Is QVC’s Jackie O Jewelry Line ‘Tacky,’ ‘Sleazy’ And ‘A Ripoff’?

The New York Post’s gossip column, Page Six, blasted QVC Sunday over — of all things — its collection of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis jewelry.

Say what?

We’re dying to hear your thoughts about this brouhaha. After all, this collection has been sold on the home shopping network for years without any flap that we knew of.

The headline on the item was “QVC’s Jackie O Cheap Show.”  It reported that Kennedy daughter Caroline (whose own daughter worked as a reporter at our current place of employment) “isn’t happy that the name and likeness of her mother, who died in 1994, is being exploited,” the Post reported.

The Post wrote that Caroline, our new ambassador to Japan, made the jewelry collection’s maker, Camrose & Kross of Boonton, N.J. (we once dated a guy from there) put a disclaimer on its website. It says that the Kennedy family and the John F. Kennedy Library don’t endorse and are not associated with the jewelry venture.

QVC Jackie O jewelry line puts Caroline in a snit

QVC Jackie O jewelry line puts Caroline in a snit

But QVC doesn’t run this disclaimer, and the Post slams the home shopping network for not airing it.

We have seen many of the Jackie jewelry shows on QVC, and we never really assumed that the stuff was endorsed by the family.

The pieces are fashion jewelry replicas of necklaces, crosses, earrings, bracelets, etc., that were in the First Lady’s collection. The host, Phil Katz, shows photos of Jackie wearing the pieces the line has copied. Katz then explains who gave Jackie a particular piece, on what occasions she wore it, who it was made by, what it was made of, etc.

We would watch just to learn about the jewelry. We never bought anything (we’re not into fashion jewelry), but we thought the presentations were very informative and tastefully done.

But the Post item, perhaps planted by a Caroline crony, chided that the Jackie QVC line isn’t authorized, and called it “a ripoff” and “sleazy.”

One of the 'tacky' Kennedy pieces, Jackie's 'paperclip' necklace

One of the ‘tacky’ Kennedy pieces, Jackie’s ‘paperclip’ necklace

After all, the Post said, Jackie “would not be caught dead in ‘gold tone'” costume jewelry .

Well, excuse us poor peons who can’t afford to buy 14K jewelry and real diamonds. We were not all to the manor born, like the Kennedys and Bouviers.

Jewelry makers have been creating replicas of movie star jewelry, including Jewelry Television’s line of Marilyn Monroe goodies, as well as copying pieces done by designers like Coco Chanel, for years. Get over it, Caroline.

Here is the disclaimer that Camrose & Kross has on its website:

The John F. Kennedy Library is a division of the National Archives and Records Administration, and therefore, a division of the US Government. Neither the Kennedy Family nor the Presidential Library authorizes, sponsors, endorses, or recommends any products… including these Jewelry renderings of materials in the public domain. Camrose & Kross is an independent corporate entity.

Camrose & Kross is a leading jeweler that is customer-focused and works to provide superior service to all our customers around the world. We are driven to deliver services that are differentiated not only by our technical expertise, but by our awareness of your needs. We are unique in having developed an intimate knowledge of Ms. Jacqueline Kennedy through intensive research and original scholarships. Therefore, we are happy to help celebrate the life of one of the 20th century’s great ladies, with the highest quality jewels.

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23 Responses to “Is QVC’s Jackie O Jewelry Line ‘Tacky,’ ‘Sleazy’ And ‘A Ripoff’?”

  1. Susan Chesney Says:

    First, it would be most important to know the source of these comments. If it is, indeed, the Kennedy family, than I would be surprised that they would object to the deeply respectful and romanticized version of Jackie, Jack and “Camelot” that Phil Katz and his company provides. The family is certainly no stranger to garnering publicity for themselves and their causes. and have done all they could to sanitize the less seemly behaviors of everyone from both Jack and Jackie’s fathers to their grandchildren. The public, in their graciousness, has forgiven the Kennedys their human foibles and, in the case of Phil Katz and his company – and their customers – chosen to focus on whatever beauty and inspiration we can find in their lives. Although I have bought only two pieces from the Jackie collection at QVC (my tastes being more modern), they are lovely pieces and remind me of a woman I admired in many aspects. I believe that QVC and their customers are paying their own homage to Jackie and the president by collecting the kind of keepsakes and stories about them that would mean something special particularly to women. There is nothing “tacky” in showing that kind of respect, and there is nothing “tacky” about the product itself. Mr. Katz and the show hosts display nothing but the greatest respect for Jackie and her life in their presentations. I think the Kennedy family should be grateful for the way this romanticized and highly respectful view of the Kennedys is being promulgated. In this day and age, they could consider themselves very lucky when comparing this treatment to that of other “notables” who have passed away. And if that isn’t solace enough, perhaps their outlook will be brightened by the knowledge that Jackie will soon be joined by a lady of unmatched style and .class. During his last show this week, Mr. Katz announced on QVC that his company will be creating shows about Audrey Hepburn as they have for Jacqueline Kennedy. We were told these productions would begin in August, The fact that Mr. Katz’s company feels that Jackie is in Audrey’s league should be compliment enough for any one’s family.

  2. Sandydc Says:

    Wow. This is insulting and just flat out wrong. I have never bought any of the collection and have always enjoyed the presentations. They are always deeply respectful. Too bad Caroline is such a snob.

  3. carolyn simpson Says:

    caroline must be aware that her mothers famous triple strand of pearls were fake

  4. Lisa Says:

    What bunch of hooey! Maybe Caroline would prefer the Titanic Collection on JTV?

  5. Sarmala Says:

    Jackie Kennedy QVC jewerly provides a good income source to Caroline Kennedy and her family. She has control over jewerly selection. The collection no longer manufactures crosses due to Caroline’s request. Hard to believe that she would give up income, since Ambassadors tend to pay for events out of their very wealthy pockets. A weird page six story.

  6. Trina Dade Says:

    I love watching the QVC Jackie Kennedy Jewelry Shows. Mr. Katz is very entertaining. These shows are not only enjoyable, but a history lesson and a peek into a cultural phenom!

    During the QVC shows, Mr. Katz often refers to the fact that certain things can no longer be produced. Another commenter referred to the crosses. I heard that, also. Then the show that aired last week said they were being allowed to bring them back to a limited degree. Another time, Mr. Katz said that they were no longer allowed to reproduce state gifts received by Mrs. Kennedy during the White House years.

    I have wondered who is giving permission for these reproductions. I have also wondered how Camrose, etc. obtains permission to reproduce designs that belonged to Tiffany, Chanel, etc. Many have called over the years during the shows to suggest that Mr. Katz write a book about the Jackie stories with pictures of the jewelry offered for sale at QVC, but Mr. Katz has indicated that he does not have permission for such a book.

    I do not know how QVC offers these items, but I am sure that the company has addressed all legalities, since Mr. Katz has been with QVC for a number of years. Also, I am sure Caroline Kennedy is aware that the items are being sold under Jackie Kennedy’s name. If Caroline disliked this, I would think, especially since Caroline is a lawyer, she would have brought suit against QVC and Camrose, etc. a long time ago.

    When the big sale of Sotheby’s called “Jackie’s Treasures” was held many years ago, it was well-publicized that some of the purchases included the right to reproduce the item. So, did Camrose, etc. purchase these jewelry pieces and the rights to reproduce them? Commenter Sarmala voiced what I had always assumed, that Caroline Kennedy, being executor of Jackie’s estate, would be the person who had the power to bestow these rights, and would do so for monetary gain. However, I have never known this to be a fact.

    I do know that Jackie did wear many pieces of fashion jewelry, as evidenced by the Sotheby’s catalogue of the Jackie event. The catalogue included pictures of the jewelry with Jackie wearing the described piece. The descriptions specified the materials of the piece. Two designers that Jackie loved and wore were Chanel and Valentino, and both designers produced only fashion jewelry at the time. I am sure that Jackie had her share of real gold, silver, and precious gems, but she also had a keen fashion sense, and, sometimes, what is fashionable does not include high-dollar metals and stones.

    I know very little of Caroline Kennedy, but history tells us that she is not prone to publicly indulge in petty insults and derogatory comments. For me to believe that Caroline Kennedy even said that the jewelry was “tacky”, etc., this New York newspaper would have to come up with some proof that Caroline actually said this.

    As for the jewelry, I have bought a few pieces, including the Jackie Pearls, and the emerald eternity ring. I have received compliments every time I wear these pieces, and no one seems to recognize that they are Jackie reproductions. People have often assumed the Jackie Jewelry is “real”. When I tell them the jewelry is not, they are astonished. I do have some authentic pearls, and, believe me, the Jackie pearls look much better. And I bought the emerald eternity band to go with a 14k gold ring set with a natural emerald. No one I have met can make the distinction of which is fashion and which is precious. As for me, I am very grateful to be able to buy a tiny piece of Camelot and to listen to the delightful stories about the American version of a Queen.

  7. Diana Arnold Says:

    Rather, Caroline Kennedy should be grateful and appreciative that there are so many Jackie admirers out there that covet Jackie’s style and jewelry replicas, in essence, …long live Jackie’s memory! No one will be saying that about Caroline. Caroline sounds like an ingrate!

  8. April D Says:

    Actually I think the concept and the jewelry are tacky and tasteless and understand why the family would be upset. I do ‘t think it’s about money, just exploitation of a person who tred to be private in her later years. QVC is a totally insensitive and money grubbing corporation. I realize that money grubbing and corporation are redundant terms but QVC is worse than most. After all, they still sell Joan Rivers merchandise.

  9. Wayne Says:

    I think it’s sleazy & cheesy when it comes to the Jackie O. jewelry along with showing a little political bias from the Q! I’m surprised that they haven’t sold any Obama merchandise for all his followers! QVC is the best home shopping network but they’re getting too Hollywood & maybe more political as well!

    • Donna Stone Says:

      On Wayne. You must have pulled a groin muscle with that sad stretch to make this about politics AND work a snide remark about the Obamas in to the conversation. Not only is your comment inappropriate and false, it’s also terribly trite and transparent.

      The Jacqueline Kennedy line being sold on QVC has NOTHING to do with politics and everything to do with shilling anything “Camelot” related. Most people who are into the Camelot mythology couldn’t care a whit about the Kennedys’ politics. Same goes for anyone interested on Jacqueline Kennedy. Her status as a fashion icon has zero to do with her thoughts or political leanings.

      That said, I know this topic is two years old but I felt compelled to comment. Caroline Kennedy gets a lot of flack, especially from the New York Post who basically dislike the every single Kennedy. If she had an issue with the line, you can be sure she would have had a pack of lawyers on that faster than you can say “vigor”. She was savaged by the media for auctioning off her items from her mother’s estate (despite the fact that Mrs. Kennedy Onassis told both her children to do just that in order to pay the taxes on her estate). She also caught flack for allowing QVC to go forward with this line. They’re the ones who said it was tacky and went on to moan that “Jackie is turning over in her grave”.

      While I’ve never been a fan of Caroline’s (she is quite the snob and has been known to hound people trying to make a buck off the Kennedy name only to turn around and do it herself), this story seems patently false.

  10. Queen Celeste Says:

    Very interesting piece, Miss Moss, and some great replies. I purchased a bracelet from the line when it was on HSN. It’s well made, substantial, and really lovely. (I’m a big costume jewelry fan and buy it almost exclusively.) In the presentations I remember many comments that the estate had approval over the line. All very curious, isn’t it?

    By the way, I still have a thank you note from Mrs. Kennedy I received as a child when money was being raised for the Kennedy Library. I think I sent only about $3, and was so excited to receive the note from the ever gracious Jackie.

  11. Jean Says:

    I enjoy watching the shows, although I’ve never made a purchase. It’s interesting that they say it is not endorsed by the family. Several of these pieces were on sale in the Kennedy Library in Boston last October…

  12. Caroline Kennedy, Not QVC, Is Shameless ‘Shill,’ Post Says Now | Homeshoppingista's Blog By Linda Moss Says:

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  13. cynicali123 Says:

    I am a history buff as much as the next guy but this Phil Katz guy is a strange one. This guy knows what Jackie Kennedy had for breakfast on any given day in history. What kind of a grown man would be so into this woman is obsessive beyond normalcy.He must be some kind of paid Kennedy family press agent. I only watch those segments and most of the other QVC shows when their ultra-sexy, well-endowed, auburn-haired, busty, bosomy model Kerin Martucci is on modeling

  14. Christine McCaffrey Says:

    The original, famous paperclip necklace owned by Jacqueline Kennedy, created by Coco Chanel was not made in a precious metal. It was fashion jewelry, it’s color is based on the gold jewelry worn in Europe during the era in which it was made. Therefore to say the necklace is tacky or cheap is calling the original piece owned by the first lady and her taste in jewelry tacky and that is incredibly disrespectful. By the way many of Mrs. Kennedys ‘ pieces were fashion jewelry. That is a fact that is easy to look up.

  15. Literally Breaking The Mold On QVC Jackie Kennedy Jewelry Line | Homeshoppingista's Blog By Linda Moss Says:

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  16. jan manuel Says:

    First of all, Phil Katz relays the wishes of the Kennedy family periodically when giving his presentations. Sometimes, the family wants something like Jackie’s crosses taken off of the inventory. He seems to be in constant touch with their demands regarding the collection. Second, whoever wrote the stupid article is ignorant of the fact that while many of Jackie’s pieces were real diamonds and stones, many women, including Jackie wore fashion pieces by people like Coco Chanel during that time period. It is also a known fact that Jackie wore her fake pearls everywhere so she wouldn’t have to worry about them. Check out the picture of little John grabbing her pearls when he was a baby. This is just another case of an ignorant journalist who doesn’t do the proper research on his subject. So little real reporting is done in the current time. It seems to be all opinion oriented articles. Perhaps Caroline has had a change of heart in recent years, but she certainly raked in a lot of money over the last decade with this jewelry line.

  17. Barbara Says:

    If Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg were really upset with Camrose & Kross over the reproduction of JBK jewelry, it would NOT be sold in the gift shops of The Kennedy Library or The Kennedy Center. Since both gift shops carry pieces from the Camrose & Kross line and since the Kennedy family is still very involved in the running of the Library, it stands to reason that Caroline Schlossberg is either ambivalent about the line or silently supports it.

  18. Renee Stout Says:

    I purchased the “Waterfall” earrings from the a Smithsonian Museum Store here in DC. They are beautifully made of rhodium plated sterling silver with prong-set czs. Replica jewelry like this has always been made so that women can have a little fantasy in their lives. We can’t all buy diamonds and flaunt them in peoples faces like the wealthy do, but I can certainly don my Waterfall earrings and pretend I’m somewhere else as I vacuum my carpet. It’s interesting how wealthy people can’t get out of their own heads long enough to put themselves in other peoples places. I assumed that Carolyn Kennedy was a different kind of person. Well, shame on me for assuming the best.

  19. Roberta Caudill Says:

    I luved watching the JBK jewelry show! The JFK family was such a part of mine as I was growing up! I remember the day that he got shot. I was in Kindergarten. We watched the news on tv & then they sent everyone home. I’ve seen news reels over the years, but, it wasn’t until a few years ago (I’ll be 59 this yr.) that I saw actual photos of the president after the shooting! I was DEVASTATEDDDDDD!!!!!! SOBBED like a baby!
    Back to the jewlery. I was watching one night. Saw the pink ring that JFK gave to JBK after his passing! Heard the story, saw the ring, had to have it!!!!!! Now, I do! Always wanted to get the paperclip necklace because of who made it & the story behind it!!!! NEVER DID! 😍
    SEE, every part of their life, was a part of mine. I felt like I knew the kids. Like they were a part of my life. They did what I did considering we were close in age.
    We know the jewels aren’t real, and that JBK, wouldnt/& didn’t have to wear FACE jewels.
    I’m so great full that I have a piece of the collection.
    P.S. I also have the pineapple broch that JFK had made for JBK. My kids bought it for me as a Christmas gift. How cool is that? I sobbed! Thank you!

  20. Helen Says:

    Regarding comments that the Jackie Kennedy Collection (Replicas of her jewelry), was tacky or cheap:
    NOT SO! I have about 80 pieces from this beautiful jewelry collection by Camrose & Kross.
    It was NOT cheap- looking or cheap $wise! I love every piece! Whoever called it “tacky”, definitely doesn’t know costume or fine jewelry. I love and value each piece and that I can share in the personal history and love of the most classey and loved First Lady we have had!!
    A lot of her jewelry came from foreign dignitaries, not just her husband and family! I don’t own the gem clip necklace, but it was a top seller and sold out almost each time it was shown!!
    Find something else to criticize, but not her jewelry by Camrose & Kross! ! The watch movements were made by Seiko-Japan! I have 4! Every piece I own is “top quality”!! And I own gold jewelry from Imperial Gold & Eterna Gold that I like a lot less than my Jackie Collection! Shame on you!!!

  21. vicki thomas Says:

    There is nothing political about this jewelry. It is not being made now. Jackie was a style icon. She is pictured wearing the jewelry so we do know she did wear the paperclip necklace. The stories are interesting. Its no different from other costume jewelry and it has its place. I have the paperclip necklace was so intrigued by it. I don’t wear it often but I like it once and a while.

  22. Soela Karagianni Kirkioutaki Says:

    I bought a replica the ruby ring that onassis gave her i looked with a loop and there is jkb in it but also Thailand did camrose en Kross let the items made iin Thailand ???

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