Jewellery designer James Taffin de Givenchy was born and raised in France and went abroad to study graphic design in New York. After the studies, he started to work at Christie’s where he became the head of the Jewellery department. He was also vice president at Verdura, the jewellery house of the legendary designer Fulco di Verdura. At these two houses, James Taffin set the core of what would be his design: colourful and exquisite materials.
In 1996 he opened the by-appointment-only salon Taffin Jewellery in Manhattan, where he makes jewels on commission, mixing unexpected colours of gemstones or perfect diamonds with materials such as rubber, ceramic, pebbles or steel, making modern and experimental pieces that unite art with haute-jewellery.
The one-of-a-kind pieces are a feast for the eyes, with their bright colours, perfect and simple design that can be worn during the day as well for big gala nights.
About his work, Givenchy says: “ I open my safe with the curiosity of a chef opening his refrigerator. I look inside and I decide: what am I going to cook today?”. "We are like couture used to be. 80% of our pieces are custom-made, and we work closely with our clients, which opens up wonderful possibilities," he adds.
With a long family history that can be traced back to roughly the year 1300, why doesn’t he use the name Givenchy for his jewellery empire? Well, his beloved uncle, Count Hubert de Givenchy, who passed away recently, sold the right to use the family’s name together with his couture house Givenchy, to the French group LVMH. So James Taffin chose his middle surname to create a brand that today signs jewellery and a line of scented candles available online at Barney’s.
On Amazon, you can find his book, Taffin, with more than three hundred pieces of the French designer who knows how to apply his graphic design studies into jewellery.