Louis Vuitton names Francesca Amfitheatrof jewelry and watches artistic director
“Michael Burke, Louis Vuitton Chairman and CEO, is delighted to welcome Francesca Amfitheatrof… Amfitheatrof’s flair and creativity with precious materials as well as her experience and personal background will help shape the Louis Vuitton jewellery and watches categories in the future,” Vuitton said in a release. The move comes less than one month after Vuitton named Virgil Abloh its new menswear designer.
The appointment underlines how much Vuitton sees jewelry and watches as major growth areas for the luxury marque. Vuitton has invited several scores of major well-heeled clients to Hawaii and Courchevel in the Alps for several days of private viewing and shopping at jewelry galas. The house has its own high-end jewelry atelier, while Burke told the Financial Times last November that Vuitton has 200 million euros worth of precious stones. Vuitton has also been active in smartwatches, selling some 20,000 Tambour Horizon watches in the three months following its launch at a price tag of €2,500.
Moreover, in Vuitton’s acclaimed flagship store in Place Vendome, pride of place is given to a large watch and jewelry section on the ground floor – looking onto the square, the world’s leading high-end jewelry retail quarter – with flagship stores for the likes of Chaumet, Cartier, Boucheron, Rolex and Piaget.
"It is with great excitement that I join Louis Vuitton, a House I feel deeply connected to through its values of craftsmanship and travel," said Amfitheatrof.
Very much a citizen of the world, Amfitheatrof was born in Tokyo and studied at three London institutions - Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts and Royal College of Art – yet she speaks English with a slight Italian accent. Amfitheatrof’s first silverware collection was presented by Jay Jopling of the White Cube gallery in London in 1993. Her designs have been sold by Colette, Browns of London, Luisa Via Roma in Florence, Jeffreys in New York and Joyce Hong Kong.
Her most important previous position was leading the jewelry design team at Tiffany, when in 2013 she became the first woman to hold that position. Amfitheatrof quit that job this January, when Tiffany announced that Reed Krakoff had been named the brand’s artistic director. She has also been senior jewelry designer for UK royal jeweler Asprey & Garrard; designed for Chanel, Balenciaga, Fendi and Marni; and was for three years the curator of Gucci Museo in Florence.
While at Tiffany, she developed a partnership with fashion forward retailer Dover Street Market and featured Lady Gaga in the brand’s advertising campaigns, seen in a Super Bowl commercial.
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