The daughter of Pablo Picasso and his mistress, the artist and writer Françoise Gilot, Paloma Picasso was born (1949) in Vallauris, France. While working as a costume designer, she fashioned some rhinestone jewelry from flea market finds and those pieces caught the eye of critics. Bolstered by the positive response to her work, she decided to pursue jewelry-making as a career and trained formally. Shortly thereafter, she created jewelry for designer Yves Saint Laurent’s runway shows and soon she was collaborating with the Greek jewelry company Zolotas.
In 1980, Picasso landed a prestigious appointment at Tiffany & Co., as one of a very small number of designers chosen to be showcased at the store under their own names. Her first collections were highly successful, and were highlighted by her now-famous “X” and “O” signature designs, along with her popular “Scribbles” and “Graffiti” designs. Bold and sleek, her metal squiggles with undulating lines were just the look that women wanted. Equally popular were her curvy “love” necklaces, in shiny, lustrous 18K gold and sterling silver. Her statement line grew to encompass highly sculptural works, curvaceous and voluptuous in their fluid silhouettes.
From the Beladora Archives: Tiffany & Co. Paloma Picasso Large ‘X’ Earrings in 18k
Picasso has celebrated more than 30 years at Tiffany and her work has evolved and matured, with her most recent collections more rectilinear and grid-like, including pieces in her current “Marrakesh” collection, in which the cut-out openings on rings and bracelets pay homage to motifs common in Morocco. She has also revisited her earlier collections and updated them with color, notably her signature red. She is known for her vibrant red lipstick and in 1987 she created a cult, albeit now discontinued, lipstick for L’Oréal called “Mon Rouge.”