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Before He Became a Bigwig at Tiffany & Co., Reed Krakoff was a Student in Boston, Figuring Out How to Make his Mark on the World

Abby Bielagus | April 17, 2020 | People


It’s no revelation that some of the most creative minds in the world have degrees from Boston’s esteemed institutions. But what is compelling is when one hears of a rising star who walked our cobblestone streets and hallowed halls before anyone, including themselves, was confident how brightly they would shine. Reed Krakoff is one such heavy hitter. Now his name is synonymous with luxury, but then? Like a quintessential 20-something, he did a stint at Berklee College of Music and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, undecided in his path, before finally graduating from Tufts University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and art history.

The rest of his story is well-known: a degree from Parsons, design jobs at Anne Klein and Ralph Lauren, a famous Coach revamp, his own line of women’s apparel and finally chief artistic officer of Tiffany & Co. This year marks his fourth working with the brand, and in April he launches T1, the next chapter of the legacy that celebrates the iconic “T” motif, with a curated edit of 18K rose gold bracelets and rings.

When designing this collection, Krakoff returned to Tiffany’s archives, which he first visited upon joining the company. “During my design process, I was interested in reimagining Tiffany T and introducing a new representation—something that is instantly recognizable and symbolic of something larger,” he says. “I was not only inspired by our archival T designs, but by the many women that are at the forefront of change and are powerful voices in their communities. So, I designed something that felt bold and strong.”

Krakoff goes on to explain that this is different from what he has designed for the brand before because it is the first time that high jewelry has been introduced to the collection, which, to him, “expresses the idea that luxury should be effortless and worn every day. “If there is one thing I stand by, it’s that luxury doesn’t have to equate to formality. We should live with beautiful things surrounding us and not just save them for special occasions. To me, this is what it means to be truly modern,” he explains. To this end, it was important for Krakoff to have Tiffany diamonds incorporated into the design to encourage them to be worn regularly.

For now, Bostonians will be able to shop the T1 collection at the Newbury Street store, but come this fall, it will also be available at the newly redesigned Copley store, something that Krakoff is very excited about. “The new store will incorporate special details and services that I think Bostonians are going to love and appreciate,” he says.

And you never know, you might just see the man behind the creation. Krakoff visits Boston often because his family lives here. “I am truly a fan,” he says. “When I’m in town, I love visiting the ICA to see their latest exhibition. I am always inspired by the works of their emerging artists.” If only that student years ago had known he would one day emerge as an artist himself.

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Photography by: Courtesy of Tiffany & Co.