Tiffany celebrates The Landmark opening with a ribbon cutting
After four years, the wait is finally over. New York's iconic Tiffany store at 57th Street and 5th Avenue, now rebranded The Landmark by new LVMH owners, opened its door once more. CEO Anthony Ledru and executive vice president Alexandre Arnault tapped actress Gal Gadot, the brand's official face of its High Jewelry collection, to perform a ceremonial ribbon-cutting to about 200 lucky press and special guests invited to get a sneak peek at the no-expense-too-big store transformation which opens on April 28.
Before the Tiffany blue ribbon was cut at the door, Ledru and Arnault addressed the crowd having coffee and eating a passed breakfast by French transplant New York chef and Blue Box Cafe purveyor Daniel Boulud, on the main floor, which has been reimagined, 'The World of Tiffany'.
The massive beige tone space, with at least a two-story-high ceiling, features the store's original arched windows as faux-light-filled GCI screens depicting New York exterior images manufactured to reinforce its location, a 4-tonne "diamond" crystal recessed light fixture and mirrored surfaces galore to brighten up the space that was formerly more Manhattan moody. (Recreating light is crucial as the arches are purely decorative; at least two sides of the building butt up against other structures).
Ledru kicked off the remarks and welcomed guests who had come as far as Europe and Asia to partake in the unveiling of the new 110,000-square-foot space.
"It's not just another renovation," he said, referring to previous changes to the store, such as the one in 1980 and 2001, "It's the renovation of the century," he continued adding, "The brief was simple. I'm not sure Peter [Marino] is here, but we asked him to try to protect the legacy of 186 years of Tiffany, yet we had the duty to surprise, to be a store for the 21st century, and to be an immersive project."
Arnault, who has been leaving his much-younger mark on the brand since arriving in 2021 by introducing campaigns featuring Jay-Z and Beyoncé, and Hailey Bieber, plus a requisite cool-factor Supreme collaboration, followed with remarks.
"We take great pride in welcoming you this morning to the Landmark, our biggest retail project. As you see, we keep it true to what it was on the outside in 1940, but we changed everything on the inside. I encourage you to discover all ten floors; hopefully, we can surprise you," the younger Arnault said earnestly. "It's more than a store. It's a landmark. It's an art gallery, an exhibition space, several restaurants, and a private club. It's many things under the same roof. Even though it's not officially open until tomorrow, if you want to buy something, please, we can find a salesperson to help you with that," he added.
A few minutes later, guests wishing to witness the grand event were shuffled outside to watch the ceremony. The Wonder Woman actress, dressed in Max Mara and wearing Tiffany jewelry, joined the two French executives on a Tiffany blue carpet covering the busy Manhattan street corner next door to New York's most infamous residence, The Trump Tower. An exterior window displayed the famous Tiffany diamond.
Ledru kicked off the ribbon-cutting, remarking that the result of the new store was beyond their wildest dreams. "That is what we are talking about, dreams. When our founder [Charles Lewis Tiffany] had the vision to open a smart shop on Broadway, it grew a few times and had six locations. This location opened in 1940 and was the largest luxury store world to open at that time which is the case today. We are ready to open on Friday and bring back to Tiffany this Landmark of beauty and hope for every American and tourist coming to New York. More importantly, this Landmark of generosity to New York and New Yorkers, as New York, means a lot to us," he said in a heartfelt speech that veered off the teleprompter script.
As she was being introduced, Gadot joked that she would sing. "Thank you, everyone, for being here in this historic opening. Ever since I started working with Tiffany, I have looked forward to the opening of this amazing store, this incredible work of art. This is exciting; the day has finally come," she opened, adding, "I think standing here at the corner of 57th and 5th Ave in the heart of New York City goes to show the amazing connection Tiffany has with this unbelievable city and by the way, I just came out you, are going to be dazzled! Congratulations." With that, the three each wielded giant custom Tiffany blue scissors and posed for their press photo moment.
Guests were next invited to tour the floors in groups, though in the end, those in attendance were free to roam the floors at their leisure. The elevators were only operating to floor 7 as floors 8, 9, and 10, which contain the Shohei Shigematsu for Office for Metropolitan Architecture or OMA New York glass-structure addition, were not currently open for touring.
The 8th floor is the top of the grand staircase made with an Elsa Peretti-inspired balustrade that ends on the 3rd floor, complete with a Daniel Arsham 12-foot Venus de Milo-inspired statue in Tiffany blue and touches of gold to greet shoppers who start their journey on that level.
There and in between are floors containing the "love and engagement" jewels, home goods, the Blue Box Café, the Audrey Hepburn experience with her Breakfast at Tiffany's dress on display, unique rooms devoted to designers such as Paloma Picasso, Peretti, and Jean Schlumberger creations on the 7th floor that house the brands most important collections. Marino's specially designed triangular vitrines house unique pieces such as a hefty brooch that contained a Tanzanite described by house gemologist Victoria Reynolds as a 'big girl'; it was about the size of a date.
While a specific Landmark collection hasn't been launched, there were several items, several of which are limited-edition, meant to commemorate the opening. Among them are two watch styles with an engraving of the Fifth Avenue façade on the inside; Elsa Peretti designed apple jars; an NYC-inspired toile on branded ceramic coffee mugs and dishes; and five Tiffany-setting engagement rings.
Somewhere in the building, ten original Tiffany lamps will be on display; key as many of the younger generation has no idea what those are. Scattered throughout the store, besides the compelling artworks by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julien Schnabel, Damien Hirst, and Arsham, were vitrines that recalled charming recreations of prior Tiffany's window displays. Beyond the Hepburn space, these were the only indications of the store's heritage being preserved. They were charming; one had hoped for more of these.
They helped personalize the space that, at times, felt vast and empty. Ledru and Arnault were quoted in another publication as saying they wanted to bring "friendliness and warmth" to the space. Despite being in the heart of Manhattan, The Landmark often felt it lacked its Tiffany soul. Time will tell if the Big Apple and the people who shop here can restore it.
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