At legendary New York jeweler Tiffany & Co., it’s hello Lady Gaga, and bye-bye Audrey Hepburn.
The New York-born musical hit maker and actress is the face of Tiffany HardWear, a collection of bold and cutting-edge jewelry inspired by the edginess and grittiness of the streets of the Big Apple. The collection debuted at Rustan’s last week.
Lady Gaga is the latest in a recent string of Hollywood celebrities tapped to star in a Tiffany ad, in a bid to revamp the brand’s campaigns, which don’t typically feature actors.
Vogue’s Grace Coddington was tapped as creative director. Lady Gaga’s Tiffany TV campaign launched at the Super Bowl in February.
In the campaign, the star can be seen styled in sleek all black—turtleneck sweater, black trousers—her blond locks in a neat chignon, HardWear triple drop ball earrings on her lobes, and HardWear wrap bracelet on one wrist. The styling is sophisticated, grownup, a far cry from her younger years in outré, bombastic outfits.
But she also speaks of being a rebel, about challenging the status quo, about being different, and how she feels empowered by it all.
The brand, however, isn’t exactly distancing itself from customers whose minds are imprinted with the iconic image of Holly Golightly in her black Givenchy. Yes, it wants to attract women who relate to Lady Gaga’s brand of fierce feminism and rebelliousness, “but Tiffany has always had styles that appeal to that edgy woman,” says Erika Kerner, Tiffany & Co. Asia Pacific’s vice president for marketing and communications.
“Those Elsa Peretti Bone cuffs were fashion-forward as well,” she adds. “But this is a great complement to the Tiffany T collection, which we launched in 2014. T is all about New York architecture, very clean, very designed. HardWear is also inspired by New York, but more of the edginess of the streets.”
HardWear was inspired by a unisex bracelet from the 1971 archive cheekily called “Ball and Chain.” The 2017 collection consists of 17 pieces made of pure metal—sterling silver, 18k yellow gold and rose gold—and features graphic chain links and ball and lock accents. It has earrings, rings, bracelets, necklaces and pendants, designed to be worn “with your leather jacket or couture.”
“We design with one intent, but consumers will show us an entirely different way to wear it,” says Kerner. In fact, there are male customers who have been buying pieces from the collection for themselves. A wrap bracelet, for instance, can be worn as choker. The ball and lock accents can be moved around, and the ball rings are intended to be stacked.
Of HardWear’s urban, industrial look, “we intended to come up with chains that were identifiable, such that you’d know it’s Tiffany when you see it, but it does not scream Tiffany,” adds Kerner.
Though the brand has rolled out largely gold collections of late owing to fashion trends, HardWear, like T, has styles in more affordable silver, which start at P13,750. The bold link necklaces are reminiscent of those silver Return To Tiffany heart tag bracelets and necklaces that every young woman was wearing in the aughts. It was every girl’s first piece of luxury jewelry.
Though HardWear is pure metal, it’s likely the brand would expand the collection to include precious stones in the future, says Kerner.
The executive says Lady Gaga was chosen because she had that “kind of edge and creativity and energy that can speak to women in Manila, Miami, Milan.”
Last year, Tiffany ads starred Oscar winner Lupita N’yongo and Elle Fanning, with models Christy Turlington Burns and Natalie Westling.
“For a long time, in our advertising, we haven’t used celebs,” Kerner says. The “Legendary Styles” campaign has been successful “but I don’t know if that will continue to be a strategy moving forward. We want to show Tiffany women: independent, modern, confident, diverse women, not just celebrities. We did that to shake things up. For the Fall campaign, you’ll see we’ll shake things up yet again.”
In early 2018, Tiffany will launch in Manila the debut collection of new creative artistic officer Reed Krakoff. They consist of items in home and accessories. Krakoff, who was creative director at Coach, was tapped “to reinvigorate the gifts category,” says Kerner.
Tiffany & Co. is exclusively available at Rustan’s Makati and Rustan’s Shangri-La Plaza Mall.