February 4, 2017 — Valentine’s Day is coming up — it’s the perfect time to reflect on the importance of Tiffany’s.
Tiffany’s is one of the greatest brands in merchandising history.
The company was started by Charles Tiffany and a family friend in 1812. The two opened a small store on a $1,000 dollar loan from Tiffany’s father; it would not be called Tiffany & Co. until 1841. By 1850 it had a branch in Paris, and by 1868 it opened a store in London.
Today it has 290 stores around the world and employs 12,000 people. In 2015 the company was valued at $11.4 billion.
The name has come to symbolize luxury, quality and glamor; few other corporate names register as quickly.
Tiffany jewelry creations appear on virtually every important red carpet; the company’s designers have created many major sports trophies, World Series rings (its designers also created the instantly recognizable intertwined N and Y used as the logo for the New York Yankees), a Medal of Honor and a china service used at the White House. It has employed some of the world’s greatest jewelry designers, including Jean Schlumberger, Elsa Peretti and Paloma Picasso.
Louis Comfort Tiffany, one of Charles’ sons, would become a world-famous name in design as well; his studio created stained glass masterpieces that have been hung in the White House and in many major museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was one of the foremost designers working in the Art Nouveau style, beginning in the 1870s, and he worked primarily in the decorative arts, designing for lamps, glass mosaics, blown glass, ceramics, jewelry, enamels and metalwork. The Pink Lotus Tiffany lamp, created under his direction around 1905, sold at auction in 1997 for $2.8 million. It is almost certainly the most expensive lamp in the world.
The fame of Tiffany’s transcends its product. Its little blue box is iconic, as is its logo. Its store has been immortalized in the Truman Capote story Breakfast at Tiffany’s; the scene in which Audrey Hepburn (as Holly Golightly) wears the ultimate little black dress while staring longingly into a Tiffany store window is one of the most famous — and imitated — in movie history.
Crazy About Tiffany’s, the authorized documentary about the illustrious company, talks to celebrities (Jessica Biel, Jennifer Tilly, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Baz Luhrmann, Katie Couric, Catherine Martin, Rachel Zoe and Fran Lebowitz) about their feelings for Tiffany’s, presenting a loving look at the famous brand.
Crazy About Tiffany’s is available on Blu-ray and DOD or you can stream it immediately on Amazon Video.