The Top Private Bespoke Salons
One-of-a-kind pieces should be viewed in equally glorious surroundings. Here are three.
It’s not a selling room, per se,” says Tiffany & Co.’s Michael Kowalski of the new by-appointment-only Salon on the mezzanine of the Fifth Avenue flagship. “We like to think of it more as a discreet space where the discerning collector can view the best we have to offer and can work with our artisans and archives on custom design.” To realize the “residential/work space” aesthetic it was after, the company turned to noted firm Robert A.M. Stern Architects, which imagined the central salon as “a living room where people bring you diamonds instead of martinis.” Stern and his team worked in a palette of silver and pale grays punctuated with mirrored cast glass. Those colors and materials were chosen because, Stern says, “diamonds look better against neutrals, and if a woman comes in to make a ruby necklace to go with her red ball gown, it can’t clash with the wall.”
Which is not to say the architect has created a great, beige retail box. The Salon, just off Tiffany’s Patek Philippe watch suite, consists of a series of rooms reached by a private elevator. Clients enter through two looming brass doors patterned after a 1956 Tiffany window display by Gene Moore. The waiting room is done in a pale robin’s-egg blue—one of the few times that Tiffany’s signature hue is referenced. “It’s our own version of the color,” Stern says. “There’s just enough to make sure clients know they’re not at Saks.”
From that first moment, Stern’s mission is to “cocoon clients in quiet splendor” as they wander through the suite into the main salon area, toward the phone room with its fully stocked wet bar, into the private dressing room, which is right off the atelier, where they can review sketches and mark the progress of their custom commissions on a bleached wood table. (“Jewelry,” Stern notes, “looks best against rough surfaces.”) Throughout, bronze vitrines inspired by 17th-century French decorative stands hold jewelry lit by specially commissioned LED lights that show the stones to maximum advantage while keeping them cool enough for clients to try on immediately. After all, as Stern points out, “no one should sweat at Tiffany’s.” —Stellene Volandes
The Salon is by appointment only. At 727 Fifth Ave.; 212-605-4200; tiffany.com.