Fashion

Tiffany Opens a Jewel Box in Manila Where You Can Finally Get That Ring

Baubles, high jewelry, silver spoons, and promises are found at the new Tiffany flagship store.
IMAGE Tiffany & Co.
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It is always a good idea to know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy, who can get you the good stuff like, say, the I'm-sorry gift for your girlfriend whose birthday you forgot; the push present for the missus who just squeezed out twins; or the one ring that you finally have the balls to present to your long-suffering partner.   

Or maybe you just need to know Tiffany. In 1837, American Charles Lewis Tiffany founded his jewelry empire in New York City. While Tiffany and Co. soon became known as the source for exceptional gemstones, the luxury company only shot to extraordinary fame more than a century later, in 1961 to be exact, when Breakfast at Tiffany's was released.

Photo by Tiffany & Co..

You know the scene: One gray and sleepy morning, Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly alights from a yellow taxi and then approaches a store window on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Sheathed in a black Givenchy dress that clung to her like liquid, the chic heroine fishes out a croissant from a white paper back and eats it.

The evening gown, the sunglasses, the coffee in a paper cup, the boulder-sized updo, the strings of white pearls, the lilting crescendo of “Moon River,” and the overall loveliness of Hepburn was a mood and a moment. Since then, women everywhere wanted to be her, if not through the eating of bread in front of a jewelry store, then through Tiffany's baby blue boxes.  

Those boxes of promise have been in the Philippines since 1993, via the counters of Rustan's, but it is only now that the jeweler has established its Manila flagship store, a standalone boutique in Greenbelt 4 that holds more of the things that women want and men will buy for women.   

Photo by Tiffany & Co..

No need to tell you how a shop versus a guy who knows a guy or a spot in a retail emporium is so much better. Here, the dream is bigger, literally, as there is 1,360 square feet of space dedicated to the worship of shiny objects. Naturally, the Manila shop calls back to the Fifth Avenue original, from the medallion door handle that greets you at the entrance to the glass rods that suggest the Art Nouveau style that is part of Tiffany's history. 

Let's play a game. Say you have a pot of several millions that you must burn right now. How are you going to spend it?

A good chunk of that goes to a pink stunner, an oval morganite the size of your baby's right eye. A diamond-studded bird with a funny gold beak is perched on top of the stone, as if it is ready to take off with it (though we doubt it can fly away with such an enormous prize). You roll it around in your hand and many beams of incandescent light shimmy inside the colored rock. It feels good. 

Photo by Tiffany & Co..

Speaking of babies, there is also a sterling silver hairbrush in the shop (far end, left side) for when, you know, you need to finesse your baby's hair with a sterling silver brush. On the same set of shelves, other precious baubles such as a real-life silver spoon, a silver whistle, and a bone china dessert plate beckon.

And then, there are the diamond engagement rings. Let's skip the colorless ones for now. Beneath the glass, a cushion-cut yellow diamond, framed by a double row of smaller diamonds and held up by a slender band, winks at you. The effect is elegant and different—perfect for the woman who prefers something unexpected like a proposal.

The shop dedicates an entire counter to love, but if you find yourself overwhelmed by the sea of options, it also has a private salon at back, where you can hem and haw about your indecision in private.

Photo by Tiffany & Co..

Of late, Tiffany has been renewing itself, injecting the energy of the now into its storied history. Reed Krakoff, who joined the company in 2017 as its chief artistic director, doesn't hide his intention of appealing to social media-savvy millennials, the key market that is needed by all companies in order to thrive.

To do this, the creative has introduced famous faces as brand ambassadors. Actress Elle Fanning recreated Hepburn's iconic Breakfast scene in a film campaign last year, while singer Lady Gaga wore the Tiffany Yellow Diamond, the 128.54-carat cushion-cut giant, to the Academy Awards this year.

Krakoff, in an interview with thedrum.com, points out that Tiffany is an American company and, as such, has an American take on luxury—that is to say, its jewelry is for every day. No posturing here, but only easiness and elegance.

With these in mind, the brand has added more of the current and the hard-edged to the classic and the grand: The Tiffany T, a pre-Krakoff collection, brings to life the “T” in “Tiffany” as a robust motif rendered in precious metals; the newer Tiffany HardWear, with its exaggerated links and ball-shaped ends, manages to transmute industrial elements as luxury; and the newest Tiffany True reconfigures the diamond as a modern rock that hovers closer to the finger.   

Photo by Tiffany & Co..

But you don't really need to mind what's happening underneath the hood. What you should know is this: Tiffany invented the modern engagement ring. The Tiffany Setting, which was introduced by its founder in 1886 and remains the most popular style of engagement rings today, highlights the solitaire by anchoring it on a thin and naked band and then lifting it up closer to the light. In this way, the diamond is able to do what it does best: shine.  

When you are finally ready (and before her hair turns gray or leaves you for another man), get the ring here. Don't forget the box.  

And Now, What to Give Her 

When you forget her birthday 

Photo by Tiffany & Co..

Tiffany HardWear chain double-drop earrings  

Just because it's Tuesday 

Photo by Tiffany & Co..

Tiffany T square bracelets  

After delivering Junior 

Photo by Tiffany & Co..

Tiffany necklace with aquamarines and diamonds 

For that life-long commitment 

Photo by Tiffany & Co..

Tiffany Setting engagement ring 

Greenbelt 4

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About The Author
Clifford Olanday
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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