Popular folklore assures us that nothing bad can happen at Tiffany’s—only wonderfully surprising things (and, more recently, incontrovertibly cool things). The storied brand’s design director, Francesca Amfitheatrof, seemingly following this script, was thinking out of the blue box when she set Eddie Borgo a time-traveling challenge: to create a capsule collection fit for the turn-of-the-century sculptor and art patron Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney—an aristocrat, artist, and woman whose haute bohemian sensibility was ahead of her time. Behind this exciting, collaborative endeavor, the initial connection between this legacy house and Borgo was made by the CFDA. For Amfitheatrof, Borgo’s urban luster was equally suited to letting Vanderbilt Whitney’s legacy shine and to bringing new artistic energy to Tiffany. For Borgo, who considers himself “an American through and through,” it’s a coup, and also first foray into fine jewelry, which was handmade in Italy.
“What a fascinating New York story—now I walk into the Whitney [Museum] and understand how it came into existence thanks to Gertrude,” says Borgo over lunch in SoHo, heaving a rare biography with yellowed leaves onto the table. Borgo lost himself in the heiress’s family history on a recent trip to Cuba. “She was such a global young girl,” he says. “Traveling by ship, buying her clothes from Paris, absorbing the modern art of the time before setting up her own downtown studio.” (Vanderbilt Whitney’s move to the carriage house that would become her creative bolt-hole was highly scandalous at the time: DAUGHTER OF CORNELIUS VANDERBILT WILL LIVE IN DINGY NEW YORK ALLEY, read one headline.)
Read more at: Vogue.com