The Extraordinary Women of Tiffany
In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re paying homage to the extraordinary female creatives and artisans of Tiffany & Co., from iconic designers to those who work behind the scenes. From past to present, women have played an integral role in the innovative craftsmanship and design that makes Tiffany a world-renowned luxury jeweler—and that’s a matter of fact.
Starting a Legacy of Design
In the late 1800s, Clara Driscoll became head of the Women’s Glass Cutting Department at Tiffany Studios, managing 35 women who were known as the “Tiffany Girls.” Although Clara’s significant contribution was not recognized until the discovery of her personal letters in the early 2000s, she was responsible for conceptualizing some of Tiffany’s most sought-after designs, such as the iconic Dragonfly and Wisteria Tiffany lamps.
Under the leadership of design director Louis Comfort Tiffany, men and women at Tiffany Studios in the late 1800s were paid on the same scale.
Clara Driscoll in her workroom at Tiffany Studios with Joseph Briggs, 1901. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
An Iconic Designer: Elsa Peretti
The arrival of Elsa Peretti at Tiffany & Co. in 1974 signaled a revolution in jewelry design. Under her vision, sterling silver attained a glamorous new status and her iconic Diamonds by the Yard® collection, which introduced the idea of luxury jewelry for every day, forever changed the way women wore diamonds. Her sculptural and organic creations are as modern today as ever.
“I don’t believe in anything that isn’t real. I design for a woman with taste who likes quality and simplicity.”
—ELSA PERETTI, DESIGNER
An Iconic Designer: Paloma Picasso
Inspired by the graffiti on New York City buildings, Paloma Picasso’s first collection for Tiffany in 1980 embodied the bold aesthetic that the designer is known for to this day. Her love of strong shapes and exuberant colored gemstones results in pieces as powerful as the women who wear them.
“Women tell me they feel empowered by my designs."
—PALOMA PICASSO, DESIGNER
A New Take
As a senior director of design, Nurit Quinters conceptualizes and designs new jewelry at Tiffany. She focuses on precious metals, pushing the boundaries of the imagination to create designs that inspire and captivate Tiffany customers. Nurit has worked on recent collections including Tiffany T1 and Tiffany HardWear.
“Tiffany has cultivated a truly unique and dynamic environment for all of its employees, particularly women."
—NURIT QUINTERS, SENIOR DIRECTOR, DESIGN
In 2019, females made up 68% of the team at the Tiffany Jewelry Design and Innovation Workshop.
Strength in Collaboration
Iris Han is at the forefront of modern design in her role as a production designer at Tiffany. Collaborating with the design, engineering and quality assurance teams, Iris is responsible for developing three-dimensional computer-aided design (CAD) models, an important step in bringing Tiffany jewelry to life.
Under the leadership of vice president Dana Naberezny, the Tiffany Jewelry Design and Innovation Workshop combines time-honored techniques with advanced technology to make the impossible possible. The team, which consists of jewelers, CAD designers, model makers and engineers, acts as a jewelry think tank to continue Tiffany’s longstanding legacy of innovation.
“I fundamentally believe that diversity drives innovation.”
—DANA NABEREZNY, VICE PRESIDENT,
TIFFANY JEWELRY DESIGN AND INNOVATION WORKSHOP
A Tiffany First
In 2020, Victoria Wirth Reynolds became Tiffany’s first female chief gemologist since the company’s founding in 1837. In this role, she travels the world to select gemstones for Tiffany’s high jewelry collection, the pinnacle of artistry and craftsmanship. She’s uniquely qualified for the job, having logged 33 years at Tiffany focused on custom design, diamond grading and high jewelry.
“I’m incredibly proud to be Tiffany’s first female chief gemologist. I’m just one representative of the many passionate and talented women at Tiffany.”
—VICTORIA WIRTH REYNOLDS, VICE PRESIDENT OF HIGH JEWELRY AND CHIEF GEMOLOGIST
“My identity as a woman does not define who I am in this workplace. My accomplishments do.”
—RACHEL ARDAY, SILVERSMITH
A Rising Star
As a silversmith at Tiffany’s famed hollowware workshop, Rachel Arday is a rising star in a traditionally male-dominated field. She mixes new and traditional techniques to hand-fabricate Tiffany-designed trophies for professional sports organizations. Her dedicated craftsmanship was on display in November, when she flew to Washington, D.C. to do on-the-spot repairs to the World Series® trophy, which was damaged in the winning team’s celebrations.
A Celebration of Ambition
Since joining Tiffany as a jeweler in 2014, Claudia Owusu-Sampah has experienced a quick progression through the company. Today, she’s responsible for managing 54 employees in Tiffany’s waxing and casting department, ensuring that every piece of jewelry is worthy of being placed in a legendary Tiffany Blue Box®.
“As a woman working for a prestigious company, there is no holding back my ambitions.”
—CLAUDIA OWUSU-SAMPAH, SUPERVISOR, WAXING AND CASTING DEPARTMENT