Tiffany & Co. celebrates 187 years of craftsmanship and ingenuity with a one-of-a-kind exhibition in Tokyo

Glimpses of wonder.

Harper's Bazaar India

Tokyo Node Gallery is a cavernous arts and events space perched on the 45th floor of the staggering Toranomon Hills Station Tower, one of the tallest buildings in Tokyo. It is only apt that 10 of the gallery’s rooms are hosting the ongoing Tiffany Wonder exhibition by NYC-based luxury jeweller Tiffany & Co.

In a one-of-its-kind immersive showcase that is also the brand’s grandest to date and the first in Japan, hundreds of archival Tiffany jewels, as well as more recent creations, are on display, brilliantly reflecting the jeweller’s shining legacy since its foundation in 1837.

French fashion designer Paloma Picasso. Image Credit: Tom Munro

On Tiffany & Co.’s long-standing connection with the country, Anthony Ledru, the president and chief executive officer of the brand, told Bazaar India, “Japan has inspired Tiffany & Co. for decades, and the House’s authentic connection and extensive history in the region has only continued to grow.”

Tiffany & Co. executive vice president Alexandre Arnault
Tiffany & Co. executive vice president Alexandre Arnault

Tiffany’s tryst with Japan goes as far back as its earliest days, when Charles Lewis Tiffany brought imported Japanese goods to his American clients in the 19th century, a rarity at the time.

Later, the House’s designers would find inspiration from the country’s unique arts and crafts, most notably Elsa Peretti, Edward C Moore, and Louis Comfort Tiffany. The In Love With Japan exhibit spotlights this connection with works by these designers, and pieces with a distinct oriental sensibility—think silverware trinkets, dainty Tiffany glass lamps, and a kimono tray.

Even today, Tiffany & Co.’s relationship with Japan continues to flourish. The nation is its second-largest global market, and home to a whopping 59 of its stores, with two that opened in Tokyo’s Ginza and Omotesando districts earlier this year.

Each of the ten rooms at the exhibition has different themes spanning its 200-year heritage. As visitors enter the world of Tiffany, they are greeted with the ‘Wonder of Origin’ showcase that traces the brand’s dazzling journey from its beginnings, the setting up of The Landmark, its iconic Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York, to its indelible mark in the fashion and cultural sphere today.

Necklaces on display at the Tiffany Wonder exhibition in Tokyo, Japan. Image Credit: Getty Images

Guests will get a glimpse of nearly 300 never-seen-before items, like the glittering yellow Tiffany diamond, inarguably the most famous piece by the brand, set in a stunning new form inspired by Jean Schlumberger’s emblematic Bird on a Rock brooch. There’s also a room dedicated to the brand’s influence in cinema and pop culture, with Audrey Hepburn-starrer Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961) taking the lead, of course.

Alexandre Arnault, executive vice president of product, communications and industrial, told Bazaar India, “Since the very beginning, each design that we’ve imagined and each piece that we’ve handcrafted has been rooted in our mission to spark wonder and inspire the world’s greatest love stories. Our latest exhibition celebrates this spirit in a city of great importance to Tiffany & Co.: Tokyo.”

Tiffany & Co. CEO Anthony Ledru. Image Credit: Akinori Ito (Aosora)

His favourites among the numerous iconic pieces on show are the Tiffany trophies that the house has been crafting for the past 170 years, including the Vince Lombardi trophy that the champions of the NFL Super Bowl take home. “I always love seeing our Tiffany trophies. They represent a remarkable piece of our heritage, having crafted the world’s most coveted sports trophies for all of Tiffany’s nearly 200-year history,” said Alexandre.

Further elaborating on the theme, he added, “At Tiffany, wonder is a balancing act between the expected and unexpected, between tradition and innovation, between heritage and modernity. These dualities inform our legacy and allow us to push forward as we maintain our position as a pioneer in the worlds of design and craftsmanship.”

Tiffany Wonder is on at the Tokyo Node till June 23.

Lead image: An inside view of the exhibition. Credit: Getty Images

This article originally appeared in the Harper's Bazaar India April-May 2024 issue.

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