“Kendrick Lamar represents the artistry, risk-taking creativity and relentless innovation that has also defined Tiffany & Co. for nearly two centuries,” says Alexandre Arnault, Executive Vice President, Product and Communication for Tiffany & Co. “We are proud and incredibly excited to work with a visionary like Kendrick in realizing his vision for the crown.”
Lamar enlisted his creative collaborator Dave Free during the design process, while it took Tiffany jewelers more than 10 months to bring this work of art to life.
Those 10 months and 1,300 hours of labor were well worth it when Lamar debuted the crown in person on Sunday, working through a powerful playlist of hits including cuts from his latest album Mr Morale & The Big Steppers.
Lamar finished his set with that album’s song “Saviour,” covered in blood while making a poetic stand for women’s rights in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade.
Lamar is also pictured in the crown on the cover of Mr Morale & The Big Steppers.
Lamar and Free approached Tiffany & Co. with the idea for a headpiece inspired by religious iconography. The resulting crown represents not only the Biblical crown of thorns worn by Jesus during his persecution, but the larger theme of redemption that symbolizes perseverance and artistic mastery.
“The crown is a godly representation of hood philosophies told from a digestible youthful lens,” Free is quoted in Vogue. Besides working as Lamar’s creative director, Free also is the MC’s partner in the multi-disciplinary media company pgLang.
Incorporating religious symbolism into Lamar’s already bold aesthetic has created something that feels timeless, adding an element of creative freedom through the folksy and naturalistic style. Both Free and Lamar were drawn to a cobblestone pattern of different-sized diamonds, combining imperfection and opulence.
Jean Schlumberger created a Thorns brooch for Tiffany in 1947, and this iconic 47-carat sapphire piece became another source of artistic inspiration when designing the crown. The rustic thorns surrounding the brooch became a key component on Lamar’s crown, tying in Tiffany’s history with Lamar’s desire to create something that honors the artists that came before him and paved the way for his success.
All in all, the crown includes more than 8,000 diamonds and weighs about 200 grams, or almost half a pound. See more of Kendrick’s Glastonbury performance in the crown below.