About Paloma Picasso
Daughter of artists Pablo Picasso and Françoise Gilot, Paloma has been a creative force since the day she was born. Growing up in France, she was surrounded by art and was always encouraged to create herself, which she did with great enthusiasm—firstly, with childhood drawings and, later, through her now iconic jewelry collections for Tiffany. Embodying the art and culture movement of the 1980s in New York, Paloma was a progressive choice for Tiffany & Co.
“My purpose in life is to make everything more beautiful.”
Originally invited to design a table setting for an exhibition in 1979, within a year Paloma entered an exclusive relationship with the house to create a jewelry collection under her own name—Paloma’s Graffiti. Its debut turned the world of design upside down and remains her signature collection today. 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.
“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.”
As the pioneer of the bold, colorful gemstone trend of the 1980s, many of the stones Paloma first used were previously completely ignored by the industry. She recounts walking into a meeting at Tiffany where the company’s entire gemstone inventory was laid out on a table for her choosing. “I was absolutely fascinated. I didn’t know that we could have such extraordinary, vibrant colors. I had a ball playing with all these stones and discovering there was no end to what nature actually provides.” Her love of gemstones can be seen in collections such as Olive Leaf, Paloma’s Sugar Stacks and, most recently, her Paloma’s Studio collection. Along with her use of color, Paloma is also revered for the meanings she imbues in her designs. Many of her pieces take on an almost talisman-like effect. This was especially evident in her groundbreaking men’s collection—one of the first of its kind.
“Paloma Picasso never follows fashion; she always keeps herself a number of paces ahead of it.”
—Tiffany & Co. Design Director Emeritus, John Loring
Two museums have acquired Ms. Picasso’s work: The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History and 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, D.C. Today, Picasso continues to expand her existing jewelry designs while continuously introducing new creations. As she has often said, “The most rewarding design is the one that is yet to come.”