Stanley Hagler (1923 – 1996) American Costume Jeweller

Tutti Frutti Necklace and 2 Earrings by Stanley Hagler
Tutti Frutti Necklace and 2 Earrings by Stanley Hagler – (Corning Museum of Glass)

Stanley Hagler (1923 – 1996) was an American jewellery designer who was called “the Picasso of jewellery.” He made pieces that were unique, colourful, seemed bigger than life, and were often outrageous.

Stanley Hagler & Co

Stanley Hagler and Edward Nakles started the company Stanley Hagler and Co. in 1953. It was based in Hollywood, Florida. The flamboyant styles of the 1960s influenced their jewellery designs for women. However, Hagler also made necklaces and tie chains for men. Nakles left, and Hagler went on as director, designer, manufacturer, and salesperson. He became known for making jewellery that could be worn in more than one way, like necklaces that could be turned into bracelets, necklaces that could be turned into brooches and hair accessories, and earrings that could be added to.

Sleeping Buddha Necklace by Stabley Hagler NYC
Sleeping Buddha Necklace by Stabley Hagler NYC, Corning Museum of Glass

Even though Stanley Hagler seems to have started his jewellery business on a whim, he was very successful at making and selling costume jewellery in the second half of the 20th century. He was also good at getting rich and famous people to hire him. Most of his clients were rich and famous.

Style of Stanley Hagler

Hagler was an expert at making faux pearl jewellery, using individually strung pearls to show how good they were. Other people who made faux pearl jewellery, on the other hand, put them all together to hide their flaws and differences. His baroque pearls were hand-blown glass beads dipped up to 15 times in pearl resin to make them as bright as possible.

Stanley Hagler’s jewellery was expensive and hard to understand because it has both modern and old parts. He always used the best materials, like hand-blown glass, Swarovski crystals, and filigree covered in gold from Russia. Pieces were wired by hand, with stones and crystals prong-set into place rather than glued. His work has a strong architectural style, and the pieces look good from the front and the back. He also created some outstanding Christmas tree pins.

Multi-purpose Jewellery

One interesting thing about Stanley Hagler’s jewellery is that it often has more than one use. The clasp of a necklace can be turned into a hair accessory or a pin. Necklaces can be turned into double bracelets, and some earrings can look different just by adding or taking away different parts. Hagler won 11 Swarovski awards for “Great Designs in Jewelry” throughout his career. He always made jewellery that he thought was “just plain pretty,” but his earlier pieces were simpler than those he made later.

Hagler also gave a lot of thought to how, when, and where a woman should wear jewellery. For example, the earrings had to hang just right, and the necklace had to lay in a certain way to look good. Even though his jewellery was often big, he changed the size depending on what was popular then. Depending on the size of the piece, the name tags were also bigger or bigger.

Hagler made his jewellery, but he also made designs for other companies. These designs included jewelled swimming flippers, wigs, and jewellery that went with a high-end luggage line.


Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

Miller, J., Wainwright, J. (2003). Costume Jewelry. United Kingdom: DK Pub..


Costume Jewellery – Amazon

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