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May 1, 1940 |
|Education||Volpicelli School, Rome, Italy|
|Occupation||Jewelry designer, philanthropist, former fashion model|
Elsa Peretti is a jewelry designer, philanthropist and former fashion model.
Peretti was born in Florence, Italy on May 1, 1940, as the youngest daughter of Ferdinando Peretti and Maria Luisa Pighini. Her father Ferdinando Peretti (1896–1977) was a businessman who built Anonima Petroli Italiana (API) into one of Italy's leading oil companies.
Educated in Rome and Switzerland, Peretti initially made her living teaching Italian and working as a ski instructor in the German speaking Swiss mountain village of Gstaad, before moving to Milan, Italy in 1963 to pursue a degree in interior design and to work for the architect Dado Torrigiani.
In 1964 Peretti decided to embark on a new career path as a fashion model. After having spent her first couple of years in Barcelona, Spain, she followed Wilhelmina Modeling Agency's suggestion to move to New York City in 1968. ‘Elsa Peretti in Bunny Costume’ is a lasting image of the 1970s by Helmut Newton. 
While modelling in Manhattan, Peretti began creating new jewelry styles for a handful of fashion designers including Giorgio di Sant' Angelo and Halston. She was initially inspired by a silver flower vase she had found at a flea market. 
By the time Peretti joined Tiffany & Co. as an independent designer, she had already received the 1971 Coty Award and had her first appearance in Vogue magazine. In 1972 Bloomingdale's, one of New York's landmark shopping stores, opened a dedicated Peretti boutique.
In 2013, Peretti was the first non-Catalan person to be awarded the National Culture Award by the National Council for Culture and the Arts (CoNCA). She has had links with Catalonia since the 1960s and has had established relations with artists of her generation. She has provided a great deal of support to cultural, scientific, humanitarian and educational initiatives and for human rights through the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation and through the Spanish Elsa Peretti Foundation, always combining past and present, tradition and innovation. Through the Elsa Peretti Foundation she has promoted the visual arts and fostered the consolidation, protection and dissemination of the historical, artistic, cultural, architectural and craft heritage of Catalonia. In the last year she has worked on projects such as the renovation of the interior of the church of Sant Martí Vell, where she often invited guitarist Michael Laucke and painter-sculptor Robert Llimós. She also worked on the management of the sixteenth-century historical documents of the town, the conservation of the photographic archive of Oriol Maspons and the conservation of the Roman city of Empúries.
In 2000 Elsa Peretti was inspired by her late father Nando to create a charitable foundation called the Nando Peretti Foundation (NPF). The NPF focuses on projects aiming at the promotion of human and civil rights, with a special emphasis on the right to education, children's rights, and women's rights and dignity. Over time, The NPF has also supported the requests of unrepresented people, and oppressed minorities for the defense of their right to exist and the preservation of their culture. The NPF awards grants to promote physical and mental health, and to support medical and scientific research projects. It also supports more specific types of intervention, such as the building of entire hospitals or sanitary facilities, and the purchase of technological and medical equipment in advanced, as well as poor countries. It has funded several public awareness campaigns and projects for the conservation of endemic species for wildlife conservation and the protection of the environment. The NPF also became increasingly engaged in the promotion of culture and the arts. In 2015 the NPF changed its name to the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation (NaEPF).
- American Fashion Critics Coty award, 1971;
- President's Fellow award, Rhode Island School of Design, 1981;
- The Spirit of Achievement Award from the Albert Einstein College, 1982;
- Fashion Group "Night of the Stars" award, 1986;
- Cultured Pearl Industry award, 1987;
- Council of Fashion Designers of America's Accessories Designer of the Year, 1996.
- Elsa Peretti Professorship In Jewelry Design: In 2001, Tiffany & Co. established the Elsa Peretti Professorship in Jewelry Design. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of its successful and rewarding collaboration with Elsa Peretti, Tiffany & Co. created a perpetual fund for faculty salary support in the Jewelry Design Department. At Ms. Peretti’s request, the endowment is established in honor of her long friendship and professional association with Samuel Beizer, founding chairman of FIT’s Jewelry Design Department.
- 2013 The National Prize of Culture by the Catalan Government, which is awarded annually to individuals or organizations that have distinguished themselves for their outstanding contribution in their respective cultural areas.
- 2015: Guardó JORGC (Col·legi Oficial de Joiers, d'Orfebres, de Rellotgers i de Gemmòlegs de Catalunya) en reconeixement a la trajectòria global
- Grande Ufficiale, Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Order of Merit of the Italian Republic)
- Grand Cross pro Merito Melitensi (Order of Malta)
- Honorary member of the Circolo di San Pietro
- British Museum: In 2009 the British Museum acquired 30 of Peretti's creations for its 20th century collection. The museum describes Peretti's capacity to produce objects, which come from different parts of the world as unique, noting that they combine "superb craftsmanship and symbolic meaning in a modern age". The display is called "Continuity and Change", highlighting the museum's wish to show cross-cultural influences and techniques. It clearly demonstrates that the collaboration between Peretti, her artisans and Tiffany is an example of excellence in contemporary design based on an international cooperation.
- Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana
- Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts
- Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas
- Fifteen of My Fifty with Tiffany, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, 1990;
- Retrospective, Tiffany's stores worldwide, 2001
- British Museum: display in Room 2 of Peretti-designed jewellery, accessories and tableware from Tiffany & Co., 2009
Notes and references
- "HELMUT NEWTON ELSA PERETTI IN BUNNY COSTUME LIMITED EDITION PRINT BY HELMUT NEWTON - ONGALLERY". ONGALLERY. ONGALLERY.
- Reginato, James. "How Elsa Peretti Survived Studio 54–era New York". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
- Winners of Coty Awards, New York Times, June 23, 1971
- "St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 36". Newspapers.com. 1972-04-18. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
- Anthony DeMarco. "Tiffany and Elsa Peretti Extend Partnership For 20 Years". Forbes.com. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
- Goulet, Paul-Henri (May 18, 1991). "Michael Laucke". Journal de Montreal.
En été, Laucke étudie souvent, et prépare son nouveau répertoire dans le calme de la petite village de San Martivell, près de Barcelone … grâce à la généreuse hospitalité de son amie Elsa Peretti. ("In the summer, Laucke often studies and prepares new repertoire in the calm of the small town of San MartiVell, near Barcelona ...thanks to the generous hospitality of his friend Elsa Peretti." (English translation))
- "CoNCA Consell Nacional de la Cultura i les Arts". www.conca.cat. Archived from the original on January 26, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
- "Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation | About the Foundation". www.perettifoundations.org. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
- "Endowed Funds | Fashion Institute of Technology". www.fitnyc.edu. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
- "CoNCA Consell Nacional de la Cultura i les Arts". www.conca.cat. Archived from the original on February 13, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
- "Guardons jorgc 2015 – jorgc". www.jorgc.org. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
- "le Onorificenze – Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana". www.quirinale.it. Archived from the original on January 5, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
- "Order of Malta". www.orderofmalta.int. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
- "circolosanpietro.org – Home". www.circolosanpietro.org. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
- "British Museum – Peretti". www.britishmuseum.org. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
- "Indianapolis Museum of Art Collection Search". collection.imamuseum.org. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
- "Collections Search". Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
- "Elsa Peretti, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston".