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How Reed Krakoff Is Continuing Tiffany’s Empowering Legacy In The T1 Collection

After decades of the jewellery business centring on what a man might purchase for his paramour, there’s a new buyer in town: a self-empowered woman who is out to treat herself to something bold, timeless, and impossibly chic. Enter Tiffany T1, Tiffany & Co.’s latest iteration of its iconic 1980s “T” motif, modernized with today’s discerning woman in mind. “I think a collection that’s meant for a person to buy for themselves has to be designed in a way that speaks to them,” says Tiffany’s chief artistic officer, Reed Krakoff. “And this collection was led by creating something that felt edgy yet super refined and also luxurious.”

The first T1 collection features a curated edit of nine rose gold styles, ranging from a narrow-width 18K hinged bangle to a ring inset with round-cut pavé diamonds. Each design centres around the iconic “T”, crafted with a modernist bevelled edge that forms an unbroken circle with a subtle clasp or design detail. Call it the new eternity band—one that can be worn as a symbol of strength, rather than commitment to another. “The fact that it’s bold, slightly edgy, angular, and with a sexier point of view suggests all those attributes and attitudes of a person who is empowered and not afraid to claim for themselves what they want,” says Krakoff.

The T1 collection debuted this summer, but we got a megawatt preview this past February, when actress Charlize Theron wore a choker— masterfully hand set with round-cut and baguette diamonds on either side of the “T”—to the BAFTA ceremony alongside an Art Deco-inspired column dress. The choker is Krakoff’s favourite piece in the assortment. “It’s often hard to create something that’s credible to be worn by a celebrity on the red carpet, but also by people every day,” he says of the style.

Krakoff, who helmed Coach prior to his appointment at Tiffany, is well-known for his transformation of iconic brands and his mastery of mixing high and low. “[ Jewellery] is something that’s worn every day, and something that is a big investment, so people want to incorporate it into their wardrobe,” he says. To wit, even the collection’s most intricate diamond pieces can be layered together with casual pieces. “There’s something to the permanence of joy— the fact that jewellery is something that lasts for a very long time, that people really develop a relationship with it, and it becomes really personal.”

Personal style is at the heart of the T1 collection, and for many, that means amping up the contrast. “A lot of the design work I do is about juxtaposing two ideas that aren’t necessarily expected and figuring out a way to create a new point of view within a collection,” says Krakoff of the choice to debut with rose gold, a decidedly feminine offset to the collection’s angularity. (T1 will be released in yellow and white gold later this year.)

The T1 collection was conceptualized in a pre-COVID-19 world, but with a bit of finessing for the realities of 2020, launches alongside the announcement of a $1-million donation to COVID-19-related relief causes by the Tiffany & Co. Foundation, half of which was allocated to the World Health Organization’s initiatives.