The Condé Nast College was delighted to welcome Barratt West, Vice President & Managing Director of Tiffany & Co., UK and Ireland, to our virtual lecture theatre for an industry talk. Leading all aspects of the UK operation of Tiffany & Co., Barratt joined the company in 2012.
About Barratt West
Barratt’s role at iconic luxury jewellery brand Tiffany & Co. includes responsibility for the retail stores in the region as well as a vibrant e-commerce side of the business. He has been responsible for transforming the client experience, elevating customer service and embedding clienteling as a behavioural change.
When he joined Tiffany & Co., Barratt brought with him 25 years of retail experience, much of it in the luxury sector in the UK and Europe. Previously, he was Managing Director at Elizabeth Arden UK Ltd., and prior to this role, he was Geneva-based heading up Travel Retail Europe and the Middle East in the capacity of General Manager before returning to the UK.
About Tiffany & Co.
A transformative time for the renowned brand, Tiffany is steeped in a rich history, founded in 1837 by jeweller Charles Lewis Tiffany. It became famous in the early 20th Century under the artistic direction of his son Louis Comfort Tiffany.
A brand synonymous with glamour thanks to the Truman Capote novel and later film – Breakfast at Tiffany’s, starring Audrey Hepburn, and popularity among leading ladies worldwide. Classic and enduring are the words that spring to mind when thinking of this brand of fine jewellery.
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During his talk, Barratt guided our students through the DNA of Tiffany & Co. as well as the witty and playful window displays, the trademark “Tiffany Blue”, and legendary yellow diamond. Threaded throughout his talk was Tiffany & Co.’s core values of diversity, inclusion, gender equality, LGTBQI+ equality, and sustainability for which Barratt gave examples on how the company focuses on these values in an age of e-commerce and hyper buying-power amongst consumers.
Barratt spoke of the forward motion of the brand towards a more modern, more joyful attitude. Speaking passionately about how the brand is moving toward a more surprising, witty era where luxury doesn’t equal formality, mentioning that the core message is to reflect a more empowered woman with strong independent views.
“My maxim is grab the opportunity when you can. Go everywhere, do everything and when you do get there, look at the positives of where you are.”
Key Takeaways from Barratt West’s Industry Talk
Barratt’s talk was inspiring and encouraging. He mentioned the importance of trust between a leader and their team, as well as the importance of asking questions and really listening to the answers. He stated that to be a successful leader one must show direction and often make bold decisions and to praise colleagues and encourage them, to start with an aim in mind of where you want to get to.
Most importantly, he laid importance on being flexible and agile, especially now during the pandemic.
One of the most poignant gems of advice for our students was that “People don’t care until they know that you care” words to live by as our students progress in their studies and careers.