A Review of Windows at Tiffany & Co

It’s Christmas time in the city and that means Christmas windows are up! Some of the most well-known windows in the jewelry industry are Tiffany & Co window displays. The iconic scene from Breakfast at Tiffany’s was the start of the movie when Holly Golightly gets out of the cab in front of Tiffany’s New York City boutique window takes out a croissant staring at the jewels. Only in the movies, I have passed by Tiffany’s on numerous occasions and can barely get a clear photo with all the people walking by let alone, sit in front of the window and have a snack! Yesterday was a different experience. I went in not to browse but to buy something! I recently went through a job loss, so I couldn’t splurge on any jewels, but I did purchase a book. Windows at Tiffany & Co. has been published by Assouline and can be purchased online on in their flagship NYC store, which is where I purchased mine. In this post I will share my thoughts on the book, the Tiffany windows and my experience purchasing my first Tiffany blue box!

Window displays have interested me for as long as I can remember, it has only been since I started as a business analyst over 5 years ago that I see the incredible impact and reach a window display can have. The book is a small book, around 9 x 6.5 inches with 80 pages. The images are nice, several of them I remember seeing. There is a short history about the windows at Tiffany, starting with Charles Lewis Tiffany and his understanding that people wanted to be entertained. The book clearly states the purpose of the Tiffany windows to set a stage and allow the public to dream about the treasure and possibility the world holds. I agree with that but also would add that it should try and pull people into the store to try and own a little piece of that dream. Finding a balance between fantasy and function is not easy. Window displays are a great marketing tool to encourage impulse purchases and make your store a destination. That was the plan for Charles Lewis Tiffany in the Windows at Tiffany book there is a reference to a Tiffany window in an 1800s novel describing the “windows at Tiffany being ‘on fire with diamonds’”. What a sight that would have been!

Tiffany has been known to have some great window displays and the book credits Gene Moore with many of those. Moore took over as creative director in 1955 and retired in 1994. An obituary by the New York Times goes into more details about his accomplishments. Growing up in a small city from Illinois I did not pass by Tiffany windows in my youth. I only know some of the recent windows. One of my favorites was from 2015 it was a simple design around a reindeer theme. I remember coming up to the NYC Tiffany window and seeing a majestic white reindeer draped in Tiffany diamonds and nearby was a Schlumberger bird brooch and in another window a sleigh with jewelry. Pardon my photos was still getting use to taking photos with my camera.

 

 

The next year had more opulent windows but still showed off plenty of jewelry! My favorite was the dinner scene, but the tree was a close second! These are from the Boston Tiffany window.

This year’s Tiffany windows won’t be knocking my choices lower on the list. The theme is around Believe in Dreams. I recently saw the commercial with Zoe Kravitz. It is embedded below if you would like to watch.

 

It is definitely an edgier Tiffany with the ‘Dream On’ song playing and some fantasy references like the Alice in Wonderland themed tea party for some of the frames. The windows did not really translate that dreaming theme to me.  It really came across as more new age techie. I feel like Tiffany windows were trying too hard to be modern and appeal to the social media crowd. The photos were taken on Monday by me are below.

A mention of social media is in the book about how different the window function is today from windows past due to this change in technology. If that is the case, then the Tiffany windows may need to try and design around that theme. I’d like to see a display that shows people in the store using social media, taking photos and sharing with the public. I didn’t take any photos of the jewelry inside. Some places are still restrictive on photos inside due to insurance reasons and with being short on time I headed up to get my book.

I went to the 4th floor with Home and Accessories. The associate was very friendly. The book was on display and once I mentioned this was the item I wanted he went back to get a copy. I was served some water from a Tiffany blue paper cup (which I kept) while I waited for the transaction to finish. My book came in a blue box and I was out in a matter of minutes. With the holiday rush I was glad. I did stop to look at a display on the ground floor. Tiffany jewelers working in front of the potential customers.

Right before the elevators there is a closed off area that you can see through where these artisans are working on jewelry/gifts. I thought this was nice to see. I wish the windows would convey more of the craftsmanship than this trying to be cool theme. Tiffany like many other brands is trying to change their message to appeal to millennials, when Tiffany needs to hold on to their aspirational message.   There are many jewelry items I want to own but not to be ‘cool’ or fit in but to show I have achieved something or mark a memory; those things take time.

