Beyoncé has become the first black woman to wear the famous yellow Tiffany diamond, in the jewelry company’s latest attempt to rebrand itself for a younger, more diverse audience.
The musician sports the “priceless” 128.54-carat stone alongside husband Jay-Z in a new ad campaign for Tiffany & Co. Beyoncé is the fourth woman, and first Black woman, to wear the diamond in more than a century.
The rollout of the ad will last a year and include a short film in which Beyoncé will sing Moon River, a nod to Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 hit movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Beyoncé follows in the footsteps of Audrey Hepburn and Lady Gaga in wearing the famous jewelry piece, which was obtained by Charles Tiffany after being discovered in South Africa in 1877. Lady Gaga was the third woman to wear the stone at the 2019 Academy Awards.
Gal Gadot will wear it next, in the much-delayed film Death on The Nile, which is set to be released next year.
The new campaign will also take over digital billboards in New York’s Time Square, reports Women’s Wear Daily. Some of the campaign’s photos also show the Carters posing in front of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Equals Pi, a 1982 work that has rarely been seen before in public, according to Tiffany.
According to McKinsey & Company, millennials and generation Z are now the biggest spending cohorts in fashion and luxury. Z is the generation most “willing to pay a little more to get products made by companies that share [their] values”, according to Anita Balchandani, McKinsey’s leader for apparel, fashion and luxury.
The current Beyoncé and Jay-Z ads have rolled out like an old-fashioned album campaign, but the first twist in the company’s rebrand came in May when it debuted its first-ever engagement rings for men. The company called the signets “a modern and bold departure from the traditional wedding band”.
Practically speaking, the reason for the rings for men could have been the upturn in nuptials – it was estimated that 2021 would be the biggest year for weddings in decades. But it was also a savvy nod to the rise in jewelry for men – led by generation Z gender-neutral icons such as Harry Styles, Lil Nas X and Connell from the BBC’s Normal People, whose chain necklace gained its own Instagram page.
A few months later in July the company debuted a billboard campaign which featured two disaffected teens wearing sullen looks and Tiffany bling, accompanied by the slogan “Not Your Mother’s Tiffany” (other taglines included “This is not an old school” and “Tell me the silver date again … we dare you”). The adverts, which recalled the controversial posters for the original Gossip Girl TV series from 2008, attempted to normalise the brand, matching luxury jewelry (a sterling silver chainlink lock necklace, which retailed at $2,600, and a bracelet which sold for $1,575) with the casual denim styling of the featured models.