always eager for the latest iteration. Indeed, Yurman’s iconic Renaissance bracelet ranks among the most-collected pieces of jewelry still in active rotation.
David Yurman selects gemstones in his workshop.
To commemorate the bracelet’s 30th anniversary, Yurman and his son, 32-year-old Evan (named chief design director for the label in October), have designed a limited-edition collection that arrived in stores, including locally at his Oak Street boutique, on February 15. Titled 30 Years of Cable: A Celebration of Inspiration and Innovation, the collection includes a grouping of Renaissance bracelets crafted in anodized aluminum in brilliant tones like violet and rose. “The saturated colors have the feeling and fun of Pop Art and are a nod to fashion,” Yurman notes. Other commemorative 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. But the undeniable highlight of the collection is a one-of-a-kind Renaissance cable bracelet, a stunner crafted in 18k white gold, completely pavéd in diamonds totaling 28 carats, and priced at $125,000.
David Yurman's Oak Street boutique in Chicago.
All of which is to say, 30 years later, David Yurman is far from being out of ideas. “Cable has been and will continue to be a constant,” he says. “It’s the river that runs through everything I create.”
photography by michael weschler/corbis (yurman); paul bielenberg (store)