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.
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.
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.
In the crowd were local style meisters Cerise Casello, Jayne Lally and the gorgeous Jean DeVries, welcomed by store manager Elizabeth McNerney. Newport Auto Center's debonair Tim Tauber joined Jim Markham and Glenn McMahon, chief executive of St. John Knits. The high-energy opening was designed by Austin Johnston with catering by Bayside Restaurant.
Taking stress out of the dress
On May 3, the Newport Beach company known as STYLE 2020 will host a special evening at its 888 San Clemente Drive executive headquarters, welcoming respected physician and author Dr. Stephanie McClellan. She will talk to the crowd about her latest co-authored book, titled "So Stressed: The Ultimate Stress-Relief Plan for Women."
Newport Beach Councilwoman Leslie Daigle, a current candidate for the state Assembly, will introduce McClellan to the crowd. The talented stylists at STYLE 2020 have created an event themed around McClellan's topic, which they are calling "Stress Resilient Style," or, in other words, how to take the stress out of the dress.
The public is invited to the reception, which will begin at 6 p.m. Please call STYLE 2020 at (949) 219-2360 to RSVP because seating is limited.
Teeing up for SPIN tourney
When it comes to making a difference on the Orange Coast for families and individuals in need, few charitable groups are as hands-on as Serving People In Need (SPIN). The local nonprofit run by the indefatigable Jean Wegener and her super-development exec, Kim Frazier, are in the final planning stages of the annual 2012 SPIN Golf Tournament.
The event tees off May 16 at Strawberry Farms Golf Course in Irvine, and will be a day of fun and surprises. Philanthropic Cliff Fleming of South Coast Helicopters will donate his services for the anticipated "Helicopter Golf Drop."
A putting contest will precede a noontime shotgun start. Following 18 holes, players will enjoy cocktails and supper in the clubhouse with the annual awards presentation. It will include generous prizes provided by local merchants such as A Restaurant and Market, The Monogram Store, Dr. Kate Sahafi DDS, Lido Village Books, YAS Yoga and Spin, STYLE 2020, IntelliSkin athlete wear and Haute Cakes Caffe, to name a few.
To find out more call, Kim Frazier at SPIN: (714) 751-1101 ext. 19.
THE CROWD runs Thursdays and Saturdays. B.W. Cook is editor of the Bay Window, the official publication of the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.