Elsa Peretti has resurfaced. The reclusive designer, now based out of a remote village in Spain’s Catalonia region, has once again linked with Tiffany & Co. to celebrate a duo of anniversaries — 50 years since the introduction of her iconic bone cuff design and 45 years of working with Tiffany.
Peretti’s enduring designs have been key revenue generators for Tiffany all those decades — perhaps one of the reasons that the jeweler caught the eye of luxury titan Bernard Arnault, although now LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Tiffany are locked in a legal battle over the group’s attempt to abort its $16.2 billion takeover bid.
Peretti’s new range for Tiffany launches at its temporary New York City flagship today, including nine one-of-a-kind items that are based on archival pieces from her personal library — two of which are new designs featuring tourmaline and aquamarine pendants strung on silk cord. They also include an 18-karat gold mesh bib necklace set with 66 brilliant diamonds as well as a South Sea Keshi pearl pendant, exceeding 4.5 grams, strung on silk cord. Some of these unique items were developed in close collaboration with craftsmen in Peretti’s Catalonia village, where she employs a workshop of specialists.
Separately, the collection includes 12 limited-release designs that have been reissued from the company’s archives, which will roll out to select global Tiffany stores in the coming weeks on a traveling basis. The majority of these pieces have not been seen on the jeweler’s shelves in more than two decades.
True to her fastidious nature, Peretti hand-selected all of the stones included in the collections — like tumbled emerald beads weighing up to 16 carats — with prices ranging from $2,800 to $125,000.
Accompanying these limited pieces are a new assortment of bone cuff designs, cast in sterling silver or 18-karat gold and inlaid with a tear-drop semi-precious stone ($2,700 to $18,000). These designs follow a more entry-level bone cuff range comprised of color-treated copper that was released this past spring, priced at $475.
These combined efforts are meant to symbolize Tiffany’s commitment to Peretti’s heritage at the company. In 2019, her designs accounted for seven percent of the company’s global net sales.
Peretti’s legend comes from her time in New York City in the Seventies, when she frequented Studio 54 and ran in creative circles that included Roy Halston, Liza Minnelli and Andy Warhol. Her unique approach to fine jewelry uses precious metals and stones to accentuate the female form with a certain casualness and ease of wear.
With concepts like gold mesh and her more sculptural, anatomical pieces like the bone cuff, Peretti sees jewelry as an intellectual study rather than a vehicle to display wealth. Famously more minimal than glitzy — but no less valuable or demanding of craftsmen — Peretti’s designs changed the course of women’s relationship with fine jewelry, particularly by introducing them through a trusted house like Tiffany.
Their sense of restraint fits the current climate, when minimal design and austerity feels most appropriate.
Reed Krakoff, Tiffany’s chief artistic officer, said, “Elsa Peretti is one of the most prolific jewelry designers of our time. We have been privileged to be her exclusive partner since 1974, and are thrilled to reintroduce this limited curation of timeless pieces from her incredible body of work, many of which haven’t been seen in decades. Her work is as fresh today as when she first designed it. Her pieces transcend time.”
Keeping to her minimal form, Peretti added: “I don’t have the feeling that I need to add a lot to my collection, because I have an incredibly wide range of things. But I’m happy to see designs that are so important to me reinvigorated in this way, made even more modern and relevant. This is part of the secret of my things, that they are still valid.”