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Mimi Di Niscemi aka Mimi di N


Mimi Di Niscemi aka Mimi di N (Est. 1960 – 1995?) Born in Palermo, Italy, Mimi is an internationally known designer of women’s costume jewelry and is also often referred to as, Princess Mimi di Niscemi. She studied at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Arts and simultaneously worked part-time for a jewelry manufacturer who produced Schiaparelli jewelry.

Her skills led to work with Dutch silversmith Rudolph Broom at the Wichita Art Association. She won a scholarship to the School of Applied Arts in Paris.

In the 1950s, Mimi became a partner with Arnold Scaasi and produced pieces marked, ‘Jewels by Scaasi.’ In 1959 she joined Robert DeMario, then moved to the New York based bead house, ‘Brania’ where she made jewels marked “Brania/Mimi di N.”

She opened her own jewelry firm in 1960 in New York City and appears to have retired in1995 and no longer designs jewelry. However, there is a namesake firm in New York named, Mimi di N Design. Her original pieces are marked Mimi di N. Some pieces were dated in the ’70s and ’80s with a more block-style Mimi di N mark.

Best known for her inspired, unusual belt buckles and strips, she also created earrings, pins, and necklaces. Her jewelry is dramatic, bold and elaborate often in byzantine style using gold and silver plating, enamel, rhinestones, glass cabochons, and simulated pearls.

Mimi’s costume jewelry and accessories appeared on the covers of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar in the 1960s and 70s. ‘Mimi di N’ belt buckles are classics and potentially heirloom collectibles. Her jewelry is an iconic industry brand and is featured in museums, top design catalogs and reference books. She designed for many famous 20th Century women including Jackie Kennedy and the Duchess of Windsor.

The jewelry makes an immediate impression due to its repeated large scale. Mimi Di N pieces are often referred to by experts as fantasy jewelry that is very dramatic and highly collectible.

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