Tiffany’s Blue Now Belongs To LVMH; Ambani, PeeCee, Gaga's Connections To The Iconic Brand
The Big Buyout
According to a report in news agency Reuters, Tiffany was codenamed "Tea" and LVMH was "Latte" during the talks that led to the takeover.
Reuters also reported that LVMH's 70-year-old billionaire boss was himself 'focused on ensuring he was getting control of Tiffany's most valuable assets: all the patented elements that came with the Tiffany brand, notably its robin's egg blue boxes'.
The third-richest man in the world, Arnault, emphasised on the importance of the blue in an interview with the news agency, saying, "We're the owner of a colour. It's a pretty rare thing."
LVMH had forayed into high-end jewellery in 2011, when it acquired Italian jeweller Bulgari.
The India Connect
According to news reports, Ambani-led Reliance Brands has plans to bring the iconic blue box to Delhi and Mumbai by mid-2020.
'Quantico' star Priyanka Chopra also has a personal connect with the brand. Not only did the star host her bridal shower at the the Blue Box cafe, situated inside the brand's flagship store, but her singer-hubby Nick Jonas also shut down the Fifth Avenue outpost to pick the perfect 4-carat ring for her.
The Original Blue
On opening, it became the first company to clearly mark prices on its products, leaving no option of bargaining. It also started a new norm by only accepting payments in cash.
Over the next decade, the company shifted to jewellery. In 1848, it started acquiring exotic European collections and crown jewels, including diamonds worn by Marie-Antoinette.
Almost unstoppable, two years later, Tiffany had opened a store at rue de Richelieu in Paris. This expansion continued, with a London store in 1868, and eventually a watch factory in Geneva, a few years later.
The legendary brand saw a new direction with Charles's painter-son, Louis Comfort Tiffany, becoming the company's first official design officer. At the end of the 19th century, stained glassworks and lamps by Tiffany Jr. became synonymous with the 'Gilded Age' in America, with some of them even being installed at the White House. They were later removed early in the 20th century.
The Making Of An Icon
Over time, the aspirational value of the brand increased with the emergence of America’s high society as its customers. From the Kennedys and Richard Nixon to Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, the brand became synonymous with classy indulgence.
In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln purchased a Tiffany seed pearl necklace and earrings for his wife for the inaugural ball.
A Star Is Born
Over 300 guests throng the store each day for a glimpse of the diamond.
The rare stone has only ever been worn three times in history. The most-recent being Lady Gaga, who arrived at the Oscars this year with the diamond around her neck.The gem was worn for the first time at the 1957 Tiffany Ball in Newport, Rhode Island by Mary Whitehouse. Following her, Audrey Hepburn became the second person to be granted permission to wear the diamond, for promotion of 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'. The actress wore the stone in a Jean Schlumberger necklace.
The store went on to feature in other films including 'Sleepless in Seattle' and 'Sweet Home Alabama'.