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October 13, 2014

T is For Tiffany: Francesca Amfitheatrof, Design Director of Tiffany & Co.

By Neharika Padala

Francesca Amfitheatrof, Design Director of Tiffany & Co. shared her inspiration behind The Tiffany T Collection.

ET: Francesca, thanks so much for your time. You have quite the impressive background before joining Tiffany & Co. last year. Please tell us a bit about your background and experience.

FA: I joined Tiffany & Co. in September 2013 with more than 20 years of experience in the worlds of art and jewelry design, fragrance, furniture and interiors.

I am a trained jeweler and silversmith, having received a master’s degree from Royal College of Art in 1993 as well as a B.A in jewelry design from Central St. martins. Over the course of my career, I have designed jewelry collections for Chanel and Fendi; jewelry and accessories for Marni; and silver for Asprey and Garrard.

Since 1993 Alessi Italy has featured my tabletop designs and gifts, and I have designed furniture and lighting for interior designer Muriel Brandolini. From 2003 to 2008 I was a creative consultant  at Wedgewood Stoke, responsible for china, crystal and flatware. During this time I co-founded RS&A Ltd., a London based agency representing the work of important contemporary artists and, throughout the past decade I have taught at Central St. martins. I have also been an art consultant and curator for major collections, museums and private individuals throughout the world.

ET: Can you please tell us about the current collection you are working on, including your creative/design process thus far?

FA: Always, always, I start with a dream, something I see in my head that won’t fade until I get it down on paper. I love those initial drawings, when anything is possible and your mind is wide open.

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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 taking a vivid idea and doing all the practical and technical thinking that makes a piece possible to produce beautifully. I also find great satisfaction in distilling and refining a design until it is just exactly what it needs to be, nothing more nothing less.

ET: What is your inspiration behind this?

FA: “T” felt like a natural jumping off point for my work here. “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.

Francesca has created modern design with The T Collection. The pieces in the T collection embrace the letter T through the use of clean strong angles that come together effortlessly giving each item in the line the feeling of perfect simplicity. The T shape is the base for the life and structure of the collection. T Francesca created bracelets, necklaces, and rings that highlight the individual wearing them. She knew that the line should always enhance the vibrant personality of each wearer—these are not simply decorative pieces of jewelry, but pieces that become a staple to any wardrobe.

The collection exemplifies Tiffany & Co.’s standards with the use of 18k gold, rose , yellow, and white gold as well as touches of black and white ceramic. each jewelry piece embodies New York and New York Style with hinged cuffs, chic bracelets, and necklace chains of different lengths. The diamonds within the line are inspired from a 1920’s design making these pieces look contemporary and redefined.


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