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Tiffany’s Clash de Cartier

alexandre arnault bernard arnault
There’s little doubt that LVMH is attempting to position Tiffany to unseat Cartier as the world’s leading jeweler. Photo: Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Louis Vuitton
Lauren Sherman
May 13, 2024

At the Met Gala last week, the trouble-starting crowd was closely observing the activity of Cartier and Tiffany, which are currently competing for the mantle of finest fine jeweler in the land. Cartier outfitted a whole host of celebrities, including ambassadors Elle Fanning, Sofia Coppola, and Emma Chamberlain, while Tiffany had co-chair Jennifer Lopez, the second-most famous person in the building, wearing its pièce de résistance from a high-jewelry showing in Los Angeles the week before—75 carats of diamonds arranged into the shape of a bird, its wings stretching out across her clavicle. Framed by Lopez’s dazzling Schiaparelli dress, the necklace was undoubtedly the most talked-about piece of the evening—except, maybe, for Mike Faist’s beaded turnip brooch.

But perhaps more important than the necklace, itself, was the fact that it was designed by Nathalie Verdeille, Tiffany’s “chief artistic officer.” Until 2021, Verdeille was the not-so-secret weapon at Cartier, where she led design for more than 16 years—overseeing hit collections including the young-and-spikey Clash de Cartier (introduced in 2019) but also the expansion of the classic Love line, which she made as coveted and ubiquitous as a Chanel flap bag. Under Verdeille’s direction, Cartier became the foundation of many wealthy women’s jewelry collections, and a stretch goal for upper-middle-class types trading up. In Challengers, Zendaya’s bourgeois 30-something character wears a Cartier Panthère watch. (Zendaya wears a Panthère off-camera, too.)