“When someone looks into a Tiffany window, I want him or her to do a double—even a triple—take. I want him to experience the sudden fresh insight the Zen philosophers call the ‘ahness’ of things.”
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 in order 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.
The enduring allure of Tiffany’s windows is captured in the iconic film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Holly Golightly, 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 very bad could happen to you there,” she says.
Audrey Hepburn®—Trademark and Likeness property of Sean Hepburn Ferrer and Luca Dotti—All Rights Reserved.