I Shall be your Mirror
Dear Graduating Student,
I am writing to you to tell you that I am truly sorry that you are missing the opportunity to show your work to the public in person. This right of passage that marks this very moment in your life has instead taken on a new let's say esoteric form. You will be the ones that experience it completely differently and that in itself makes you unique. This is why I decided to write to you directly to say just that, I am sorry.
Regarding my selection, I chose work that I felt has a thread that unites you all, even in your isolation and therefore speaks of your collective emotion. I found a softness and a texture that is introspective and undefined, with no sharp corners or definitions. There are no beginnings and no ends. This makes me think that you have defined the now. Your collective expression is hopeful because it has the form of a poetic language with no opening chapter or end. Instead you chose to celebrate the middle by jumping into the centre and floating effortlessly.
Francesca Amfitheatrof was educated at boarding school in England and spent her childhood in Moscow, Tokyo and Rome. She graduated from Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art, where she received her Master’s degree in Jewellery & Silversmithing, and subsequently trained with a master craftsman near Padua.
Francesca launched her line of jewellery in 1994. After which she was asked to design collections of houseware for Alessa, and was soon commissioned by Chanel, Fendi, Asprey, Garrard, Marni and Wedgewood to create jewellery and accessories.
In 2001 she set up RS&A, a London-based agency that commissioned artists Yayoi Kusama, Maurizio Cattelan, the Chapman Brothers, Paul McCarthy and Damien Hirst, to name a few. In 2010 she opened the Gucci Museo in Florence as Head Curator. During her tenure she curated shows by Bill Viola, Cindy Sherman and Joana Vasconcelos.
Tiffany & Co appointed Francesca as the first-ever female Design Director. Her launch collection was Tiffany T, a range of minimalist necklaces, cuffs and rings meant for layering and daily wear. She then spearheaded the repositioning of the Tiffany Blue Book collection that comprised of 250 unique pieces of high jewellery. An additional collection followed, culminating in the launch of Hardwear in 2017.
Francesca became the Artistic Director of Jewellery and Watches at Louis Vuitton in 2019. Her first collection launched in May 2019. She also set up and launched her own brand Thief and Heist in 2019.