Shopping for designer goods is about more than beauty, workmanship and cost. It’s an emotional experience that often comes with a personal story. In this series, women recall a singular piece and a moment in their journey into luxury.
Westchester, New York, content creator Brooke Ashley, 32, recalls the whole in-store experience of getting her first luxury piece.
The Return to Tiffany & Co. necklace was a status symbol. Of course, Tiffany’s was the hottest thing, the whole Return to Tiffany collection. The girls had the bracelets and I remember, sometimes, the girls having the dupes from Claire’s. I just needed that necklace. I just knew that I would be the coolest thing in seventh grade if I got that necklace and I remember when I got it. I just felt so good.
A lot of my aunts had the bracelet, so I really wanted the necklace. I always said, ‘Let me get the most expensive piece first and then I can work my way down.’ That way I could say, ‘OK, the bracelets are only this and I already have the necklace.’
I went to Americana Manhasset in Long Island with my mother and grandmother. We went to Tiffany & Co. there. My birthday is in May, but we went in November for a late birthday present. It was my 13th birthday, I got this silver Return to Tiffany necklace. My grandmother bought it for me. I’ll always remember that. You couldn’t tell me anything. I was like, ‘Oh, I feel like the baddest.’ I just felt so wealthy with Tiffany on. I was obsessed. I wore it every day.
I couldn’t wait [to wear the necklace]. I’m a very impatient girl, always been that way. I remember the sales associate said, ‘I’m going to gift wrap it,’ and I said, ‘Oh, no, I want to wear it out.’
I loved the feeling of being in the store. I loved how they offered my mom and grandma champagne and offered me water. I was like, ‘Oh, I can’t wait until I’m older, I get to experience this.’ People don’t talk about the fun of that. That’s why I love going into stores. That’s actually why you buy the items, because of the whole experience. It’s really not that much fun to buy a luxury piece online, because you don’t get that experience. I love being catered too and it’s all ‘Ms., would you like some champagne or water? Some almonds?’ I just love that white-glove service.
Liner note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.