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The Crowd: Tiffany and Co. celebrates 175 years

April 27, 2012|By B.W. Cook
  • Britta Wetteskind and Julie Prouty at the opening of SAS Shampoo & Style in Costa Mesa.
Britta Wetteskind and Julie Prouty at the opening of SAS… (unknown, Daily…)

In another election year, perhaps one of the most significant in American history, the president-elect wanted to buy his wife a gift of jewelry to wear at his inauguration.

The year was 1861 and the new American leader was Abraham Lincoln. He walked into one of New York's fashionable salons known as Tiffany & Co. and purchased a strand of seed pearls for Mary Todd Lincoln, which she wore at the inauguration.

Tiffany & Co. celebrates its 175th anniversary this year. Founded in New York in 1937, with an initial investment of $1,000 borrowed from family members, fast forward to today and the international jeweler records a $3.6 billion-a-year sales volume.

Michael Botsko, the sophisticated store director at Tiffany & Co.'s South Coast Plaza store, reports that the American standard bearer in luxury goods has a year of impressive plans ahead. Recently, Tiffany & Co. introduced a new metal named Rubedo, marking another milestone in the company's legacy.

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The term comes from "the medieval philosophy of alchemy, a title applied to the highest achievement when matter and spirit fused to create something of rare beauty."

Tiffany & Co.'s 21st century Rubedo blends gold, silver and copper. Metallurgists experimented at length to come up with the desired blend, ultimately declaring that the new metal embodied the glow of "first light."

Botsko invites the O.C. community to stop in the shop and experience Rubedo, the first creative unveiling in what promises to be a remarkable year of artistic advancement for the company that catered to Abraham Lincoln for his inauguration.

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Shampoo & Style opens

Elsewhere in Costa Mesa, a family business catering to the personal beauty requirement of the social set has opened its trendy doors. The pretty and petite powerhouse real estate producer, Monica Ruggieri, joined with her handsome actor son, Mike, in opening the latest concept in hair styling they call SAS Shampoo & Style.

"It's all about hairstyling that includes the wash, blow dry and style for the price of $35," said Ruggieri, welcoming some 300 guests to her white-tented grand opening evening at the 17th Street salon, designed with panache by Lois Inchicki and the famous Barclay Butera.

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