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 jewellery collections for Tiffany. Embodying the art and culture movement of the 1980s in New York City, Paloma was a progressive choice for Tiffany & Co.
“My purpose in life is to make everything more beautiful.”
A Memorable Debut
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 jewellery 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 legitimised urban street art by crafting it in precious materials and making it covetable.
As a pioneer of the bold, colourful 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 didn’t know that we could have such extraordinary, vibrant colours. 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 as well as high jewellery designs, including the Paloma Picasso® fifth anniversary necklace and, most recently, Paloma’s Studio. Along with her use of colour, 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 Paloma’s Groove.
“I was absolutely fascinated by the extraordinary vibrant gemstones nature can produce. My heart pushed me to go with the brightest of all.”
Two museums have acquired Paloma Picasso’s work: The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History and Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History. In 1988, she was honoured 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 honoured by an exhibition of her work at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Today, Paloma continues to expand her existing jewellery designs while continuously introducing new creations. As she has often said, “The most rewarding design is the one that is yet to come.”