In honour of International Women’s Day on March 8th, we’ve decided to shine a spotlight on some of the talented women who have shaped the jewellery design industry over the years. Today we feature modern-day marvel Paloma Picasso!
In 1985, Paloma Picasso posed wearing her large citrine necklace in her New York apartment for Vogue lensman Horst P. Horst. Image: Getty via The Adventurine
Paloma Picasso (1949 - ) is a fashion and jewellery designer known for her exclusive collections for Tiffany & Co. and her signature red lips. She is of French and Spanish heritage, the youngest daughter of artist Pablo Picasso and painter Françoise Gilot.
As a costume designer in Paris in the late 1960s, Picasso drew attention with rhinestone necklaces made from stones she had found in flea markets. It was this attention and encouragement that inspired her to pursue an education and eventual career in jewellery design, her first high-profile partnership being with fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent when he commissioned her to design accessories for one of his collections.
A closer look at Picasso's elegant citrine necklace. Image: Getty via The Adventurine
After working briefly for the Greek jewellery company Zolotas, Picasso partnered with Tiffany & Co. in 1980 and hasn’t looked back. Her iconic designs continue to be some of their bestsellers to this day, and celebrated her 30th anniversary with the company in 2010.
Vintage Paloma Picasso designs are still much-coveted as well, and are often featured in sales by estate jewellers and other resellers. Her XO line is especially popular among vintage collectors.
A vintage 18k gold, platinum, and diamond necklace with matching ear clips, featuring various coloured gemstones. Sold at auction for $478,000 USD. Image: Sotheby's
Picasso’s work is also featured in two US museums; her breathtaking 396.3-carat kunzite necklace currently resides in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, and her 408.63-carat “Lightning” moonstone bracelet can be seen at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History.
Picasso has been no stranger to accolades over the years. She was recognized by The Fashion Group in 1988 as a woman who has made an extraordinary impact on the industry. The same year saw her honoured with the MODA Award for design excellence by Hispanic Designers Inc., and in 2011, an exhibition of her work was featured at Washington, D.C.’s National Museum of Women in the Arts.
In honour of Paloma Picasso's love of the colour red, here are some of our favourite Skyjems pieces in that timeless shade!
In the next designer spotlight, we tell you all about the enigmatic designer, Lorraine Schwartz! Read more: Women's Week Designer Spotlight: Lorraine Schwartz