Fits You Like a Tiffany T
Q& A with Francesca Amfitheatrof, Design Director, Tiffany & Co.
A graduate of London’s Central Saint Martin’s and Royal College of Art, Francesca Amfitheatrof turned heads developing jewelry for Chanel, Marni and Fendi, and has sold her designs internationally at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Colette in Paris. She’s brought a new aesthetic to the United States’ largest luxury jewelry company with the Tiffany T collection, the first completely new collection launched there in decades.
What, to you, were the most crucial design elements for the Tiffany T collection? What inspired the collection?
“T” felt like a natural jumping- off point for my work here, a very exciting beginning. “T” pays homage to the Tiffany name, but it also has a verticality and angularity that I associate with the energy and intensity of New York. Tiffany T is sculptural and bold and very closely linked to the architecture of this city. There is a lot of New York in Tiffany T, and by that I mean the relentless movement, optimism and creativity you find on these streets. This is a place of courage and reinvention that constantly sparks creativity. Honestly, I can’t think of a more exciting place I could possibly be.
What is your creative process?
Always, always, I start with a dream, something I see in my head that won’t fade until I get it on paper. I love those initial drawings, when anything is possible and your mind is wide open. I like to start with a sketch to give the design process a human element, a real touch. But I enjoy the entire process, the journey of taking a vivid idea and doing all the practical and technical thinking that makes a piece possible to produce.
The Tiffany & Co. style is iconic. How do you create an entirely new collection that stands out but is true to Tiffany’s heritage?
The Tiffany woman has a spring in her step. She makes her own rules and she doesn’t conform. Tiffany T is first and foremost modern and makes no apologies for that. It’s for the cool girl about town who’s well-informed and has a handle on what’s happening, what’s now. She’s clever and smart and is very certain of herself and her sensuality. What I love about Tiffany T too, though, is that it’s democratic. It’s an attitude, not an age.
What do you like best about being part of Tiffany & Co.?
Tiffany has always been a company of great innovators, great dreamers who are constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with design. This frame of mind links directly back to the company’s founder, Charles Lewis Tiffany, who was an entrepreneur long before anyone even knew what that term meant. He was a firebrand, a risk taker, someone who constantly did things no one else had the courage to try. At Tiffany, we carry forward that spirit of risk and vision. We’re unfettered by historical styles or schools of design, rather we create with a freedom to make—and break—our own rules.
atrof introduced Tiffany & Co.’s first brand new collec
tion in decades.