First Look: Newest Tiffany May Outshine Vegas

Last Updated Sep 24, 2009 8:26 PM EDT

If you're Tiffany and you're opening a new store in Las Vegas, you have to fit the town and yet, somehow, live up to tradition, and a look at the artist renderings of the jeweler's soon-to-debut space demonstrates that it is trying to do both.

And, if it leans a little to the Vegas side of the equation, consider that people don't visit that particular city to appreciate the subdued. If you're going to do retail on the Vegas strip, the best bet is to bet big.

The new Tiffany location, slated for a December opening, will emerge as part of CityCenter, an urban resort operation being developed as a Vegas Strip showcase. It will be the jeweler's third in Las Vegas joining Tiffany operations in the Shops at Via Bellagio and The Forum Shops at Caesars.

The youngest of the three certainly won't be the plain sister. Tiffany is mounting its newest Vegas store in Crystals, CityCenter's 500,000-square-foot retail and entertainment complex. Designed by Studio Daniel Libeskind and Rockwell Group, Crystals' name derives from the crystalline canopy that surmounts the space, although the Tiffany that projects to Las Vegas Boulevard will be apropos the moniker. At about 10,000-square-feet, Tiffany will boast a 85-foot-high glass façade canted slightly over the street and shaped like a diamond, in a treatment as subtle as the town it was crafted to impress. But, after all, diamonds are the sparkling centerpiece of the Tiffany tradition.

The store's polished black granite entrance and art deco-inspired stainless steel doors are sent within the façade yet are not so gigantically rendered as to obscure the store's interior spiral steel and glass staircase and curved, multi-layered ceiling. A mirrored wall etched with a vertical pattern of pinstripes will reflect gleaming gold and sterling silver jewelry, and contrast with another covered in an iridescent purple fabric extending the full 85 feet to the store's ceiling. Tiffany declared the interior of the two-level outlet a celebration of movement and light.

The store's second level features a gallery of crystal-covered walls, with column vitrines of bronze-frosted mirrors that provide a decorative offset to designated alcoves housing eyewear, leather accessories and charms, as well as a fashion jewelry salon topped with a contemporary chandelier of candlestick shapes in steel, and the engagement salon with polished Makore wood and shimmering wall coverings. The store seems to have as many salons as 18th century Paris. A 10 foot long glass bridge stretching 25 feet over the floor below will provide access to a private sales salon and a Tiffany Salon will offer professional assistance in surroundings that turn from handmade gold and silver wall coverings to a bar made with more Makore before finally admitting views of Las Vegas Boulevard. Not only sales but also a concierge service, with staff fluent in Mandarin and other languages, are planned for that particular salon.

While Tiffany is intent on offering many of its most renowned collections at the new location, a range of preferences will be indulged and, among the new store's departments, the charm bar will offer mementos of Las Vegas and other of life's more memorable moments. Tiffany will introduce limited-edition jewelry exclusively for the new store including a bracelet of sterling silver charms featuring good luck talismans including a horseshoe, dice, player's chip and ace of spades as well as a Tiffany Key in platinum encrusted with diamonds. In keeping with that particular theme, each step on the crystalline stone and glass staircase joining first floor to second is lit from beneath, emphasizing the curve of the stairs as they shine through the glass façade.

In making the store a destination in and of itself, Tiffany will do more than catch a few extraordinary sales from big winners and big drinkers who might be back at the returns counter within hours. It also will introduce its brand to hoards of consumers who might only have experienced it via the Audrey Hepburn movie or, for younger consumers, the song about Audrey Hepburn the movie.

Mid-way up the staircase, a landing offers seating and a Vegas panorama. No mention was made of the store serving breakfast there, but Tiffany declares that, with the city glittering all around, couples half way up the stairs are in a perfect position to express their love with one of its diamond engagement rings. After all, a Vegas marriage might not last long, but a diamond is forever.