“We have seen the worlds of culture and fashion colliding,” observed Alexandre Arnault, executive vice president of product and communications at Tiffany & Co., discussing the brand’s second campaign featurng Beyoncé, the fiercely glamorous imagery very similar to the album art for her recently released “Renaissance.”
“So it made sense for us to tap into this rather than having a complete[ly] different side of Beyoncé,” Arnault said.
The music superstar, who appeared alongside her famous husband Jay-Z in a major Tiffany campaign that debuted last year, returns solo wearing custom clothes by LaQuan Smith, Graham Cruz, Michael Challita and others — plus “pinnacle expressions” of Tiffany’s iconic fine jewelry lines Tiffany T, Tiffany HardWear, Tiffany Knot and Tiffany Lock. She also dons select Tiffany pieces by Jean Schlumberger and Elsa Peretti.
Photographed at Hangar Studios in Los Angeles by Mason Poole, with styling by Marni Senofonte and Patti Wilson, the global campaign breaks soon in October magazines.
Arnault said the campaign, like its predecessor with Beyoncé, would have a long tail.
“It will be worldwide: North America, Europe, Japan, China, South America, Middle East. We’ll have outdoor, print, digital and social across all these countries,” he said. “Hopefully it will last for quite some time.”
Indeed, it is characterized as Tiffany’s biggest investment in media this year.
The American jeweler also commissioned a film by music video director Mark Romanek, set to Beyoncé’s latest hit “Summer Renaissance,” that is slated to debut on its website in October. It is to feature choreography by Emmy-nominated Fatima Robinson, the woman behind Kendrick Lamar’s 2016 Grammy performance.
Titled “Lose Yourself in Love,” the new Beyoncé campaign for Tiffany expresses themes similar to the singer’s “Renaissance” release — self-love, “the joy of being one’s unapologetic self,” and empowerment.
“We’re taking an opportunity to have an icon wear our icons,” Arnault said, speaking exclusively to WWD about Tiffany’s biggest campaign for 2022. “She’s the best. She really embodies the ultimate modern-day woman, in our view, which makes her the perfect representative of our values.
“Also, what’s great about working with her is that it’s always in close collaboration and with a shared vision between how she feels about us and how we feel about her,” he added.
Since completing its $15.8 billion purchase of the U.S. jeweler last year, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has flagged Tiffany’s strong performance — with high jewelry the fastest-growing category. Revenues in the group’s watches and jewelry division, which also includes Bulgari, Tag Heuer and Hublot, jumped 13 percent in the second quarter.
Beyoncé’s first campaign had her wearing the famous Tiffany Diamond — with its 128.54 carats and 82 facets — reclaiming the company’s roots as a high jeweler and signaling a brand elevation drive.
Arnault called it the most successful campaign in company history, helping to fuel Tiffany’s “record year” in 2021.
“We spent probably double on media than we usually do. And we had amazing groundbreaking activations,” he said, referring to takeovers of all the billboards in New York’s Times Square, an “outdoor media domination” at the Louvre in Paris and other large-scale events in Miami, Florida; Mexico; Tokyo; Niagara Falls, and Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro.
“It was kind of unprecedented, and those moments had a really big impact,” he said.
Sales of engagement rings jumped 30 percent in the U.S. in the wake of the campaign, dubbed “About Love” and celebrating the Carters’ nearly two decades together.
The campaign also racked up about a billion video views. Accompanying the print images was a stirring short film that depicted Beyoncé singing “Moon River” to her husband.
Another “behind-the-scenes” video, depicting the couple scarfing pizza slices in a taxi on the way to a fancy event, drove the highest traffic day on record for Tiffany’s U.S. website.
“We reached a global audience, we reinforced our perception as a pop culture icon, and we drove brand relevance for our clients and for future clients,” Arnault said. “It definitely drove brand relevance.”
And it achieved its stated goal of exalting Tiffany’s high jewelry. Arnault confirmed a “huge increase” at a Miami sales event last April for its Botanica collection, hinged on three floral themes that are important to Tiffany’s archives: dandelion, orchid and thistle.
The new campaign puts a focus on more “shoppable” products, but also features very exclusive ones, including a custom HardWear necklace created for the campaign. Its 18-karat gold links, three times the usual scale, took 40 hours to assemble and polish by hand. Tiffany plans to sell a limited quantity of these large-scale necklaces.
“It’s about showcasing another side of us,” Arnault said. “Now she’s wearing everyday product: products you can find in the store.”
Items featured in the campaign retail from about $5,000 to just under $500,000, he noted.
It also continues Tiffany’s creative narrative about expressions of love, the accent now on self-love and personal expression.
“It’s a lot more about self purchasing, because people can identify themselves a lot more and say, ‘Hey, I saw this necklace worn by Beyoncé. I’d love to wear it,’” Arnault said. “The Tiffany Diamond is a little more difficult to do that with.”
(Indeed, only three other women — Mary Whitehouse, Audrey Hepburn and Lady Gaga — have ever worn the famous gemstone, which was unearthed in South Africa in 1877.)
The executive acknowledged that the new campaign deliberately skews close to the singer’s “Renaissance” project, noting she commissioned an array of sleek custom outfits from established and emerging designers, much as she did for her album art, which had the fashion world buzzing.
“It’s about her expression, her vision of the brand,” he said. “She was instrumental in bringing the whole vision to life.”
This extends to the forthcoming film: “It’s a very joyful, carefree film that really embodies the spirit of the album as a whole.”
Arnault marveled at Beyoncé’s precision, and stamina in front of the camera for Tiffany. “I’m always amazed by how professional she is: The first one on set and the last one out; she definitely doesn’t count her time and only finishes the day when everything is done. And all of that with a smile on her face and an amazing sense of connection to people.”
As part of its initial partnership with Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Tiffany committed $2 million for scholarship and internship programs for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as reported.
On Friday, Tiffany noted that scholarships have already been awarded to 60 students, and that beneficiaries for the 2022-23 academic year would be announced in the coming weeks.