An immigrant’s son, who grew up in the tenements of New York’s Lower East Side, Seaman Schepps rose to prominence in the 1930s with jewelry designs that challenged the status quo and defined a new style for the American woman. With his chunky brooches, “barbaric” bracelets and “bubble” earrings, Schepps pioneered a unique style of jewelry whose sense of splendor offered a new perspective to the world of fine jewelry.
Witty, over-the-top and flattering, Schepps’ jewelry embodied style and originality and was featured on the covers of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Look and other magazines. It appealed to a myriad of clients from Katherine Hepburn to Andy Warhol to the Duchess of Windsor and greatly influenced his contemporaries. Today, some 50 years after his death, he continues to inspire modern jewelers.
Through the 1930s, and into the 40s and 50s, new clients flocked to him at his store on Madison Avenue. Often clients wanted a one-of-a-kind bauble and commissioned Schepps to incorporate their old jewelry into a fresh new design. Frequently this led to landmark decisions that helped distinguish Schepps as an extraordinary talent. His client list included Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, the Duchess of Windsor, and members of the Du Pont, Mellon and Rockefeller families. By serving these most powerful and influential individuals, Schepps became known as “America’s Court Jeweler”.