Jewelry designer Arthur Koby has had an unusual career, with several unexpectedtwists. He created accessories for Geoffrey Beene’s runway in the Eighties, and the same pieces appeared on Beene’s runway and that of Oscar de la Renta each season for years (a fact known to de la Renta but not to Beene). Singer Lauryn Hill wore hisI Ching necklace, with its four coins, on the cover of Time magazine in February 1999. Gloria Vanderbilt owns one of his pieces. And now Kent State University has given him a retrospective, which will open today, called, “Arthur Koby: The Creative Eye,” which features 50 of his works. Thirty came from one of his top collectors, 12 from another and the others from a variety of sources.
Koby, who was born in Brooklyn and studied architecture at Cooper Union, spent 10 years as an architect working for a small firm. As a sideline, he opened a gift shop. Jewelry was among the items sold there, but its profit margin wasn’t very good, so Koby decided to start designing and making it himself.
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