Fancy a $945 'paper' cup?

Tiffany & Co's new Home & Accessories collection includes a "paper" cup (top), a ball of yarn and table tennis bats.
Tiffany & Co's new Home & Accessories collection includes a "paper" cup (above), a ball of yarn and table tennis bats.PHOTO: TIFFANY & CO
Tiffany & Co's new Home & Accessories collection includes a "paper" cup (top), a ball of yarn and table tennis bats.
Tiffany & Co's new Home & Accessories collection includes a "paper" cup, a ball of yarn (above) and table tennis bats.PHOTO: TIFFANY & CO
Tiffany & Co's new Home & Accessories collection includes a "paper" cup, a ball of yarn and table tennis bats (above).
Tiffany & Co's new Home & Accessories collection includes a "paper" cup, a ball of yarn and table tennis bats (above).PHOTO: TIFFANY & CO

Tiffany & Co's new Home & Accessories collection is a spin on everyday objects

A $575 drinking straw, a $945 "paper" cup and a $245 baby spoon, all handcrafted in sterling silver, are part of American jewellery label Tiffany & Co's new Home & Accessories collection launched this month.

The modern and whimsical pieces, says the label's group vice-president of Asia Pacific, Mr Luciano Rodembusch, are talking points for customers and perfect for gifting.

"If you look at the pieces in the collection, they are very funny. They are pieces of conversation," he tells The Straits Times in a telephone interview. "Nowadays, everybody has everything.

"How many times do we go to someone's house and wish we could bring something different than the usual wine or flowers? This collection allows people to go to their friend's homes with a gift that is a conversation starter," he says.

This new spin on everyday objects is not a first for the brand.

"If you look back to even 150 years ago, Tiffany already had items like these - silver boxes and spoons. I think the Home & Accessories collection is part of our DNA," says Mr Rodembusch.

 

And does the launch of such a home range clash with the label's usual portfolio of sparkling engagement rings and classic jewellery? No, says the 47-year-old Brazilian.

"It is a complement. Our top clients have been asking for these items. Our brand is a luxury brand and we are serious about quality, but it is also a fun brand," he says. "Luxury doesn't need to be too serious."

The new Home & Accessories collection offers more than 300 items. About 100 of these are available in Singapore.

Designed by Tiffany & Co's chief artistic officer Reed Krakoff, who joined the label in January this year, the range includes items such as a ruler, corkscrew and ball of yarn. The lowest priced item is a $80 Christmas bell ornament; the highest priced item is a teapot that costs $52,500.

In an e-mail interview, Mr Krakoff says the collection combines "craftsmanship and design with a level of functionality and practicality that allows you to use these things every day".

"And that's a concept that I think is at the heart of American luxury - a sort of effortless, off-handed, understated luxury that is in your life every day as opposed to something precious that you put on a shelf and take out only for special occasions."

The jewellery brand is not the first to give everyday items a high-end makeover.

In May, French fashion house Chanel sold a black wood-and-resin boomerang for US$1,325 (S$1,800). In June, Italian luxury label Prada created a silver paper clip that retailed for US$185.

Might people wonder why such ordinary things have such high price tags? Mr Rodembusch says: "I think it will create some headlines. I'm sure people will say, 'What? Thousands of dollars for these items?' But I think that is the fun part of luxury."

As to whether the new range will do well in Singapore, he says that the "fun and sophistication of the range" is "exactly what Singaporean customers love".

Although he declined to provide figures and admits that retail here is "not as flamboyant as before", the brand, Mr Rodembusch says, is doing well here - as evidenced by its recent investments.

The label opened a 5,000 sq ft duplex store at Ion Orchard last year and expanded its Marina Bay Sands outlet from a 2,349 sq ft store to a 5,479 sq ft duplex this year.

He says: "Most Singapore customers have travelled a lot, they are experienced. They have a higher ability to choose what they really like. The level of sophistication here is very high."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2017, with the headline 'Fancy a $945 'paper' cup?'. Print Edition | Subscribe