Francesca Amfitheatrof

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Francesca Amfitheatrof is a jewelry designer, known for her designs for Tiffany & Co.

Early life[edit]

Francesca Amfitheatrof was born in Tokyo, Japan. The daughter of an American journalist for Time Magazine and an Italian fashion publicist, Amfitheatrof attended boarding school in England but spent her childhood in New York, Moscow, Tokyo, and Rome. She has a sister, Stefania, who works in fashion and is a fiction and copy writer.[1]

Her studies started off with a foundation course at Chelsea College of Arts, followed by a bachelor's degree at London's Central St. Martins and an MA at the Royal College of Art in 1993.[2]

At the Royal College of Art, Amfitheatrof met and was inseparable to Giovanni Corvaja, the legendary alchemist jeweler, who taught and mentored her to create different alloys of gold.

As part of the their school program at Royal College of Art, Amfitheatrof was selected by Alberto Alessi from the Italian housewares and kitchen utensils company Alessi, to come to Milan and work with the company. In 2000, the Alessi Amfitheatrof design launched with the Amfitheatrof, FA01, Fruit Holder being her most revered piece. Her work with Alessi spanned to a 15-year relationship.

Post Royal College of Art, she went to Padova, Veneto in northern Italy to study as an apprentice with the great Paulo Maurizi, who had previously worked with Corvaja.

Career[edit]

Design[edit]

After her studies, she came back to London and launched her collection with a show presented by Jay Jopling of White Cube gallery. The show consisted of sterling silver necklaces, gold rings and sterling silver vases. The vases were completely hand-raised by Amfitheatrof. This launched her into the fashion and art world, both Karl Lagerfeld and Giorgio Armani bought the complete collection of the vases.

After the success of her first show, she started selling her jewelry through luxury fashion stores worldwide such as Colette Paris, Maxfield LA, Browns London, Selfridges London, Luisa Via Roma Florence, Jeffreys New York, Joyce Hong Kong, etc.

In 1995, Amfitheatrof started consulting for fashion brands designing jewelry and accessories. She worked with the following brands: Rifat Ozbek, Balenciaga, Alice Temperley, Chanel, Fendi and Marni. For Marni, she launched their first eyewear collection and consulted for their accessories including shoes and bags. For Chanel, Amfitheatrof designed all the hardware for bags, shoes, belts and a line of silver jewelry.

Amfitheatrof became the in-house senior jewelry designer in 2001 for the British royal jeweller, Asprey & Garrard. A year after the brand split up, Amfitheatrof continued as head designer for another year with Garrard.

During her position as the consultant creative director at Wedgwood in 2008, Amfitheatrof created many new tabletop and glassware collections including their archival tea collection, which is still one of the best selling gift items.[3]

Art[edit]

In 2001 she set up RS&A, a London-based contemporary artist agency with Mark Saunders and Julia Royse. They commissioned artists Yayoi Kusama, Maurizio Cattelan, the Chapman brothers - Jake and Dinos Chapman, Paul McCarthy and Damien Hirst to name a few. Both "Art of Chess" and "Meet the Artist" projects were exhibited internationally and are part of major private collections.[4]

From 2010 to 2013, Amfitheatrof became the head curator of the Gucci Museo in Florence and curated exhibitions globally.

In 2010, Amfitheatrof organized and curated the Damien Hirst exhibition "Cornucopia" at the Musée Océanographique in Monaco.[5]

In 2011, Amfitheatrof curated and selected 23 works from the Francois Pinault Collection of Contemporary Art that was exhibited for the first time in Asia, in a show entitled "Agony and Ecstasy". This was presented at SongEun ArtSpace, Seoul, Korea.[6]

Then followed by the first solo exhibition in Asia of the Chapman brother's in 2013, entitled "The Sleep of Reason." It comprised their contemporary works over the past two decades. Again, presented at SongEun ArtSpace in Seoul, Korea.[7]

In 2010, Amfitheatrof opened the Gucci Museo in Florence as Head Curator, featuring the video art titled "Amore e Morte" (2011) of American artist Bill Viola; followed by British artist Paul Fryer [fr] "Lo Spirito Vola" (2012); then Cindy Sherman's "Early Works" (2013) exhibition, that included the photographic series "Bus Riders" and "Murder Mystery", and a short film "Dollhouse".[8]

The last show Amfitheatrof curated was the 2013 solo exhibition of Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos: Red Independent Heart (2010), Psycho (2010), Lavoisier (2011) and Hand Made (2008). All the works exhibited at the Gucci Museo were loaned by the Francois Pinault Collection.[9]

Tiffany & Co.[edit]

After five years of searching for a design director, Tiffany & Co appointed Amfitheatrof. She became the first-ever female Design Director in 2014. Her first collection Tiffany T was launched exactly a year after her arrival. She not only designed a range of minimalist necklaces, cuffs, and rings meant for layering and daily wear, but also created the advertising campaign which was shot by Craig McDean, styled by Karl Templer and featured Freja Beha Erichsen. The collection was designed by a woman for women.[10][11] This was followed by the collections "Victoria Bows & Infinity" (2015), "Return to Love" (2016), "1837" (2017), "Collectibles" (2017), "Sweet Nothings" (2017).

During her three and a half years as the head design director, she spearheaded the repositioning of the haute joaillerie for Tiffany Blue Book Collection that comprised 250 unique pieces.[12] The collections were titled "The Art of the Sea" (2015),[13] and "The Art of Transformation" (2016), and "The Art of the Wild" (2017).[14][15] Amfitheatrof elevated Tiffany & Co.'s position in haute joaillerie. Amfitheatrof's Tiffany pieces were also recognized on the red carpet for award season. Cate Blanchett's turquoise beaded necklace for the 87th Academy Awards and diamond drop earrings for the 88th Academy Awards were highly publicized.[16] In the 89th Academy Awards, both Emma Stone and Jessica Biel wore Amfitheatrof's "Whispers of the Rainforest" jewelry. Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Garner are fans of Amfitheatrof's Tiffany designs as well.[17][18]

Breaking from tradition for the first time ever, Amfitheatrof created a partnership between Tiffany & Co and Dover Street Market. This collection named "Out of Retirement" (2015) marks the first time Dover Street Market launched and supported a project of this magnitude across all their locations and markets. Tiffany & Co. broke from its storied tradition by partnering with another retailer.

The "Out of Retirement" collection was inspired by the Tiffany archives. Amfitheatrof also designed the three installations in each Dover Street Market location, inspired by Gene Moore.[19]

Amfitheatrof was responsible for all of Tiffany categories, these included small leather goods and watches. She launched the Half-moon SLG Collection with wave-embossed leather and gold-plated solid brass hardware. Amfitheatrof is also responsible for the design of the East West Automatic watch collection, with a dial turned 90 degrees.[20]

Her last collection which launched in May 2017, the gold, silver and leather Tiffany HardWear Jewelry Collection. This collection features Lady Gaga in the advertising campaign.[21]

Louis Vuitton[edit]

Francesca was appointed as Artistic Director for Jewelry and Watches at Louis Vuitton in March 2018.

Personal life[edit]

Amfitheatrof moved from London to New York with her husband and two children.[citation needed][when?]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hartman, Eviana (2014-08-19). "Brunch at Tiffany's". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  2. ^ "Francesca Amfitheatrof". NUVO. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  3. ^ "Francesca Amfitheatrof". Financial Times. 2008-01-05. ISSN 0307-1766. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  4. ^ "T is For Tiffany: Francesca Amfitheatrof, Design Director of Tiffany & Co. | Elite Traveler". www.elitetraveler.com. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  5. ^ "A night at the Museum - Vogue.it" (in Italian). Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  6. ^ Villarreal, Ignacio. "Selected works from the François Pinault Collection on view at SongEun ArtSpace". artdaily.com. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  7. ^ Cube, White. "Jake & Dinos Chapman at Song Eun ArtSpace, korea | White Cube". whitecube.com. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  8. ^ "Modern art light shines at Gucci museum in Florence". The National. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  9. ^ "Joana Vasconcelos at Gucci Museo | My Art Guides". myartguides.com. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  10. ^ "FRANCESCA Amfitheatrof". Interview Magazine. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
  11. ^ "The Real Model T". Town & Country. 2014-09-01. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
  12. ^ "Meet Tiffany's First Ever Female Design Director". ELLE. 2014-08-26. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  13. ^ Trebay, Guy (2015-04-15). "At Tiffany, Something New Inside the Blue Box". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  14. ^ Robinson, Roxanne (2017-01-27). "Francesca Amfitheatrof's Swan Song for Tiffany Blue Book Collection". WWD. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
  15. ^ WWD, Roxanne Robinson | (2017-01-27). "Francesca Amfitheatrof's swan song for Tiffany Blue Book collection". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
  16. ^ Trebay, Guy (2015-04-15). "At Tiffany, Something New Inside the Blue Box". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  17. ^ "See Reese Witherspoon & More Stars in $2.4 Million of Tiffany Jewelry". E! Online. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  18. ^ Silberman, Lindsay (2016-04-20). "The Stars Shined at Tiffany & Co. Blue Book Gala". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
  19. ^ "Tiffany delves into the archive for Dover Street Market-Telegraph". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  20. ^ "Introducing The Tiffany & Co. East West Driver's Watch (With Original Photos & Pricing) | Watches By SJX". watchesbysjx.com. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  21. ^ "See Tiffany's New Lady Gaga-Starring Super Bowl Ad". Racked. 2017-02-05. Retrieved 2017-04-24.