Kenneth Jay Lane, the American costume jewellery designer who made it fashionable to wear fake jewellery pieces, died yesterday at the age of 85 in his New York apartment.

Lane, who once described himself as “a fabulous fake”, launched his own jewellery design business in 1963. Since then, his colourful designs – mostly featuring rhinestones and faux gems – have been sought after by celebrities and trendsetters alike, including Audrey Hepburn, Lena Horne, Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Diana.

Lane, whose memoir Faking It (written with Harrice Simons Miller) was published in 1996, was born on April 22, 1932 in Detroit. He studied at the University of Michigan and the Rhode Island School of Design. He joined the art team of Vogue in 1954, then went on to design footwear at Delman Shoes. He later worked for Roger Vivier at Christian Dior, before opening his own jewellery design business – which became a global success.