Tiffany & Co. has lifted the curtain on Reed Krakoff’s first jewelry designs for the house.
The American jeweler today releases Paper Flowers, a fine and high jewelry collection utilizing platinum, diamonds and tanzanite.
Krakoff has thus far unveiled home, eyewear and leather goods products for the firm but until now had not revealed his strategy for jewelry, which takes longer to develop. The former president and executive creative director for Coach was appointed Tiffany’s chief artistic officer in January 2017.
Rather than hedge designs on logo insignias, Krakoff has settled upon a visual concept for his first collection. Paper Flowers is rooted in the idea of flower petals that are cut from paper and then pinned together at the center. In pointing to notions of nature and processed material, the collection “reflects a perfect balance of refined femininity and industrial modernity,” according to Tiffany.
“Paper Flowers is about stripping away all of the rules associated with fine jewelry,” Krakoff said in a statement. “Luxury shouldn’t always mean formality, so we used precious stones and the finest materials, but in a way that you can live with every day.”
Paper Flowers encompasses both fine and high jewelry designs. The collection’s price range — from $2,500 to $790,000 — reflects this spread, with product graduating from simple rings to a bib necklace incorporating more than 68 carats of diamonds.
The choice of tanzanite plays to Tiffany’s history and archives. “Paper Flowers incorporates the purple of the legacy gemstone tanzanite, which Tiffany & Co. discovered and introduced to the public in 1969, as well as yellow diamonds in the firefly bodies to reflect their color and our design heritage,” the company said.
Tiffany noted that this is the house’s first major fine jewelry collection since its Key collection, released in 2009.
While fine jewelry remains a blue chip category for the jeweler, a large share of its sales are still attributed to fashion jewelry, which includes the sterling silver pieces such as the Return to Tiffany collection and pieces by Paloma Picasso and Elsa Peretti for which the company is best known. Krakoff’s first attempt at recapturing a young North American audience via the fashion jewelry category is said to be in the works, but a release date has not been set.
In the meantime, the firm looks to capture Millennials’ underground attentions. It has planned a takeover of New York subways, where Tiffany Metrocards and decorative advertising will feature in select stations.
Tiffany has also uncovered a group of freelance commercial skateboarders, hiring them to stage “freestyle tricks” while dressed in the brand’s iconic blue. BMX bikers have also agreed to this task, which are to be enjoyed by city-dwellers at impromptu locations. Additional guerrilla marketing tactics have been planned for locations across the city, including the jeweler’s Fifth Avenue flagship store.
While Krakoff’s new jewelry only hits select Tiffany stores today, the jeweler’s share price has already displayed signs of a turnaround — this year hovering above the $100 mark for the first time since early 2015. On Monday, the firm’s shares closed at $102.83, up from $91.30 a year prior.
In July, the jeweler revealed the appointment of Alessandro Bogliolo as ceo. The executive said during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call: “Our mission is to be makers of beauty, creators of joy. Simply put, Tiffany brings beautiful, enduring designs to love and life that will be cherished for generations.”
He added of the company’s aesthetic agenda going forward: “We have had newness also in the past few years. The point was that that newness was probably not as distinctive as the one that we would like to have in the future to really make a difference. I think that the brand has been a little bit understated during the last period of time. So nothing was really wrong, but I think we can pepper up and increase the things that we are doing well and we can just do it more intensively, faster and with a bigger impact on the market.”
In the fourth quarter, the company’s net profits fell to $61.9 million from $157.8 million a year earlier. But excluding tax and other charges, Tiffany said profits rose 15 percent to $208 million as sales increased 8.5 percent to $1.33 billion. But comparable sales rose just 1 percent, below the 2.7 percent gain analysts were reportedly projecting.