Tiffany & Co. has sent a controversial message to the Trump administration.
On Tuesday, the iconic jewelry brand posted a statement on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and in an advertisement in the New York Times. The message read, “Dear President Trump. We’re still in for bold climate action. Please keep the U.S. in the Paris Climate Agreement. The disaster of climate change is too real, and the threat to our planet and to our children is too great.”
Response on social media was divided, with some applauding the 180-year-old retailer for taking a political stance, while others preferred their jewelry without commentary. “Are you kidding me,” wrote one woman on Instagram. “My husband will be more than happy to stop spending all his well-earned money here. I am so disappointed. We care for the environment, we want a clean world. Stay away from the politics.”
Another wrote on Facebook, “Thank you for expressing your concerns publicly. Climate change is real and we should all be concerned for the care of our planet and future generations.”
@TiffanyAndCo Really? What’s behind this? What do you expect to gain by making what is essentially a political statement when you’re a jewelry retailer?
— Wyn #StandWithIsrael (@wyn_7) May 9, 2017
Tiffany, as a lifelong loyal customer and a shareholder, I believe it’s best to remain apolitical. Thank you.
— Olivia ???? (@OliviaVivianne) May 9, 2017
— Cara Bendon (@Carabendon) May 9, 2017
— Victor Abundis (@SlickVic5446) May 9, 2017
Anisa Kamadoli Costa, chief sustainability officer at Tiffany & Co., sent the following statement to Yahoo Style: “As part of Tiffany & Co.’s commitment to sustainability, we support the global movement to act on climate change. Using our brand to advocate for this important issue — in addition to Tiffany’s long-term goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 — is one of the most important actions we can take.”
Costa continues: “Tiffany has long recognized the importance of protecting our fragile planet for future generations, and our aspiration is to leave behind a world that is as beautiful and abundant as the one we inherited.”
Tiffany & Co. is not the first company to clarify its political position. Nordstrom, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Shoes.com all dropped Trump merchandise as a response to being placed on the #GrabYourWallet list, a movement that encourages people to boycott companies that sell Trump brands. Fashion designers Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs have refused to dress the first family, while Tommy Hilfiger and Thom Browne have both expressed their enthusiasm for working with first lady Melania Trump.
What makes Tiffany & Co.’s move so controversial is the company’s historic ties to the U.S. presidency. According to its website, during the Civil War, Tiffany & Co. produced ceremonial swords, and its designs have been used on the Congressional Medal of Honor and the dollar bill. The brand has also made White House china and jewelry for former first ladies.
For Donald Trump, the Tiffany connection is even more personal — the president named his 22-year-old daughter, Tiffany Trump, after the New York City flagship store, according to a 1993 story published in the New York Times. “Everything involved with Trump Tower has been successful,” he told the newspaper. “And Trump Tower was built with Tiffany’s air rights. But I’ve also always loved the name.”
And on Inauguration Day in February, Melania Trump, dressed in a powder blue (Tiffany’s signature color) suit by Ralph Lauren, handed former first lady Michelle Obama a gift inside the company’s unmistakable box.
However, the fuzzy feeling may not be mutual. In January, Tiffany & Co., which shares a New York City block with Trump Tower, said a decline in sales over the holiday season was due “at least partly to post-election traffic disruptions” — in other words, increased security at Trump Tower and thousands of protesters on the street.
The president has not yet issued a response to Tiffany & Co.
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