London, United Kingdom, hosted a plentiful Breakfast at Tiffany’s through Tiffany & Co’s Vision & Virtuosity Exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. This exhibition, which ran from June 10th to August 19th, celebrates Tiffany & Co’s 150th anniversary of 9 London stores by displaying an artistic compilation of Tiffany’s history and impact on fashion and pop culture in 7 chapters and 2 floors.
Behind the scenes of this exhibition is a glamourous tale of two best friends, King’s College rising seniors Vanessa Kolovos and Juliette Mizon. Kolovos and Mizon did a project about consumer behavior for the Wharton School of Business about Tiffany’s performance in targeting millennials. After presenting it to a high executive at Tiffany, he recognized these two best friends as jewels, and offered them internships for this jewelry exhibition.
Kolovos’ role at the exhibition consisted mainly of managing VIPs and VICs, which she said at first was “uncustomary directing people much older than me” but helped her improve networking abilities. She also managed CRM data analysis at The Shard as well as managing the Pop-up store.
Mizon worked in events management, where she assigned over 40 employees to their respective roles for the day and expanded Tiffany to other European countries like the Netherlands, using e-commerce as well as data analysis.
Mizon called Tiffany’s staff “family,” and Kolovos added a personal account to corroborate Mizon’s label.
“None of my flights and trains to Paris were working out, so I asked if I could be two hours late,” Kolovos said. “My manager kept texting me to make sure I was okay and ensuring me that my tardiness was not an emergency.”
Kolovos added that this family-style treatment extended to exhibition visitors, who bring a wide range of interests.
“I booked tickets for people wearing Gucci shoes and Chanel or Prada bags but also for people who biked to the gallery wearing H & M,” said Kolovos.
Xinyue Wang, an events assistant at the exhibition involved in marketing and customer service, added how interacting with this diverse crowd taught her about self-control, especially after one “gaming” experience.
“Tiffany & Co sells chess boards made of sterling silver and amazonite at the exhibition pop-up shop. I had a pushy customer that kept insisting that ‘since you sell chess you must have mahjong.’ I learned about how to handle situations like this properly,” said Wang.
She hopes that the exhibition’s free entry and recent acquisition at the LVMH will further expand interest in Tiffany, particularly among young people.
“Tiffany had only been seen as an old American brand,” Kolovos said. “Younger people are mostly interested in brands like Cartier. Younger people don’t realize that some Tiffany jewelry is not that expensive.”
After learning about the history of hundreds of years of Tiffany jewelry in the exhibition, George Paulding’s dragonfly brooch in Chapter One, “World of Tiffany,” stuck out to Kolovos because when it is shook, its wings shiver and “en tremblant” French phenomenon occurs.
Mizon also said her favorite chapter was “World of Tiffany” because it’s the most creative room, showing historic displays of the flagship store in New York. She also liked chapter 6 “Miracles of Nature,” which conveys the “excellence in craftsmanship of the brand,” including several pieces made of white diamonds only.
Wang attended the Vision & Virtuosity Exhibition in Shanghai, which inspired her to pursue her MA in Fashion Curation at the Central Saint Martins, University of The Arts London, which is how she ended up at the Saatchi Gallery.
Her artistic inclination and previous exposure to the Vision & Virtuosity Exhibition in Shanghai contributed to her appreciation of the “Jewels at the End of Dock” display in the London Vision and Virtuosity Exhibition.
Wang also had her own experience at the exhibition regarding the staff that Kolovos and Mizon call “family.”
Wang met Christopher Young, the Creative Director, Vice President for Global Creative Visual Merchandising and the Tiffany Archive for Tiffany & Co when he was at the exhibition for the press. After asking him many questions, Young signed her Vision & Virtuosity Exhibition book and drew her a photo of “Jewels at the End of Dock” in her Tiffany notebook since he found out it was her favorite.
“I was crying out of overwhelming happiness and inspiration. It especially meant a lot to me when I found out that he was a big part in designing the Shanghai Exhibition, which is why I got involved in Tiffany in the first place.”
Xinyue Wang, an exhibition events assistant, added that she believes Tiffany’s art and fashion style is currently changing in a way that will attract a new generation.
“The design style has gone from elaborate to minimalist, as people are now pushing for minimalism, but art is always changing,” Wang said. “There is no doubt that Tiffany will use more lighting, like much of the special lighting in this exhibition imported from the US used to create a dream-like immersive experience.”
Wang leaves us with inspirational parting words that she’s learned from her journey at Tiffany’s.
“Although Tiffany’s luxury brand can be expensive, chance is the most expensive thing, as it’s the ticket to your fortune to take care of the future,” she said.