For the first time in Tiffany & Co.’s 186-year history, the American jeweler has chosen Shanghai for the global premiere of its iconic Blue Book, the Fall 2023 expression “Out of the Blue.” The move comes amid a bold brand rejuvenation since being acquired by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (LVMH) in 2021.
Tiffany made history as the largest luxury acquisition to date when it was purchased for an eye-watering $15.8 billion by LVMH. This investment is already proving its worth, as the luxury jeweler was the leading driver of LVMH’s growth over the past two years, according to Euromonitor. Tiffany’s sales grew to 5.1 billion euros in 2022 (from 3 billion euros in 2020) and are forecast to reach 7.4 billion by 2025.
Under the leadership of President & CEO Anthony Ledru and Alexandre Arnault (the 31-year-old son of LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault) as Executive Vice President, Product & Communications, Tiffany is seeking to broaden its consumer base, both generationally and geographically, and focus on high jewelry.
Not since Audrey Hepburn munched a danish outside Tiffany's windows in the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s has the American jeweler felt like such a dynamic part of art.
Influential celebrity endorsements from the likes of Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Eileen Gu, and Blackpink’s Rosé, combined with a robust omni-channel strategy and a dedicated commitment to sustainability, are endearing the brand to younger generations.
One of Tiffany’s largest markets, China, has also been identified as a major focus moving forward. “There is enormous potential in China in the high jewelry market, and we look forward to continuing to build our presence in the country through our culture of clienteling, experiences, events, and new store openings,” says Anthony Ledru, President & Chief Executive Officer, Tiffany & Co.
The Blue Book, named after Tiffany’s signature robin-egg hue, traces its origins back to 1845 as a mail-order catalog. In the early 20th century, it evolved into an annual publication of Tiffany’s most exceptional and rare high jewelry creations. Among its famous entries are the Tiffany Diamond, which at 128.54 carats remains one of the largest and finest fancy yellow diamonds ever discovered, and the Jean Schlumberger Bird on a Rock brooch.
The 2023 chapter, titled “Out of the Blue,” showcases the brand’s largest-ever high jewelry collection and has been released in two phases over the year. It’s also the first Blue Book offering by the House’s new Chief Artistic Officer of Jewelry and High Jewelry, Nathalie Verdeille.
The dreamy collection pays homage to French legendary designer Jean Schlumberger’s marine-inspired masterworks created for Tiffany in the 1950s and ‘60s, reimagining his visionary perspective for today’s connoisseurs with precious gems and innovative stylization.
The Fall iteration expands on the collection’s five existing themes — Shell, Coral, Pisces, Star Urchin, and Starfish — and introduces a new motif: the Sea Anemone. Highlights of the Fall launch include a Pisces necklace with a 23-carat orange sapphire and a Sea Anemone bracelet of diamonds, featuring blue cuprian elbaite tourmalines and turquoise set "en tremblant," which lends a sense of trembling motion.
While the Summer edition debuted at an exclusive celebration in the newly reopened Tiffany Landmark in NYC in June, Blue Book 2023 Fall will get its first viewing, not in New York, but in China’s cosmopolitan metropolis of Shanghai.
The Pudong venue was awash in deep blue, evoking an enchanting sea cave, guiding guests to explore the oceanic masterpieces from the 2023 Blue Book high jewelry collection (swipe left). Photo: Tiffany & Co.
“By hosting this exclusive event, we will bring the magic of Tiffany to our clients in China and allow them to engage with Tiffany’s authority in diamonds and colored gemstones on a more intimate level,” says Ledru of the Shanghai preview celebration held in October.
Tiffany presented more than 600 masterpieces in Shanghai, narrating the timeless beauty and creative craftsmanship of its high jewelry (swipe left). Photo: Tiffany & Co.
The Blue Book launch is just the beginning of Tiffany’s plans to connect more closely with luxury consumers in China. Expanding and re-energizing the retail network is currently underway, adding to the 38 Tiffany boutiques in mainland China. Retail stores inspired by Tiffany's re-vamped home in New York, The Landmark, opened this year in Shenzhen Bay and Shanghai Qiantan Takooli (coming soon), setting the glitzy tone for Tiffany’s future retail experiences in China.
As important as retail is for connecting with clients and developing long-term brand loyalty, Ledru also acknowledges that a robust omni-channel strategy is vital to engaging China’s younger generations through platforms such as WeCom one-on-one and 3D animation to deliver a superior client experience. “We are constantly exploring new ways to attract new audiences, such as the digital Chinese Valentine’s Day campaign featuring Jackson Yee that yielded impressive results,” says Ledru.
“Chinese consumers value heritage and craftsmanship. They choose brands that are distinct and offer an extraordinary client experience — everything that Tiffany & Co. offers,” adds Ledru.
As Tiffany looks to assert its position across global markets as a leader in high jewelry and authority on rare gemstones, the Blue Book is an ideal vehicle to interpret the House’s almost two-century heritage of masterful craftmanship and innovation.
This authority was given further credence earlier this year when Tiffany made headlines with the acquisition of 35 rare Australian Argyle Pink Diamonds and the 10-plus carat Tiffany Muzo Diamond from Columbia — the latter making a dazzling appearance in the “Out of the Blue” Fall 2023 collection.
Connoisseurs and luxury buyers are certainly taking notice as Tiffany doubled its high jewelry revenue in 2022 alone. “We have had an incredible year with our high jewelry business exploding,” confirms Ledru. The company recently bought Platinum Invest to strengthen its manufacturing capabilities for fine and high jewelry and boost inventory in the booming China market and globally.
Reiterating the brand’s long-term commitment to China, Ledru says: “China continues to remain a major growth market for Tiffany. We will continue our strategy of uplifting our extensive heritage, elevating and expanding our product offerings, and creating new expressions for Tiffany while staying true to our DNA and re-energizing the retail network.”
With an acceleration of innovative designs, celebrity-studded campaigns and global events, and headline-grabbing rare gem acquisitions, Tiffany is renewing its luster in a competitive luxury market, with China poised to propel its upmarket momentum.