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Luxury jeweller Tiffany's opens in New Zealand

By Holly Ryan, Brittany Keogh

Kiwi Tiffany & Co fans will be greeted by both familiar and unique sights when they enter the iconic jewellers' New Zealand flagship today.

The 430sqm Britomart store will open its doors a week earlier than originally planned. The Herald reported earlier this year Tiffany & Co would hit New Zealand shores in the first week of November.

Hollywood sirens Natalie Portman and Kate Winslet, as well as Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, have previously graced the red carpet wearing jewellery from the powerhouse.

Glen Schlehuber, vice president and managing director of Tiffany's Oceania market, said customers would be transported to a "magical world of Tiffany" when walked into the grand entrance room where a handmade chandelier glittered from the ceiling.

"You're transported out of Auckland and maybe you're in New York now.

"The elements of the store portray the true feeling of luxury. There's beautiful marble in the store, there's glossy lacquers, polished metal. wood panelling, drapery, apolstered walls."

The brand would host a launch event on November 10, the details of which it was keeping under wraps.

Nestled on Customs St, in the heritage Australis House built in 1903, the Auckland store backed onto Britomart's main square.

Off to the side was the bridal salon, where fans could pick out engagement and wedding rings in famous Tiffany designs.

The shop also had separate areas housing fine jewellery and fashion collections and boasted the first Tiffany watch gallery in Oceania.

Perched on its exterior were awnings in Tiffany Blue, but what was "most amazing", according to Schlehuber, was a replica Atlas clock, which was mounted on the New York's Broadway storefront in 1853.

New Yorkers in the late 19th Century would set their pocket watches by the clock, which featured the mythological character of Atlas shouldering a clock.

The brand had been scoping out a location for its first New Zealand store for a decade, but only found what it was looking for when Britomart was developed, Schlehuber said.

"The building that we've selected for our site is jewel, I believe, in the crown in the Britomart precinct. The precinct - it's got energy, it's sophisticated and those are the same sort of attributes that make Tiffany famous."

Schlehuber told the Herald Tiffany & Co would launch an online store for New Zealand shoppers next year before it sought out locations for stores in other Kiwi cities.

As well as the famous jeweller collections, leather accessories and sunglasses would be on offer in the Auckland store, he said.

"New Zealand definitely won't miss out on anything."

- NZ Herald

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