Tiffany & Co.—#81 on Interbrand’s Best Global Brands list of the world’s most valuable brands—has been considered a bastion of luxury goods for 180 years, purveyor of all things elegant in jewelry, sterling silver, china, crystal, stationery, fragrances, water bottles, watches, personal accessories and leather goods. Now it’s redefining being an arbiter of taste and style with its latest collection.
Its exorbitantly-priced new home goods line by creative director Reed Krakoff, Everyday Objects, elevates an array of objects to ridiculous heights and prices: a $1,000 sterling silver tin can, a $9,000 sterling silver ball of yarn (one of only five made), a $1,500 18k gold paper clip bookmark, a $425 walnut and silver protractor for the math whiz in the family (complete the set with the matching $400 triangle and $450 ruler), a $385 harmonica, a $1,500 set of 10 LEGO-like walnut and silver building blocks, $650 table tennis paddles, a $950 “paper plate” and $95 pair of bone china “paper cups” and a $300 yo-yo for all ages. At least there’s free shipping and returns on each order.
Of course, these are “Everyday Objects” transformed into works of art. Design elevates these typically mundane items, and Tiffany says the collection “transforms utilitarian items into handcrafted works of art.” Krakoff, Tiffany’s chief artistic officer, commented to an incredulous Guardian reporter that “What makes the collection unique is that it incorporates the best quality, craftsmanship and design with a level of functionality that allows you to use these things every day.”
Released in time for the holiday shopping season and year-end gift-giving, one could view Everyday Objects as a PR move to draw attention away from declining sales—or its version of the famed Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, which includes pricey, elaborate items as much to fantasize about as to purchase.
Tiffany’s Everyday Object collection (brought to life by artist Christoph Niemann on Instagram and Twitter) is explained on its website as, “Beautiful things shouldn’t just live in a drawer. Handcrafted in sterling silver, enamel and wood, this new collection elevates traditional office supplies and accessories into works of art meant to become favorite pieces you use every day.”
— Jeff Macke (@JeffMacke) November 8, 2017
Derek Conrad, a company spokesman, told TODAY, “While there are certainly extraordinary items at elevated price points, the vast majority of products in the collection are actually under $500.” (Bargain!)
Krakoff, who joined Tiffany in January, also told The New York Times, “The main thing we were trying to bring back was that aesthetic of the extraordinary as well as the everyday. We’re just getting started.”
Tiffany & Co. has been getting hipper of late, and a little more Burberry-esque with its choice of musicians (such as Annie Clark, aka Saint Vincent) and other hipsters featured in its recent “Iconoclasts” campaign.
Its Manhattan flagship has been remodeled to make space for the new home collection, with the New York store divided into semi-enclosed sections, each with unique furnishings and décor and ampersands to suggest this is a sidecar to the Tiffany & Co. brand, as the New York Times noted this week.
“The first thing the team and I wanted to accomplish was to create a space that could’ve been part of Tiffany history,” Krakoff told the Times. “To take this neoclassical interior, bright and light and simple, and juxtapose that with surprise, modernity and the unexpected. One of the fundamental goals of this floor is to bring the magic and extraordinary creativity of the Tiffany window into the store itself. Think of the windows of Gene Moore in the ’60s that juxtaposed a toy steam shovel with a pile of sand and an extraordinary diamond in a Tiffany setting. I wanted to be sure to capture that spirit of an offhanded luxury.”
— Tiffany & Co. (@TiffanyAndCo) October 26, 2017
Tiffany’s signature robin’s egg blue is a registered trademark and appears throughout the collection space along with the iconic line of charms, each numbered so if lost, traceable back to the owner.
Considering the needs of well-heeled pet owners, Krakoff said that “We took (our) tag and attached it to bridle leather” for a dog leash. “It’s all made in Italy. It’s utilitarian but authentic.”
Tiffany’s cheapest bone china dog bowl reads “dog,” $125 for a small version and $175 for a large one. Displayed is a sterling silver option that Joan Rivers had engraved for her dog, Spike—$1,800 for a small version, $2,500 for a large.
Moschino is selling a dress made of a plastic dry cleaning bag for $735 https://t.co/TqlLbW92xk
— TIME (@TIME) November 8, 2017
Tiffany is joined in the emperor’s new clothes department by Moschino’s dry cleaning bag dress (and hanger ‘hat’) featured in its latest runway show. Priced at $735, it’s a part of creative director/provocateur Jeremy Scott’s F/W’17 collection with a focus on trash.
Unlike Tiffany’s everyday objects made with luxe materials, this is actually made from transparent polyester in a nod to traditional dry cleaning bags, screen-printed with “Free pickup and delivery” and a white paper insert stating, “We [heart] our customers.”
Of course, Scott is known for its fashion hijinks, and it’s expected he try to shock and provoke—qualities not usually attributed to Krakoff, the former Coach hand who’s shaking things up at Tiffany & Co.
Scott’s luxe dry cleaning bag is available to purchase online from Browns, which describes the “cape sheer overlay dress” with a straight face.
Although it’s often advocated that one should not judge a book by its cover, we’re all guilty of doing so. And lucky for you, wearing Jeremy Scott’s fun and quirky designs for Moschino is a type of book cover we approve of – and the blurb? That you’re the amusing one at the party, of course.
This clear Moschino dry cleaning cape overlay dress is the only kind of laundry you’d be willing to do (for your trusty au pair takes care of that kind of stuff). This dress showcases the brand’s economical Fall/17 runway theme and features a slip-on sleeveless design made from a see-through polyester re-used ‘plastic bag’ that is printed with ‘Free pickup and delivery’ text in red and ‘We *heart* our customers’ across the top. We’ll be wearing our Moschino with Proenza Schouler, Off-White and Isabel Marant.
*Please note that the slip is not included.
In typical Scott style, he ended the runway show by sending Gigi Hadid down the runway as a giant bouquet of flowers.
As the doyenne of elegance, Coco Chanel said, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street. Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” And sometimes, it seems, a winking nod to how much a brand can get away with in a brazen act that challenges the status quo—and common sense.