Interview with Tiffany Accessory Designers
“A new focus for this season is the mixture of textured leathers for a sophisticated and chic look.” ~ Richard Lambertson
NEW YORK — For more than 175 years Tiffany & Co. has delivered a legacy of love with their iconic single solitaire diamond ring encased in a little blue box. Since fall 2010, the purveyor of fine jewelry has expanded their repertoire to include a leather accessories collection from crocodile handbags to haircalf wallets. The masterful designers behind the collection are Richard Lambertson and John Truex. I recently caught up with the design duo to discuss the spring 2013 collection and their design inspiration:
Which bag would you describe as the “it” bag of the Tiffany Spring 2013 Leather Collection?
John Truex: Spring 2013 is all about silhouettes. The Celia Tote (below) is our show stopping design for this season. This is the perfect carry-all bag with the use of multiple leathers, zip detail, intricate stitching and use of color blocking, a new concept for the Tiffany Leather Collection.
Richard Lambertson: The Ava mini turn lock box (below) is a quintessential, structurally framed clutch equipped with pockets and a removable mirror, perfect for fast touchups.
Tiffany has such a heritage behind the brand, what were your thoughts when designing the first leather collection for the legendary jeweler?
Richard Lambertson: The Tiffany brand is known for its attention to detail, excellent craftsmanship and modern designs, and our Tiffany Leather Collections parallel these same qualities. The original designs are finished with hallmarks of Tiffany’s heritage, including custom designed hardware, Tiffany Blue leather interiors and enamel detailing and subtle logos.
The spring 2013 collection has a piece for every occasion: a sparkly clutch for an evening at the Met, a picnic basket for brunch in Golden Gate Park, a metallic tote for jet-setting to Europe. What inspired the latest collection?
RL: The defining design element is the playfulness of color and shape. Textured and metallic leathers, patent leather, and striped raffia have taken the spring collection to a new dimension. A new focus for this season is the mixture of textured leathers for a sophisticated and chic look. The Blaine Clutch (below) is a mixture of colored wicker and smooth leather creating a playful combination.
JT: This season, we went to new extremes by designing the Central Park Picnic Basket and Central Park Wine Carrier (both below). The Picnic Basket stands out in natural wicker and Tiffany blue leather with Tiffany & Co. Weave china and sterling silver cheese knife set, cork screw, bottle stopper and crystal tumblers, a cutting board and a Merino wool blanket perfect for a lunch in the park. The Central Park Wine Carrier will be your go-to for an afternoon or evening with a fine, vintage wine in the park. This unique piece comes in natural wicker and Tiffany Blue leather with crystal tumblers and sterling silver bottle opener by Tiffany & Co. and striped canvas cocktail napkins.
The palette is vibrant, yet sophisticated. What was the color inspiration?
JT: The Spring 2013 color palette is vibrant and cheerful. The colors, Daffodil and Geranium, were inspired from a trip to Amsterdam, a city alive with beauty and charm. These fresh colors add a very feminine and youthful feel to the collection.
Besides impeccable design and construction, what should we look for in a quality handbag?
RL: We think it is important to create handbags for women that integrate functionalism and femininity.
What’s an accessory must-have for every chic wardrobe?
RL: A wonderful day bag such as the Codie Tab Hobo (below) is a sleek and smart addition to every woman’s closet. The hobo fits comfortably on the shoulder and is deceptively spacious, fitting all the essentials, while keeping the wearer looking as though she’s stepped off the runway.
JT: Our zip wallets are sleek and slender, personal and very detailed. They are a must have that can take you anywhere.
What fashion faux pas should we avoid when investing in quality accessories?
JT: Purchasing any handbag simply because it editors are calling it “the it bag” of the season. Your accessories [should] be chosen because they suit your needs and taste, and will be useful and loved by you for years.
If you could design a Tiffany bag for anyone past or present who would it be, and why?
JT: James Bond. A Weekend Tote like our Riley (below) would be a great bag for 007, featuring a sleek yet light weight bag that will carry everything from laptops to files and whatever latest gadget he might require.
Do you see Tiffany adding shoes to their leather collection?
RL: Not in the near future.
What’s in the future for the Tiffany Leather Collection? Any top secrets you would like to share?
JT: We are working on next year’s design right now. Still under wraps, but we are very excited.
For more information on Tiffany & Co. accessories, visit Tiffany.com.
The Chic Spy
(Images courtesy of Tiffany & Co.)