By registering Emma Raducanu, it’s game, set and match for Tiffany | Catherine bennett
THELike many men studying Emma Raducanu’s victory at the US Open, one writer found himself focusing on one particular part of her body – her “athletic frame,” as the former champion called her. table tennis Matthew Syed.
“I just looked at photographs of Emma Raducanu again, this time focusing on her upper chest,” wrote Theo Hobson, a theologian, in the Spectator. He had noticed that the player was wearing a cross. It interested him deeply. “To what extent is it legitimate to find out about this?
To an incredible and unlimited extent! The glittering cross, complete with earrings and a bracelet, was placed there by Tiffany jewelers precisely for millions of viewers to notice, as Hobson did in the finale. This long-established company, but recently consumed by French luxury conglomerate LVMH, has now named the brilliant Raducanu its âhouse ambassadorâ, for a supposedly huge sum. âI have worn the ring, bracelet, earrings and cross necklace throughout the tournament,â Raducanu said, when announcing the deal last week. “These pieces will always be very special to me.”
But identical parts are also, fortunately, available on the Tiffany site. If Hobson wants the Â£ 2,750 18k gold ‘cross pendant’ with ’round brilliant diamonds’ it is still for sale online, although lower prices are of course available. What about a heart-shaped Tiffany keyring, which “evokes timeless elegance”, for Â£ 175?
That Raducanu, joining Tracee Ellis Ross and Anya Taylor-Joy, now plays a key role in showcasing and marketing Tiffany’s products on behalf of LVMH owner Bernard Arnault, the world’s third richest man, was celebrated last week as an honor. barely less dazzling than his tennis title. For that, after all, she only had to train for thousands of hours, with parents she described as “very hard to please”. To win the contract with Tiffany, she had to be the kind of tennis champion who could come forward 48 hours after her victory at the Met Gala; the kind of 18-year-old who gets swallowed up by the commentators, courted by Anna Wintour, and also, only intensifying the echoes of the ingenuous pursued in the novels of Henry James, by the transatlantic rival of Wintour, VogueIt’s Edward Enninful.
Fashion magazines, such as Grazia and She – “Just when you thought Emma Raducanu’s year couldn’t get much better” – were ready to parrot the public relations laughing stock on the “Tiffany family” as the company calls celebrities, including BeyoncÃ© and Jay-Z, currently considered worthy of hiring by an old brand with an eye on young clients. A campaign featuring denim jackets and titled “Not Your Mother’s Tiffany” seems to have had some success in describing this LVMH arm as edgy. Fortunately, most of this target audience is unlikely to recall some derogatory comments made about then-16-year-old Greta Thunberg by Arnault. Thunberg’s approach, Arnault complained in 2019, âhas a demoralizing side for young people. She doesn’t offer anyway, apart from the criticism. For his part, Arnault, then aged 70, hoped to show that the market for Veblen products, whose attraction lies in their artificially inflated prices, could nevertheless be sustainable.
There is speculation following Raducanu’s appearance at the Met Gala in an amorphous Chanel contraption that another Veblen Ambassador is in sight. Either way, the player’s half-Chinese, half-European heritage, along with her prodigious youth, talent and charm, could have been designed to make her the savior of any aged luxury brand. trying to find a way out of the pandemic. Environmental concerns that Arnault would likely find demoralizing have only added to the difficulties the luxury industry faces when consumers are unable to visit stores or browse brands of their choice. Is a brand privately, unrecognized by another impressed follower, even a brand?
But Raducanu’s miracle coincides with other signs that luxury shopping may have come out of the pandemic in better shape, thanks to financially unscathed customers with even more money and free time than the more humble. Some brands, like Chanel, have simply increased their prices. Raducanu jewelry deal, announced at UK show Vogue-Tiffany Fashion Week Night, coming at a time when even the generally little-missed it-bag appears to have risen, judging by fashion week reports from the dead, spared the both through sustainability and through any post-pandemic discussion of values.
For all that the Tiffany deal reflects and rewards Raducanu’s personal accomplishment, his real purpose – to groom the profits and reputation of this component of LVMH – seems less worth celebrating. In terms of reputation, outside of the luxury industry and its dependent magazines, it even seems a bit one-sided. Tiffany / LVMH injects its sparkle and youthful but still perfectly apolitical energy into a range of bling that hasn’t looked so appealing, even to mothers, since the ’80s. Raducanu gets tons of cash, free rental from jewelry and, with this early descent into the sulphurous realms of How To Spend It, an alliance with a company whose CEO, although hostile to the “doom-mongering” of his contemporary Thunberg, was less inclined to judge Donald Trump . Opening an LVMH factory, Trump told Arnault: “I could learn something from you about branding.”
As for the honor: Tiffany was happy to be associated, before Raducanu’s arrival, with Kendall Jenner, even after the Kardashian star appeared in a sensationally ill-conceived Pepsi commercial. There are of course worse flaws for a heritage brand than a Kardashian association, which predates the acquisition of Tiffany by LVMH. Raducanu, both of whose parents are in finance, will be quite able, along with her illustrious reputed agent, to pit the financial security of the Tiffany deal against the possible drawbacks – for her – of this rapid transformation from a newcomer. unbranded into a luxury product. emissary, never not accessorized with something stupidly expensive. The last pair of earrings costs Â£ 37,000. If it is premature to interpret this agreement as an endorsement of the unwavering commitment of the LVMH family in favor of conspicuous consumption, it is also difficult to see anything else.