Tiffany& Co.

Following Vogue (“The September Issue”), Gucci (“The Director”), Bergdorf Goodman (“Scatter my Ashes at Bergdorf’s”), and Kate Moss (Paris Premiere’s upcoming “Looking for Kate”, which airs this Sunday), the latest fashion/luxury brand to get the documentary treatment will be Tiffany’s. Matthew Miele, who wrote and directed “Bergdorf’s” is at work on a full-length, fully authorised, documentary about the company, starting back in the day. Anyone else feel their trend-spotting bells a-ringing? 

Tiffany & Co. Getty Images

The post-Christmas gloom in parts of the US retail sector deepened on Thursday as Tiffany & Co, the jeweller, and Aéropostale, a fashion retailer, reported weak sales that sent their shares falling.

But, in a reminder that the sector still contains some winners, two other stores that sell fashion to young people – American Eagle and Urban Outfitters – reported strong sales growth.

 

Qatar Holding increases its share in jeweller Tiffany & Co. Getty Images

You step off the plane in your down jacket, experiencing that weird reality hit that comes with the end of the holiday: in the morning you have been cross-country skiing through woods – just you, your family and some wild turkeys – and eight hours later you are back in city traffic, and what happens? Investments. That’s what.

The rest of the US economy may be teetering on the fiscal cliff, Europe may be looking frim and luxury growth may be slowing, but in contemporary fashion, in America at least, things are getting off to a solid start. This morning, Rag & Bone, the hipster New York label, announced an investment by Irving Place Capital, the middle-market private equity fund, of about 25 per cent. Irving in the past has invested in Stuart Weitzman and denim brand Seven for all Mankind. And that follows two other such announcements by other labels. 

Tiffany has announced it will open a flagship store on the Champs Elysées in Paris. Image by Getty

There’s a piece in the Financial Times today that should send luxury brands leaping for their lizard (and python, and shagreen, and croc and so on).

Discussing a new study on retail, my colleagues Barney Jopson and Tim Bradshaw note that it “suggests the most effective use of retail space is selling expensive products that are occasional purchases to well-off consumers.” This is like giving candy to a baby.

After all, this is what luxury has been saying all along – it’s what Burberry just announced it was going to do in china, and François-Henri Pinault described as PPR strategy as far back as 2006. My guess is the industry take-away from this will be simple: sell less for more. But I think that may be the wrong lesson to draw. 

An interesting policy shift is creeping through the luxury industry: from being terrified of talking about their environmental/CSR initiatives except in the most covert whispers, slowly a number of voices are being raised.
Following PPR’s announcement that they were creating an “environmental profit & loss account” for Puma, today Tiffany & Co unveiled a new web site dedicated to their CSR policies.