“Paloma Picasso never follows fashion; she always keeps herself a number of paces ahead of it,” says Tiffany & Co. design director emeritus John Loring, of the iconic French designer (67) who celebrates her 35th anniversary with Tiffany.
As the daughter of Pablo Picasso and Françoise Gilot and an embodiment of the art and culture movement of the 1980s in New York, Paloma was a progressive and unexpected choice for Tiffany & Co. Originally invited to present a table setting for the iconic brand’s exhibition in 1979, within a year Paloma Picasso entered an exclusive relationship with the house to create a jewellery collection under her own name. She had a huge success with the debut of Paloma’s Graffiti — one of her earliest jewellery collections for Tiffany.
Written in her own hand and taking inspiration from what at the time was considered vandalism, Paloma legitimized urban street art by crafting it in precious materials and making it covetable. From that moment on, downtown attitude met uptown glamour on the corner of 57th and Fifth.
“In the ’70s, people were starting to tag subways and walls, which had everyone outraged. I wanted to look at graffiti differently and try to make something positive out of it,” says Paloma of Graffiti — a collection that began with a single Scribble and has evolved to include her signature X’s and O’s, and later her handwritten Peace and Love designs.
While Paloma’s use of color is representative of her vivacious personality and optimistic outlook, many of her collections reflect her fascination with human connection and symbolism as evidenced in her Olive Leaf designs. “Paloma means dove in Spanish,” she explains. “We are all familiar with the dove carrying an olive branch as a peace offering. The jewellery I’ve created pays tribute both to the messenger’s noble mission and gardens as a refuge of peace and tranquility.” For Paloma, jewelry creation is personal and spiritual as particularly evidenced in this collection. As with all of her designs, she hopes these pieces become meaningful talismans for the wearer.
Photos: Courtesy of Tiffany & Co.
PALOMA PICASSO’S 35 YEARS WITH TIFFANY
“As I grew up, I started feeling the weight of my heritage,” said Paloma Picasso in a video interview with Tiffany & Co. in 2015. “I didn’t become a painter, but I kept on drawing.”
Paloma Picasso draws inspiration from the colours and lights of the Mediterranean and the Lake Geneva region where she currently lives with her husband Eric Thevenet.
Discover the world of Tiffany & Co.