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Paloma Picasso looks back — and ahead

Paloma Picasso
Paloma Picasso

Clear the way, stylistas! Paloma Picasso will be back in Miami after a hiatus of almost two decades. The French designer and daughter of famed artist Pablo Picasso will be the guest of honor at a Tiffany & Co. event with Interview magazine, which used to be run by her old pal Andy Warhol. We spoke to Picasso about her journey as a designer, what she plans to do while in Miami for Art Basel, as well as her plans for the future continuing her career with Tiffany & Co.

How do you look back on your illustrious career?

It is hard to believe I am celebrating 35 years with Tiffany. Back around 1980 when my good friend, John Loring, the company’s design director at the time, invited me to join this legendary American jeweler, it was such a vibrant, exciting time in New York. Since then my journey has been filled with gratitude as the partnership has allowed me to express my creativity and passions through my jewelry, exploring the most colorful and rare gemstones and bringing ideas to life through the finest craftsmanship. To see my work bring joy to customers all over the world is a true gift.

What are your plans while in town for Art Basel?

I look forward to being back in Miami and experiencing such a dynamic and cultural moment for your town. There is a wonderful event in my honor as I am introducing a new collection with Tiffany. I also plan to visit the museums, enjoy the restaurants and visit with some good friends.

Can you talk about the new collection?

Melody is my latest introduction, and signifies the music and movement in one’s life from all the wonderful people I have met in my life and places I call home. The Melody design is made of interlocking bands that gently shift shape as they glide with your body, then fall back together as a whole. The bands represent personal sentiments, like dreams, love, creativity, hope, spirituality or any other positive wishful thinking you have for a loved one or feel in your life. The beautiful sounds the bands make remind me of a life well-lived. My other collection, Groove, was inspired by the wedding band I designed for my husband as he was not sure wearing a ring would suit him. Well, of course I took that challenge and said I would design a ring that he will like. Our wedding band is graphic and strong, designed with eight grooves to symbolize eternity, and the ring was designed to stand up on its side, a testament to our long-lasting relationship. I thought why not share this design with others and this is how the Groove collection came to be, handsome, bold yet graceful. I had men in mind when designing, but it makes me happy to know that women are also wearing, as the original wedding band we both wear today.

Can you tell us about some design trends you see emerging?

More recently I have really enjoyed designing for men, as it has allowed me to express another side to my work, discovering a more streamlined aesthetic, along with interesting materials like titanium or leather. The most noticeable design trend to me though, is how fine jewelry is being designed with more versatility, with a more modern lifestyle in mind — the fun of mixing and matching to create a unique look, to be worn day and night, or how a powerful, bold piece all on its own can say everything. Jewelry has evolved from something only given as a gift or status symbol, to a real statement of personal style, personal expression, which I find very exciting.

What are your plans for the future?

My focus continues to be creating beautiful and meaningful jewelry that brings joy to people’s lives. My craft is personal: You really become part of somebody else’s life. This connection to my clients — those who wear and give my pieces — is important to me. I believe that the most interesting adventure is yet to come.

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