He was a glass designer, renowned for his stunning creations of perfume bottles, vases, jewelry, chandeliers, clocks, and, in the latter part of his life, automobile hood ornaments. The firm he founded is still active.
At age 16, he apprenticed with the Parisian jeweler, Louis Aucoq. Then from 1878-1880 he attended Sydenham Art College in London, England. After returning to France, he worked for Aucoq, Cartier, Boucheron and others.
In 1882 he became a freelance designer for several top jewelry houses in Paris and four years later established his own jewelry workshop. By 1890, Lalique was recognized as one of France's foremost Art Nouveau jewelry designers; creating innovative pieces for Samuel Bing's new Paris shop, La Maison de l'Art Nouveau. He would go on to be one of the most famous in his field, his name synonymous with creativity and quality.
René Lalique is buried in Le Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France.