What Happened: Tiffany & Co. is in for a major unboxing. On April 28, the storied jewelry brand will open its newly revamped New York City flagship store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, following four years of renovations. The reopening marks another significant overhaul for a historical brand that has undergone many changes in the past few years.
In January 2021, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton acquired Tiffany & Co. for $15.8 billion. The conglomerate quickly shifted the fine jewelry and silver brand to appeal to a young, streetwear-centric audience. Reed Krakoff departed as chief artistic officer making way for Ruba Abu-Nimah, whose tenure as creative director welcomed big name collaborations like Supreme in the fall of 2021, Kim Jones’ Fendi baguette the following year, and Nike’s Air Force 1 at the start of 2023.
The strategy paid off: Analysts estimate Tiffany’s revenue grew from $3.3 billion in 2020 to $5.9 billion in 2022. And with Abu-Nimah’s departure this February and the reopening of the flagship store, Tiffany opens another new chapter.
The Jing Take: Featuring an Audrey Hepburn-inspired room and the large Tiffany Blue Jean-Michel Basquiat painting used in the 2021 Jay-Z and Beyoncé campaign, the new Tiffany store represents two key elements driving many luxury labels: a precise blend of heritage and modernity.
Tiffany has yet to announce a replacement for Abu-Nimah, but Bernard Arnault scion Alexandre Arnault has been closely involved in the store’s revamp. The younger Arnault previously led LVMH property Rimowa to newfound relevance through collaborations with Virgil Abloh and brands like Supreme.
Abu-Nimah followed a similar strategy for Tiffany with partnerships with Kim Jones and Nike. Despite substantial social media buzz, however, the Tiffany x Nike collaboration has received mixed reviews for its simplistic design, a sign that luxury has perhaps mined all it can from splashy sneaker-and-streetwear crossovers.
That said, the launch of the Fifth Avenue store includes immersive new touches that appeal to the younger crowd, which may not be able to afford its high-end silverware and fine jewelry. The reboot includes an outpost of Tiffany’s Blue Box café, a concept the brand established in Shanghai to great success in 2019.
Flagship makeovers are a strategy other fashion and jewelry brands have experimented with to make their retail spaces more immersive. Under new creative director Brendon Babenzien, J.Crew renovated its New York menswear store to include a café last fall. The in-store café along with compelling visuals like a replica of Audrey Hepburn’s famed black Givenchy dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s make the space a draw for young shoppers looking for social media-friendly backdrops, a strategy employed by the likes of makeup brand Glossier.
In China, Tiffany joins fellow LVMH brands Bulgari and Louis Vuitton in deploying local ambassadors to appeal to Chinese consumers. Earlier this week, Tiffany unveiled a new campaign promoting its Tiffany Knot necklace starring Chinese actors Gong Jun and Zhong Chuxi.
LVMH has already benefited from China’s reopening. In the first quarter of this year, the group reported expanding sales and its share price an hit all-time high.
Collaborations like the aforementioned Fendi baguette bag and Supreme collection have garnered Tiffany & Co. substantial, and valuable, global online buzz. But with the new New York flagship store and campaign, Tiffany is turning its attention to pursuits tailored to regional audiences.
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.