April 14, 2024

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Celebrated Jewelry Designer Henry Dunay Dies at 88

4 min read
New York—Henry Paul Dunay, the award-successful jewellery designer identified for his daring, innovative designs, died in his snooze Friday at a healthcare facility in Brooklyn, New York.

He was 88.

His spouse, Frinette Dunay, shared news of his passing more than the weekend, prompting an outpouring of assist and admiration from stores, designers, and other industry specialists.

Jim Rosenheim, CEO of Small Jewel Box in Washington, D.C., wrote on Fb, “Henry was a huge inside the jewellery business and a heat and welcoming man. I was very pleased to be his buddy and will overlook him considerably. As a jewelry designer, he was a person of the several legitimate geniuses that I have ever identified. RIP previous friend.”

Fellow designer Paula Crevoshay reported Dunay taught her so a great deal.

“He was generous and so beneficial in just about every way in my 1st 12 months of building one particular-of-a-variety jewels,” she wrote on Facebook. “May he RIP.”

Born Henry Loniewski on Might 1, 1935, in Jersey City, New Jersey, Henry was the next of 3 sons born to Polish immigrants Henry and Helen Loniewski.

His loved ones did not have a ton of funds, so Henry worked odd careers from a younger age, including delivering newspapers and shining shoes at area bars.

At 14, the possibility arose for Henry to commute into Manhattan to operate for jeweler Rudolph Cacioli on Canal Road in the Bowery, then the heart of the New York Town jewellery trade.

He started as an errand boy and labored his way up to becoming a master design-maker and diamond setter, skills that established the phase for a remarkable profession.

At 18, he changed his final title to Dunay, his mother’s maiden title, for the reason that it was shorter and, he considered, less difficult to keep in mind.

“He realized he was going to be an artist,” Frinette informed Nationwide Jeweler on Saturday. “He was very artistic.” 

Henry begun his possess enterprise in 1956 at age 21, originally using on tasks from other providers together with Harry Winston, but it was not long right before his authentic models started finding interest.

In the late ‘60s, Henry gained a De Beers Diamonds International Award, an honor that, in accordance to his obituary, marked a turning stage in the then-younger designer’s job.

He would go on to gain a few extra De Beers awards above the many years, as nicely as various other folks, together with AGTA Spectrum Awards, the Johnson Matthey Platinum Style Award, and many awards from Robb Report journal. 

Henry was recognized for his ground breaking patterns, as well as for the “Sabi” end, a groundbreaking system he introduced that was influenced by the Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic.

He also branched out more than the years as his brand grew, building a fragrance, also referred to as Sabi, and building out an remarkable roster of personal purchasers.

His do the job was spotted on a lot of celebs and politicians in the 1990s, like Hillary Clinton, Drew Barrymore and the actress regarded as to be the biggest jewellery lover of all time, Elizabeth Taylor.

Amongst his most photographed patterns was the “Lachrymosa” diamond mask, reportedly set with a lot more than 130 carats of diamonds at its creation.

In a 2011 job interview with National Jeweler done soon after Taylor’s death, Dunay recalled how he was asked to layout the mask for a function benefitting the American Basis for AIDS Research (amfAR).

It took him 8 months to make the mask and Taylor, the founding nationwide and intercontinental chair of amfAR, wore it in a 1993 image shoot developed to generate publicity for the event.

A e-book about his life, “Henry Dunay: A Precious Lifestyle,” was posted in 2007. Jewellery historians and authors Penny Proddow and Marion Fasel wrote the biographical essay for the guide.

When Dunay appreciated decades of achievement as a jewelry designer, he was hit hard by the Wonderful Economic downturn in the early aughts. He submitted for bankruptcy in June 2009.

Frinette recalled how she encouraged Henry to break up his parts so he could pay his payments about this time, but he refused.

“Each piece of his jewellery was his baby,” she defined. “He always believed he was going to [get] back again into enterprise, but he did not imagine he was going to drop his name.”

Get back into his business he did, launching HDD Inc. in February 2010, although he was restricted from utilizing the identify “Henry Dunay” following the personal bankruptcy.

The late Henry Dunay with his spouse, Frinette Dunay, in New York Metropolis


“When we speak of one of the absolute, all-time greats, and finest jewelry designers in our field, Henry Dunay arrives up as legend,” longtime jewelry marketer Sande Finkel wrote on Facebook. 

“[I remember] operating along with of him on numerous instances back again in the ‘90s at Bergdorf Goodman. He was constantly a genuine gentleman and artist, humble and warm. Henry will be missed but constantly remembered. This is no doubt the finish of an period for our marketplace.”

Henry is survived by his spouse, Frinette Dunay two biological young children, Valerie Dunay Corvin and Paul Dunay 3 stepchildren, Sharon Bella Simon, Frinette Susan Lupo, and Robert Valenzuela and various grandchildren, action-grandchildren, and wonderful-grandchildren. 

His wake is scheduled for Wednesday from 4-9 p.m. at Andrew Torregrossa Funeral House on 79th Street in Brooklyn. 

The funeral mass will take location Thursday commencing at 9:45 a.m. at St. Athanasius Church on 61st Road in Brooklyn, with burial to follow at Resurrection Cemetery in Piscataway, New Jersey.

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