The one word that describes the world’s most iconic luxury brand ‘Tiffany’ is Tiffany itself and there is no synonym to its elegance, class, and intricate detailing. Every piece is astonishing and unique. We have all heard about its jewellery, its most renowned engagement rings but there is one more thing that makes Tiffany distinctive. Tiffany’s display window is the most appealing universally, inviting every passer-by to glance through the glass where even the most elusive of fantasies may come true. Here is the story that will tell how it all began.
Here we go…
Tiffany & Co. founder Charles Lewis Tiffany was a consummate showman. Long before his time, he understood the universal human desire to dream about something bigger than one’s self; and from the very first store in New York City in 1837, Tiffany’s fantastical window displays have inspired just that. Charles Tiffany understood the importance of theatre, and he was willing to put anything and everything in his windows to pull a crowd. In 1868, the showman P.T. Barnum commissioned a miniature jewelled silver horse carriage as a gift for the 2'11" circus performer General Tom Thumb and his bride. The carriage was displayed in Tiffany’s flagship windows at 550-522 Broadway and brought in pedestrians as they sauntered by.
From the early days until today, Tiffany’s windows have acted as a public gallery. Accessible to all who walked past, they entertained, surprised and, of course, created desire.
When Gene Moore joined the company in 1955, he defined window display as we know it today. Renowned for his radical, witty, and topical designs, Moore’s pioneering windows were in touch with the times and occasionally outrageous.
Mixing the extraordinary with the ordinary, he placed legendary Tiffany jewelry with unexpected, everyday materials like household string, popcorn and even a toy dump truck. In one notable display, the “worm” that a bird tugged from a pile of dirt was, in reality, a sparkling necklace. He enlisted soon-to-be celebrated artists to create windows with him, and during his 39 years at the company, designed more than 5,000 window displays.
The enduring allure of Tiffany’s windows is captured in the iconic film Breakfast at Tiffany's. The lead character, played by Audrey Hepburn, is drawn to the window display at the Tiffany flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. “When I get it, the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing awfully bad could happen to you there,” she says.
In 2018, Tiffany’s world-famous windows were featured in a book published by Assouline, Windows at Tiffany & Co., which showcased the awe and wonder of the store’s imaginative displays.
The store’s glamorous holiday window displays, unveiled each November, capture the magic of the season and have become a New York City tradition, drawing thousands of visitors each year.
Today, under the direction of Richard Moore (no relation to Gene Moore) and Christopher Young, art, sculpture, lighting and set design continue to come together in Tiffany windows across the world, creating moments of pure beauty, fantasy, and wit.