Over the years, Beyonce and Jay-Z have come to represent a standard of luxury for a generation of music fans. Likewise, the long-established jeweler Tiffany & Co. has also represented class and elegance at a high level, so it only makes sense for the brand to tap into The Carters’ cachet as it markets its product to that younger generation. The only thing that would improve such an idea would be some kind of expensive, ridiculous rare art piece — what’s that, you say? A never-before-seen painting of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s? Yeah, that’ll do the trick.
Alexandre Arnault, Tiffany’s executive VP of products and communications, told WWD that the painting, the 1982 “Equals Pi,” is “a way to modernize Tiffany blue.” He elaborated that while the inspiration of the painting isn’t quite ironclad, the choice of the iconic shade was likely intentional. “We don’t have any literature that says he made the painting for Tiffany,” he said.
“But we know a little bit about Basquiat. We know his family. We did an exhibition of his work at the Louis Vuitton Foundation a few years back. We know he loved New York, and that he loved luxury and he loved jewelry. My guess is that the [blue painting] is not by chance. The color is so specific that it has to be some kind of homage. As you can see, there is zero Tiffany blue in the campaign other than the painting. It’s a way to modernize Tiffany blue.”
The campaign marks the first time the company’s signature Tiffany Diamond (worn by Beyonce) appears in such marketing materials, making Beyonce only the fourth woman to wear it after Mary Whitehouse, Audrey Hepburn, and Lady Gaga. A short film accompanying the ad sees Beyonce singing the theme song from the 1961 film Breakfast At Tiffany’s to Jay as he films her with a Super 8 camera.
For more about the campaign, you can read WWD’s feature here.