As most stories start, the history of the David Yurman company starts as a love story of two artists from New York who never imagined owning a business. David Yurman and Sybil Kleinrock were both born in New York in 1942, living parallel lives from one another before meeting in the 1960's and eventually falling in love while paving a way to a new future they never expected. We are going to delve into who are the Yurman's and how did this illustrious company came to be in this tell all blog.
Born on October 12th, 1942 in Manhattan, New York, David Yurman grew up loving the arts. He created and sold sculptures to his classmates. When he was in his teens, his sister introduced him to Cuban sculptor, Ernesto Gonzalez, and learned to weld. Spending a short time in university, Yurman quickly quit and moved across the country to California to live in an art colony, but by the late 1960s he found his way back to the Big Apple. With experience working for multiple famous sculptors: Jacques Lipshitz, Theodore Rozak, and Hans Van de Bovenkamp, he developed and harnessed his craft.
David Yurman’s wife, Sybil Kleinrock, was born in the Bronx on December 10th, 1942. She lived a parallel life to Yurman while showing off her passion for painting. Sybil experienced the zeitgeist of the 50’s and 60’s in NYC while taking in the counterculture as inspiration. In the 1960’s, she moved to California to live in an art colony before moving back to New York towards the end of the decade where she met Yurman and eventually collaborating with him to create the company we know of today.
Both artists in their own respects, Sybil was a painter and David was a sculptor. Coincidentally, the two worked in the same coffee shop, moved to California to study art, and returned to New York City where they finally met. David was working at a studio under the sculptor Hans Van de Bovenkamp when Sybil walked in for a job. Part of her position required her to work under David and from there, their story began, and their future artistic collaboration would come fruition with a mix of two different artistic approaches.
The Legacy: From the Foundation to Building a Brand
In 1971, during the course of their relationship, David sculpted the infamous ‘Dante’ necklace for his girlfriend who wore it to a gallery. The necklace garnered the attention of a New York City gallery owner who wanted to buy the piece right then and there, but also requested to have multiple pieces made. The ‘Dante’ necklace was a hit and sold immediately which pioneered the start of David and Sybil starting their jewelry business. From there, they traveled and created Putnam Artworks, learning the tools of the trade for their business.
Shortly after their marriage in 1979, the founding of the David Yurman Company began in 1980 after almost selling their business. A year after the opening of the company, the Yurman’s won an award from the World Gold Council for their Starlight necklace, a stepping stone into the use of their signature cabling design. By 1983, the company produced the first cable bracelet which would define the future of their company.
By 1999, the David Yurman Company accumulated experience and notoriety with recognition, awards, pioneering designs, and advertisement. Their Silver Ice Collection that debuted in 1997 featured diamonds with sterling silver, allowing the company to be the first designer to ever do this. From there the world saw their first ever major advertising campaign, the companies first boutique on Madison Avenue, and taking charge of their own campaigns.
David & Sybil’s son Evan would eventually join his parents in 2003 at 19 years old by becoming the head of design for the Men’s collections. He would eventually begin to take over more collections and then be named Chief Design Director by 2013.
The Signature Cable and Their Legacy
Every brand has something they are known for, whether it’s Louis Vuitton’s signature Monogram or Tiffany & Co.’s Return to Tiffany Collection, for David Yurman it’s the signature cable details. An homage to architecture, the cabling design is inspired by columns that can be found on classically designed buildings while also having a unique take on the philosophies the Yurman’s keep close. The design featured individual cables twisted together to create a larger visual effect emphasizing their belief in the importance of collaboration and that creating things should be a group effort. Cabling not only expresses David and Sybil’s philosophy on life and art, but it also combines all of their life’s work together, establishing a long lasting legacy.