In the world of designer jewelry, David Yurman is rightfully the artist who brought beauty to intertwined lines. His iconic Cable design is much beloved by those with an eye for beauty, mainly because of how he makes seemingly simple designs into timeless fashion pieces. But while we may think of the designer today as a creative force, the man has many layers beyond just being a jewelry designer. Yurman is a sculptor, entrepreneur, husband, and doting father and mentor to his son, Evan. Here are a few more surprising fun facts about David Yurman—the brand and the artist.
David Yurman celebrates the birth of his son, Evan, who now serves the company creative leader.
1. David Yurman discovered his love of art at a young age.
Born on Oct. 12, 1942, Yurman was only 11 years old when he found a book in a local library showing prehistoric cave paintings. This serendipitous discovery made an impact on the young artist. He soon found passion in creating art out of different media. At age 16 while living in Provincetown, Massachusetts, he spent his summers learning sandal-making from Roger Rileau. But what started his love of metal welding, which served as a precursor to his entry into jewelry-making in the years to come, was his time learning direct welding from sculptor Ernesto Gonzales.
2. David Yurman hitch-hiked to Big Sur, California.
In true artist fashion, Yurman embraced his free-thinking spirt in the ’60s and hitch-hiked to California to be part of the artistic renaissance of the beatnik generation. When he returned to New York, he apprenticed under renowned Cubist sculptor Jacques Lipchitz. Years after establishing his own art studio on Sullivan Street, Yurman worked for different sculptors, including Theodore Roszak, a leading figure of the Post-World War II New York school of modern sculpture, and in the studio of Hans Van de Bovenkamp where he met his future wife and business partner, Sybil Kleinrock.
3. David meets Sybil.
David and Sybil’s love story is very much intertwined with the brand. In many ways, the painter Sybil is Yurman’s muse. In one WWD interview, Sybil recalled how on an early date, he welded a belt for her because she forgot to wear one. They never got to go out on a date that night as Sybil ended up falling asleep at his loft while he finished the belt.
But the belt wasn’t the only thing he created for Sybil. In the 70s, Yurman created the bronze Dante necklace as a gift to Sybil. When a gallerist saw the design and placed it in her gallery, the piece was an instant hit. This success became the impetus to their first jewelry business, where they created their early collections under the name Putnam Art Works.
4. The David Yurman brand was born in 1980.
On September 27, 1979, the couple married at Temple Emanu-El in New York. On the same day, the couple planned to sell the company to a prospective buyer as a wedding gift to Sybil but ended up walking away as the buyer didn’t see the potential of the business and gave an offer that was too low. It proved to be the right decision as the couple eventually launched David Yurman a year later—and has never looked back since. That same year, Yurman received the Jury Award from the World Gold Council for the Starlight necklace, which would later help give birth to the iconic Cable design.
5. In 1983, David Yurman introduced the iconic Cable design.
One of the known fun facts about David Yurman is that, just three years after launching the company, the sculptor introduced his signature piece, the Cable bracelet—a twisted helix adorned with gemstones on its end caps. To this day, it is the brand’s most enduring design and is the motif that connects all of his collections.
From the stunning Cable bracelet, it spawned new collections, from rings to Cable watches. Made in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, the Cable watches are designed to be “bracelets that tell time.”
6. David Yurman revolutionized the world of fine jewelry.
Aside from his iconic designs, one of the more interesting fun facts about David Yurman is that he revolutionized the world of fine jewelry when he became the first major designer to set diamonds in sterling silver in 1997 through the introduction of his Silver Ice collection. His artistic use of diamonds and gemstones are legendary in the world of sculptural jewelry, eventually launching the High Jewelry Collection in 2010, which are set in exquisite gemstones.
7. David Yurman opened its first boutique in Madison Avenue.
David Yurman welcomes Hollywood actor Cuba Gooding Jr. in the opening of the brand’s Soho boutique.
Coming off the heels of its market success, David Yurman opened it first boutique in 1999 in Madison Avenue. Since then, the company continues to expand and leaves a broader footprint in the world of designer jewelry by launching its other store locations, including its flagship boutique on North Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills in 2006 and more recently, its two-story boutique on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.
8. David Yurman is a favorite among supermodels and celebrities.
One of the little known fun facts about David Yurman is that it launched its first advertising campaign in 2000. American fashion model and actress Amber Valleta was the first-ever face of the brand, but she was soon followed by many prominent supermodels including Kate Moss, Gisele Bündchen and Kate Upton. Lately, the younger generations have also been spotted wearing David Yurman, including Kendall Jenner on Vogue magazine.
Are you obsessed about David Yurman and his iconic designs? Which of the fun facts about David Yurman surprised you the most?