One of America’s most storied luxury brands enters a new era with CEO Alessandro Bogliolo at its helm, and Hawaii’s rarified retail landscape is indelibly elevated with the opening of Tiffany & CO.’s flagship Hawai‘i store in Waikiki.
While a direct correlation may not be readily apparent, fans of the brand with the ubiquitous blue box will quickly note how Bogliolo’s deft approach and guiding principles are echoed from the company’s Fifth Avenue headquarters to every one of its almost 13,000 employees across the globe. Moments before the grand opening of the mostly glass, 7,000-square-foot, three-story haven of sparkling and glinting objets d’art which now anchors the Royal Hawaiian Center’s corner on Kalakaua Avenue and Lewers Street, we stopped to chat with Bogliolo about Tiffany’s trajectory and evolution in the ever-changing world of ne plus ultra luxury goods.
Relevance. That’s a key principle that has kept Tiffany & Co. at the forefront of the industry. “Our approach to this market has everything to do with remaining relevant to the wants and desires of our customers,” Bogliolo shares. He mentions that Tiffany is very inviting as a brand, perhaps in contrast to the haughty airs put on by other high jewelry players. Sitting in a private sales salon on the top floor, he gestures towards the subtle Tiffany-hued glass windows, etched with a leaf-like motif that harkens back to the designs found in the company’s rich and vast archives. “We are in Hawai‘i which is a place that means so much to us, and this space is designed to be inviting,” Bogliolo says. And on a personal note, Bogliolo, who originally hails from Torino, in Italy’s northern manufacturing region, adds that “Hawai‘i is where my family always asks to go to” on his family’s vacation destination list. “We’ve visited Maui several times, and they always ask to return.”
Touring the Hawai‘i flagship with its leader, we hear more about the how Tiffany approaches being in Hawai‘i and planting its robin’s-egg blue flag so prominently in Waikiki. “This beautiful place calls for the big windows filled with artistic displays, like the latest Paper Flowers collection that you see here.” This collection embodies much about what Bogliolo reminds us is a key tenet in Tiffany & Co. chief artistic officer Reed Krakoff’s style: “You first see the flowers, then as you approach, there’s more as you discover the elegant settings within,” Bogliolo continues, explaining some of the details that elevate Tiffany from industry peers. “The signature setting of a diamond holds a stone that we source directly from certain mines,” he says, “this allows us to trace the provenance of each stone.”
Beyond ensuring that the company’s diamonds are not funding conflict, it also means that Tiffany is involved from the earliest stages, long before the rough diamonds are cut and polished by its own in-house artisans. Like every piece of jewelry touched by artists’ hands before going on display, the com- pany itself is also in the best of hands.