Beyoncé, JAY-Z Tiffany Ad Controversy
In addition, this close collaboration with the Carters focuses on vulnerability and connection. The Carter’s story of love mixed with the iconic Tiffany Diamond and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Equals Pi (1982) launches the famed jewelers’ new brand identity.
Shot in Los Angeles’ Aurum House – Beyoncé is channeling Audrey Hepburn’s character from the iconic rom-com Breakfast at Tiffany’s. In the ad, the famous singer wears a black fitted dress, long mesh gloves, and an updo hairstyle.
— Roc Nation (@RocNation) August 23, 2021
Moreover, the main attraction is the $30 million Tiffany yellow diamond necklace on the superstar’s neck. Yet it’s the same one Hepburn often wore when promoting a film. This gemstone is how Tiffany solidified its reputation as a brand authority. Beyoncé made history as the first black woman to wear the 128.54 carats, Tiffany Diamond.
Come to think of it; this whole ad campaign had a lot of first.
But even though the famous dynamic duo made history, all the attention went to the Jean-Michel Basquiat painting hanging in the background.
Behind The Artist: Basquiat
Jean-Micheal Basquiat still is one of the most influential neo-expressionist artists. He is known for his graffiti-inspired paintings and his work with Andy Warhol. Basquiat, who died of a drug overdose in his 20s, left behind a collection of his work that has never been seen. This robin blue egg painting was acquired by Tiffany & Co.
Nonetheless, many flocked to Twitter to question how the anti-capitalist artist would feel about the use of his art to advertise jewelry.
insane to me that rich people can just buy art from artists who have passed and no one else gets to see it, kinda gross imo like these pieces should be able to be seen by everyone, thats literally what basquiat woulda wanted https://t.co/GVb3lRSkAE
— 🌷💫 (@__lukec) August 23, 2021
they been hiding a basquiat for decades just to use it for a Tiffany’s ad? https://t.co/LH0XiXbEu9
— phinneas flynn 💫 (@ScBayScJohnson) August 23, 2021
The fact that they showed off this never-before-seen piece of art from Jean-Michel Basquiat for an ADVERTISEMENT doesn’t sit well with my spirits… pic.twitter.com/MOCpOukf8T
— Professor Wright 🎓 (@Savion) August 23, 2021
People also had mixed feelings about the luxury brands pledge to donate $2 million towards scholarship and internship programs for Historical Black Colleges and Universities.
But let me tell you, they’re donating money to HBCU, they’re making their brand more inclusive. But you’re staying hateful & angry for the wrong reason, which will change nothing.
— ビヨンセ 🐝 (@BeyhiveDexter) August 24, 2021
Bey Z Basquiat ad also brings @TiffanyAndCo pledging $2M to HBCU’s. I don’t think $18.6K per 107 HBCU is gonna cut it.
MacKenzie Scott (ex Mrs. Bezos) donated $40M to Howard and $20M each to Moorehouse and Spelman.
Netflix CEO and wife donated $40M to both Moorehouse & Spelman.
— XVIII 🧠 (@MerdeXVIII) August 24, 2021
But there was still some overall support. Regardless of the backlash faced, Tiffany & Co. is putting a lot of money into this annual campaign with the Carters. The print campaign will drop on September 2 and a short film with Beyoncé singing “Moon River” on September 15.