Interesting story about Paloma Picasso. Her becoming a jewelry
designer can be credited directly to John Loring.
Loring was at the time Director of Design at Tiffany. He met Ms.
Picasso in Venice at a party or the Bienniel, I forget the exact
instance. Hearing that he worked at Tiffany she mentioned that she
had taken some jewelry classes. She wasn’t actually looking for a job
or a connection, just making small talk.
Loring is not a jewelry designer. He trained, I believe, as a
printmaker and spent many years as a journalist for Architectural
Digest before going to work for Tiffany. He is, however, a perceptive
and effective marketer. He realised that on her own Ms. Picasso’s
designs might or might not succeed. People would invariably accuse
her of simply cashing in on her name. But if she designed for Tiffany
then the cach? of the two names would support each other.
After all, so goes the reasoning, if her designs weren’t any good
Tiffany wouldn’t hire her; it’s not like the store was losing money.
And the fact that the name Picasso would be attached to the
collection would make it memorable. And so a group of generally
uninspiring designs became a great financial success.
FWIW, unlike Elsa Peretti, Paloma Picasso didn’t spend time with the
model makers and jewelers working out the designs. She submitted
some quickly doodled sketches which the designers at the store had to
rework and render so that they could be made into actual jewelry.
This is not to say that she is not interested in design or doesn’t
work at it, just that jewelry is not her primary interest. Some years
ago I was designing hardware for an accessories company and one of
the owners mentioned that when she was at their leather maker in
Italy there at one of the benches in the workroom was Paloma Picasso,
working out the buckles and catches for her bag collection.