In New York, Peter Marino transforms Tiffany into “a joyful, surprising place, not intimidating or serious”


The entrance to the Tiffany store in New York.

Spring 1961. A taxi stops in the early morning in front of the Art Deco metal door of number 727 of the Ve Avenue to the sound of Moon River, melancholic melody played on the harmonica. From the yellow vehicle comes Audrey Hepburn, dark glasses, pearl necklace, long dress and tiara stuck in her bun, who observes the famous Tiffany sign from a low angle.

The spectator then accompanies the actress in her elegant stroll along the windows, coffee and croissant in hand… The opening scene of Diamonds on the sofa, by Blake Edwards – screen adaptation of the famous novel by Truman Capote Breakfast at Tiffany’s –, is one of the most glamorous that cinema has produced.

Since April 26, sixty-two years after Audrey Hepburn, a long line of onlookers and customers has been waiting every day in front of this same newly renovated boutique, which has kept its power of attraction intact. Apart from a two-storey glass elevation, the unlisted façade of the building erected between 1903 and 1905 has not been modified. Inside, on the other hand, the faithful of the jeweler will find it difficult to recognize the emblem of luxury founded in 1837, the American counterpart of the French Cartier.

“What could be more frivolous than buying jewelry? »

When LVMH bought the brand in January 2021, Bernard Arnault, CEO of the luxury group, immediately turned to Peter Marino to ensure the renovation of the flagship, renamed “The Landmark” (“the milestone” or “the landmark “). With his unique look, all in leather, cap included, and his dark glasses, the American is the favorite architect of wealthy clients and luxury houses. He managed the feat of collaborating with the enemy brothers of luxury, Chanel and LVMH. For the latter, he signed the Parisian boutiques of Dior and Louis Vuitton.

“I have known him since I was born, he has followed my family for more than thirty years, explains Alexandre Arnault, youngest of the boss of LVMH and executive vice-president of products and communication of Tiffany. He’s the quintessential New York architect, with offices two blocks from the Landmark. It was obvious for us to work with him. »

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The “starchitect” was given carte blanche to rejuvenate the shop, which had not been touched up since 1940. “Tiffany had become an old seized up machine, explains Peter Marino. My idea was to recreate the feeling of an inaccessible dream that I felt when I was young while admiring its windows, imagining what was inside. I wanted to produce a wow effect by designing a joyful, surprising place, not intimidating or serious, because, basically, what could be more frivolous than buying jewelry? »

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