Connect with us

Headlines

Jewelry Designer Leila Tai Dies After Battle with Parkinson’s Disease

She designed fine jewelry for Van Cleef & Arpels and Jean Viteau.

mm

Published

on

Jewelry designer Leila Tai passed away on April 2 after a 10-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Born and raised in Beirut during its golden years, Tai developed a passion for jewelry as an art form. After her bachelor’s degree in art from the American University of Beirut, she received her master’s degree in art education from the University of Wisconsin, with a specialty in metal work and jewelry.

Leila Tai obituary

Leila Tai

After several years in Beirut, where she made and sold her jewelry collections, Tai returned to New York and began a long career designing jewelry. She designed fine jewelry for Van Cleef & Arpels and Jean Viteau and fashion jewelry for Trifari, Monet and Liz Claiborne. In 2009, having produced several collections of her own, she received the grand prize of the American Jewelry Design Council’s New Talent Contest.

Tai never stopped learning and teaching. She studied ancient metalworking techniques at the Kulick-Starke Gallery. From Donald Clafflin, head designer at Tiffany, she learned his technique of rendering using inks. Tai taught rendering and design at the Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute and Fashion Institute of Technology. She taught at workshops and jewelry academies nationwide. She enjoyed traveling and visiting museums and was always out and about in New York, enjoying shopping, fine dining, art and culture, and the company of friends.

“I believe she derived her greatest creative pleasure and pride from teaching rendering and from working at her bench, crafting her fine plique-à-jour, silver and gold creations,” wrote Pam Levine, a friend of Tai’s and president of Levine Luxury Branding.

Advertisement

Tai is survived by her husband, Peter Shenkin of New York, and her brother, Samir Chahrouri of Beirut, Lebanon.

Condolences may be sent via email to Peter Shenkin at [email protected], via Facebook or via mail at Peter Shenkin, 7734 Austin St. Apt. 6B , Forest Hills, NY 11375.

For anyone wishing to make a donation in Leila’s memory, one of Tai’s favorite charities is Hand In Hand, which runs schools in Israel that co-educate Arab and Jewish children.

Tai’s work can be seen on her website and in the article on her AJDC award here.

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials | Zadok Master Jewelers

Stick to the Program — And Watch Your Sales Grow

When Zadok Master Jewelers in Houston, Texas, decided to move to a new location (they’d been in the same one for the 45 years they’d been in business), they called Wilkerson to run a moving sale. The results, says seventh-generation jeweler Jonathan Zadok, were “off the charts” in terms of traffic and sales. Why? They took Wilkerson’s advice and stuck to the company’s marketing program, which included sign twirlers — something Jonathan Zadok had never used before. He says a number of very wealthy customers came in because of them. “They said, ‘I loved your sign twirlers and here’s my credit card for $20,000.’ There’s no way we could have done that on our own,” says Zadok. “Without Wilkerson, the sale never, ever would have come close to what it did.”

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular