“A cuff link is a decorative fastener worn by men and women to (secure) two sides of the cuff on a dress shirt or blouse.”
History plays an important role in the birth of cuff links. The beginning of what is known as the “shirt” appeared in the 16th century, where the cuffs were finished with small openings fastened together with strings or ribbons. During the 17th century, an era often labeled as the era of Louis XIV when the French Monarchy was at its best, the King is portrayed in ravish attire with ruffled shirts. The first “boutons de manchettes” or “sleeve buttons” were introduced in this era. This is when “practicality” moved into the realm of “adornment” and French culture became the leading element in elegance and fashion. The first forms of cufflinks were glass buttons embellished with jewels and connected by gold links. At this time the links or pieces were all hand crafted in precious metals and considered a luxury items only for the aristocracy. By 1840, double cuffs on shirts were introduced more widely and came to be known “French Cuffs”
During the reign of Napoleon III, Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte ( 1808-1873), the city of Gonesse, where Louis Faglin was founded, was known for its abundance in seashells. In 1899, the founder of Louis Faglin, Leon Faglin, began his business making mother of pearl buttons and Mother of Pearl cuff links. Along with the Industrial Revolution, the 1920’s become the highlighted decade for the advancement of cufflink design. The development of precious metal electroplating opened the door for the average gentleman and lady to adorn their cuffs with ornaments. In 1924, Mr. Boyer, an associate of Faglin, invented the T link system, thus introducing the “user-friendly” version of cufflinks which is still today’s most popular style. From royalty to stylish gentlemen to business men to hip-hop artists, today cufflinks are worn as a fashion statement, both formally and casually.