Paloma Picasso is one of the world’s most acclaimed jewelry designers and a fashion icon. Celebrated for her bold color palettes, geometric forms and visionary aesthetic, her extraordinary designs are inspired by her travels and the exotic places she has called home.
Born in Paris in 1949 to artist Pablo Picasso and Françoise Gilot, Picasso spent her childhood in Paris and the South of France surrounded by artists, immersing herself in the vibrant culture and intellectual zeitgeist. After attending the Université de Paris at Nanterre, she became a theatrical costumer and stylist for avant-garde productions in Paris.
Her talent for jewelry design soon emerged on the theatrical stage. In a moment of inspired improvisation, she created necklaces from gem-set bikinis designed for the Folies Bergère, which captured the attention of theater critics. Encouraged by this early success, the designer pursued formal schooling in jewelry design. A year later, Ms. Picasso presented her first efforts to her friend, famed couturier Yves Saint Laurent, who immediately commissioned her to design jewelry to complement his collections. Later, she designed gold jewelry for the House of Zolotas, where she honed her innate skills and talent.
After her father’s death in 1973, she took a hiatus from designing jewelry to catalogue the artist’s estate and help establish the Musée Picasso in Paris. In 1979, then-Tiffany Design Director, John Loring, invited Ms. Picasso to present a table setting for one of Tiffany’s exhibitions. A year later, Tiffany introduced Paloma Picasso’s first exclusive collection of jewelry. Her innovative designs were instantly embraced for their generous scale, vibrant colors and graffiti-inspired shapes.
A progressive choice for Tiffany, Picasso’s bold, graphic style, links and weaves, together with her unique colored gemstone combinations, have since earned Ms. Picasso an international reputation. Throughout her long collaboration with Tiffany, she has created many unique accessories and important jewelry designs that showcase some of the largest and finest species of rare colored gemstones.
Former Tiffany Designer Director, John Loring, described Paloma Picasso’s designs as “aggressively chic and uncompromisingly stylized. Her signature is seen in X’s, scribbles and zigzags, and graffiti, all sculpted in gold. She also punctuates gold with lavishly scaled colored gemstones.”
In recognition of her achievements, two American museums have acquired Ms. Picasso’s work. The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History houses her spectacular 396.30-carat kunzite necklace, and her 408.63-carat moonstone bracelet with diamond “lightning bolts” is in the permanent collection of Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History.
In 1988, she was honored by The Fashion Group International for her great contribution to the industry. The Hispanic Designers Inc. presented her with its MODA award for design excellence, and she has been inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame. In 2011, she was honored by an exhibition of her work at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, in Washington, DC.
Expressing her love for jewelry that not only beautiful but steeped with meaning, in 2013, Paloma Picasso introduced her Olive Leaf collection. Inspired by her home in Marrakesh and paying tribute to the olive tree grove surrounding her home—a universal symbol of peace and harmony—Olive Leaf remains one of Picasso’s most beloved designs.
In 2015, Picasso celebrated her 35th anniversary at Tiffany & Co. with the debut of her celebrated Paloma’s Melody collection, inspired by the wonders of Paloma’s daily life and the spirit of dreams, love, creativity and spirituality. The collection is defined by lyrical, interlocking bands that gently shift shape and form as they glide with the body, always falling back to together as a whole—an elegant statement of her timeless sophistication.
One of her most celebrated collections, the Paloma’s Studio designs, introduced in 2018, showcase vibrant jewel tones in graphic, geometric forms that have been coveted around the world for their simple yet mesmerizing allure. These powerful designs are full of attitude, with strong shapes, clean and architectural lines and extraordinarily bold gemstones.
Making their debut in 2020, the latest designs within the Paloma’s Studio collection include custom-cut hexagon gemstones on rings, bracelets, pendants, earrings; in addition to an impressive high-end statement suite consisting of a necklace, bracelet and drop earrings. The 18k yellow gold designs are set with colored gemstones of varying species and represent the pinnacle of design within the Paloma’s Studio collection.
Always expanding on her unique design vocabulary at Tiffany, Paloma Picasso’s creations are a testament to her inimitable artistry that reflect Tiffany’s legendary craftsmanship.
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