1904 Gustavo Trifari emigrates from Naples to New York and works with his grandfather Luigi and for Weinberg & Sudzen making costume jewellery.
After initially working for an uncle, with whom he formed Trifari and Trifari in about 1909, Gustavo branched out on his own to make high quality pieces under the name Trifari. The arrival of sales manger Leo Krussmann in 1917, and the formation of Trifari and Krussmann a year later, brought embryonic commercial success – further enhanced when salesman Carl Fishel came on board in 1923. Two years later the three founded Trifari, Krussmann and Fishel “K.T.F.”, (spoken tkf). Some seven decades on tkf – still best known as Trifari – remains one of the United State largest and most prestigious designers and manufacturers of costume jewellery.
An essential part of Trifari’s enduring success has been the powerful mix of glamorous clientele and prestigious publicity. From the 30s onwards, Trifari ‘s creation of exclusive designs for broadway musicals, such as Roberta, and for numerous stars of stage and screen, highlighted the desirability of its jewellery, this status was further enhanced by Trifari’s commissions in the 1950s from First Lady Mamie Eisenhower. More recently, Madonna wore Trifari in the Hollywood blockbuster Evita.
Above all, it is the way in which the differnt materials have been used that has guaranteed Trifari’s reputation. The range of this pieces – always astutely launched in sympathy with the prevailing sentiment of the time – has been incredibly diverse and encompasses most styles fashionable since the 1920s.
Trifari becomes part of the Monet Group which is bought by Liz Clarborne in 2000. A showroom of Trifari is in the 16 East 34th Street, New York.
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