WE DON’T OFTEN associate the world of high jewellery with innovation, ground-breaking design codes, or even rebellion. Here, tradition reigns supreme, and change is often meandering and slow – and sometimes even intimidating. Introducing a new design language requires significant investment, so why rock the boat?
Well, for one, the luxury jewellery buyer has evolved. She has gotten younger, is global and regularly eschews the style codes set by the previous generation. Interestingly, she has been joined by a growing army of male jewellery lovers. Together, they’ve posed a conundrum to jewellery brands, who sometimes struggle with keeping up with – and remaining one step ahead of – the zeitgeist, while respecting their ‘legacy’. The real-life equivalent of a double-edged sword, really. In all our years of covering the jewellery industry, only a handful of brands have caught our attention for making significant strides in changing the status quo. Tiffany & Co is one of them.
It was one of the first luxury brands to feature a same-sex couple on its ad campaigns. It broke convention by vocally supporting liberal social causes and politics on its social media platforms. And when it came to its hires, it brought on-board a former fashion designer to helm its creative direction, instead of one traditionally trained in jewellery design. Reed Krakoffwas the man who changed the fortunes of ailing American brand Coach, finally making it profitable. When he took up the mantle of chief artistic officer at Tiffany in 2017, we all wondered: would he able to work the same magic?
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