Timeless Talk with Tiffany & Co.

Who: Francesca Amfitheatrof (right), design director of Tiffany & Co.

Background: The trained silversmith and jeweler has designed collections for Chanel, Fendi and Alice Temperley, among others.

Her Other Hat: Amfitheatrof has also created furniture and lighting for Muriel Brandolini and fragrances for Claridge’s Hotel.

There’s More: She has served as an international art consultant and curator.


How have the archives at Tiffany & Co. influenced your newest collections?

For people who want to wear precious stones in a really modern way, there are a number of diamond pieces that are inspired by sketches from the 1920s that I found in the Tiffany archives. The drawings showed diamonds set in a very sporty, clean way, very crisp and refined, that makes them feel immediately contemporary, and so it seemed like a natural fit for the mood of this collection.


What is your favorite way to wear the new Tiffany T collection?

The possibilities for styling this collection are just about endless, which adds an element of fun and individuality for customers. Tiffany T is jewelry that you want to touch and feel and play with. There’s a wide range of scale in the collection, which allows people to put different pieces together in a way that really says something about their sensibility and personality. I find the most powerful statement you can make with these pieces is by playing with that, mixing it up, creating contrast and tension with size and shape. You have very delicate pieces that work well when they’re mixed together with big, sculptural cuffs and softer chains.

   The collection is offered in 18-karat gold—rose, yellow and white—and sterling silver, which has such a great crisp feeling to it. For people who want to wear precious stones in a really modern way, there are a number of diamond pieces that are inspired by sketches from the 1920s that I found in the Tiffany archives.


What’s one must-have item from the new collections every woman should own?

I love the square bracelet (right) in 18-karat gold. It’s not the largest piece in the collection, but it has great presence on its own while also somehow working in well with any other piece in the collection for a more textured, layered look.


How do you fuse the iconic history of Tiffany & Co. with the way a modern woman dresses today?

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.


Describe your personal style and what influences it season to season?

I like clothes with clean lines that aren’t fussy or over-done. I love to mix patterns and colors in an unexpected way. I have a real appreciation for quality, but I’m always looking for that quirky element, a bit of surprise, a combination that’s unexpected and singular to me. Jewelry is a great way of putting a signature on your outfit, of adding a strong dose of personality and making a statement about who you are and how you want to be perceived.


Where do you find your greatest inspirations?

I grew up all over the world and have immersed myself in music, art, film and theater along the way. I particularly love Asian art and ceramics. There’s a real sensitivity to form and a very pared-down and clean aesthetic. Also, I lived in Italy for a time when I was growing up, and beauty and art surround you all the time. And in New York, people have such great energy and curate their looks in a really interesting way.


Favorite escape?

I love the view of the ocean in Cape Cod. The coast of the northeastern United States has a sort of ruggedness and austerity that I find intriguing. And the dunes are so beautiful when they roll down to the gray-green of the Atlantic.


If you could collaborate with any style icon, past or present, who would it be?

Charles Lewis Tiffany. 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.


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