You might be seeing this messaging too or are thinking about your own brand’s identity. If you are looking for some input send me an email at: data.inthe.rough@gmail.com for a consulting session. If you have seen the Tiffany windows or commercial and agree/disagree with my analysis, please let me know in the comments. And if you are interested in purchasing the Windows at Tiffany & Co. book the link is here. Please come back soon for updates and analysis on the auctions, there were some great pieces that I saw and one piece that is back on the block that I plan to feature once the results are in! Thank you for reading Data in the Rough!

Christmas Time in the City: Boston Jewelry Stores’ Holiday Window Displays

It’s that time of the year again! People are busy shopping for gifts and then cold and snow slow down your plans. You are determined to go out but with a plan and a list! Good for you! In these quests for gifts have you taken any time to just look around at the holiday window displays? I took last weekend to do some shopping and some admiring around the Boston area jewelry stores.

I went to Newbury Street first. This is a major luxury shopping street. It has several big brand and local stores. The windows of the shops are small so I only took photos of windows with a holiday theme that was present. A favorite window of mine when I go to Newbury Street is Cartier.

Cartier

With the New York renovation these windows don’t pull you in as quickly but the incorporation of the brand with the holiday season is excellent. I do miss the boxes on the trees outside the store that doubled as ornaments but it is still a beautiful display.

I couldn’t post just the display but I wanted to look at a few of the items that stood out in the display. The ring to the left is the Galanterie de Cartier ring that reads on the website to be made of white diamonds and black lacquer set in white gold. The earrings  are from the same collection with the same materials, links are included.

I love how they added the Cartier panther to the windows as a finishing touch!

Shreve, Crump, & Low

This display is my pick for the best jewelry! The window is traditional with garlands and winter figurines.

The jewelry however has a bit of everything! The window as you can see is very large so I will focus on some key pieces.

The first will be the three necklaces that are the main pieces of the window!

I edited out the glare and helped make the colors richer than my camera could pick up! The ruby necklace on the left is over a quarter of a million dollars and has 25.28ct of rubies and 32.29ct of diamonds set in platinum. The Diamond Wreath Necklace to the right has 65.15ct of diamonds set in platinum and comes at a lower price point of $200,000. My favorite is the ruby necklace but the final necklace comes very close to it.

This is a vintage one of a kind Boucheron Diamond Necklace from an prior estate that has made it to Newbury Street! The center cushion cut diamond is 3.52ct. The clarity of this stone is a VVS1, which for those unfamiliar with the grading system is a step below IF (internally flawless) which is about the best you can have in clarity. This really is a showstopper and just a little over half a million dollars! Links are underlined if you want more details on these pieces.

Shreve’s had the window with some winter/ Christmas themes next to smaller items. Those ruby earrings again pieces I love to see. One more before moving on…

The photo did not come out as well as I hoped because the color of the diamonds is hard to tell. This 11.16ct Blue Sapphire Ring is surround by a layer of light colored pink diamonds then a layer of white diamonds on the outside.

John Lewis

I don’t have too many details on this shop. The display is small but the prices are listed for these items which I like. I also thought the use of small wrapped packages was a nice touch in staying true to this small, minimalist display. All the jewelry displayed is sterling silver. A link to where the business is located here.

Alexis Bittar

Not a traditional fine jewelry brand, he has a line but my focus was on his fashion jewelry line.The holiday window display for his store was in my opinion, the most creative use of a display I saw that day!

A lot of jewelry is displayed but in the most traditional way for the holidays, hanging up ornaments! A close up below!

What do you think?

Tiffany & Co

There are two Tiffany stores in Boston. I went to the one inside an indoor mall, to reduce the glare and get some better light. I also love the extra touch of adding the diamond decals to the outside of the store. A close up of the design is below.

 

Another great part to the decorations is the Tiffany tree! Trimmed with the signature blue boxes and ornaments in the shapes of diamonds! Oh to have a tree stacked with all those Tiffany gifts!!

Now on to the windows. The store has two windows to have its holiday window display. The first one I saw was an elaborate dinner table set for a fabulous party.

I love the details of adding the jewelry on the plates as though the are only little party favors! It recalls stories I read of the high society life in America before income tax came into effect. One story I remember talked about guests opening their napkins to find a gold bracelet as a gift from the hostess.

The other window on the right is the traditional tree complete with Tiffany presents. I have always enjoyed Tiffany’s window displays especially the holiday window displays because of their more traditional approach. It’s nice to look at a window and think pretty instead of ‘what was that?’

What are your favorite stores to go and see the holiday window displays? Thank you for reading and return soon for more from Data in the Rough! And have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday!