Tiffany & Co. has snared a formidable — and familiar — design talent to lead its core jewelry and high jewelry categories, WWD has learned.
Nathalie Verdeille, who has been creative director for jewelry at Cartier since 2005, is to become Tiffany’s vice president, artistic director of jewelry and high jewelry. She is expected to start in the role later this year.
Verdeille is known to Tiffany parent LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton as she previously led high jewelry design at Chaumet, which is part of LVMH’s watches and jewelry business division.
At Tiffany, she will report to Alexandre Arnault, executive vice president, product and communications, who is shaking up the iconic American jeweler with key hires and high-profile campaigns featuring a slate of buzzy new brand ambassadors, including Anya Taylor-Joy, Tracee Ellis Ross and Eileen Gu.
“Nathalie is an accomplished and renowned designer in the jewelry industry and joins us with an impressive portfolio of work,” Arnault said in an internal announcement seen by WWD. “In this new role, Nathalie will be responsible for leading the creative vision for our jewelry and high jewelry designs. She will lead the design team and work closely with cross-functional partners as well as the regions and markets to ensure flawless innovation, design, product prototyping, and follow-up and alignment with the overall product strategy.”
Verdeille graduated from the prestigious Haute École de Joaillerie in Paris in 1997, and immediately went to work for Lorenz Bäumer, one of a clutch of high jewelry designers and brands on Place Vendôme, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Following a brief stint at Cartier, she moved over to Chaumet for three-and-a-half years, before rejoining Cartier in 2005 to lead its jewelry design.
Last March, Arnault recruited Ruba Abu-Nimah from Revlon to become Tiffany’s executive creative director, marketing and communications. Abu-Nimah’s connections within New York’s underground creative field are expected to fuel a more forward-thinking brand image.
As reported, Tiffany also tapped Peter Marino, LVMH’s go-to architect, to take over the renovation of the brand’s historic Fifth Avenue flagship.
Arnault is part of a trio of LVMH executives tapped to unlock potential at Tiffany. The other two are Anthony Ledru, who became Tiffany’s chief executive officer after a career mostly in the U.S. jewelry business and several years in Paris at Louis Vuitton. Meanwhile, Vuitton chairman and CEO Michael Burke was appointed chairman of the Tiffany board.
Beyond its financial might and management brain trust, the world’s largest luxury group has global expertise in real estate, retail development and CRM, gleaned from some 75 brands and 160,000 employees across fashion and leather goods, wines and spirits, perfumes and cosmetics, selective retailing and hospitality.
Before Tiffany, Alexandre Arnault was CEO of LVMH-owned luggage-maker Rimowa. At Tiffany, he is leveraging his digital acumen, Millennial perspective, marketing and branding know-how, and network of connections in Silicon Valley. In addition to revving up Rimowa with zesty colors, buzzy collaborations, standout stores and new product categories, the young Arnault took charge in accelerating LVMH’s digital transformation.