Driving Relevance: Why the new Nike & Tiffany collaboration takes things to the next level

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By Marco Passoni

The appearance last week of the new collaboration between Nike and Tiffany filled me with joy for the luxury sector.

Rumours of a partnership between the two brands, one a footwear icon and the other a jewellery brand which is shaking off its cobwebs with a series of exciting link-ups, have been around for a while. Then pictures of the Nike Air Force 1s with a Tiffany blue swoosh were leaked online. The internet went crazy. The brands responded by putting out the image you see above – a Tiffany-blue Nike box with the words “A legendary pair”.

It’s brilliant.

I saw some who were underwhelmed by the look of the shoes or by the simplicity of the design, but sometimes we make things too complicated. This created impact and excitement. To me, this was a symbol of collaborative excellence.

The Nike and Tiffany announcement created two things which are vital in any luxury collaboration, and which are a real must in the market today: excitement and value. Tiffany has been delivering on collaborations recently. The blue-box brand has breaking new ground by teaming up with Fendi, Supreme and (who can forget) Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Each one of these has made headlines and poured value and attention onto the brand.

In fact, it is no surprise that since its takeover by LVMH, Tiffany has been truly re-energised. For me, the announcement of the new pairing with Nike was the next step in that journey. And it is a great step too.

I liked this comment from culture and entertainment expert Oliver Lloyd, Strategic Director at Attachment, when speaking to The Drum:

“It’s these daring culture-focused partnerships that are waking Tiffany & Co…up from its sleepy position in the luxury category and driving relevance again.”

He is quite right, and this for me is the key here. Ignoring the concerns of naysayers who wanted something more flashy, Tiffany has made itself more relevant than it has been in years. This partnership with Nike is not just something that the brand could not have managed a few years ago, it is a masterclass in execution. Both brands keeping true to their values and what they bring, to create something that they could not have done alone, and which taps into the demands of shoppers.

The new collection is set to retail for about $400 and re-sell for about $4,000 according to experts. For something that is not on the market yet, that speaks to hype which has been brilliantly curated.

Change always raises concerns from some corners. But Tiffany is making headlines like it has not in years. This is no longer your mother’s ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ brand – and it is not trying to be.

With one picture and three words – “a legendary pair” – Tiffany and Nike have cut through the noise of the internet and made a real impact. This is an image which speaks to mystery, excitement and the promise of true luxury. That is what we should all be working towards.

Marco Passoni has decades of experience in the travel retail sector. He has spent the majority of his career in senior leader positions throughout the market, including a 12-year tenure as CEO of a leading international Duty Free distribution company and a further 8 years running a retail firm that operated fashion mono-brand stores in several international airports.
Today, as Senior Executive VP and founding partner of 2.0 & Partners, he leads the company’s efforts in developing and innovating services which create new opportunities and partnerships for all members of the travel retail Trinity. A former elite-level sailor, with a World Championship to his name, Marco now spends much of his time airside, experiencing the changing travel retail industry first-hand, to better guide partners and clients on the best way to do business in this vibrant and unique market.