East Nashville Gets ’80s Pop Star Power
Tiffany opens new boutique—without a jean jacket in sight
"I can cross this off my bucket list!” exclaimed a wide-eyed woman who wandered into the new Tiffany’s Boutique, moments after being rendered speechless by the sight of the shop’s famous, eponymous owner. Sporting a slightly darker shade of her trademark red hair, the singer-songwriter—best known for her 1987 hit recording “I Think We’re Alone Now”—welcomed her fan with a warm smile and a hug. Minutes later—the star-struck magic not quite gone—purchases began piling up in clouds of hot pink tissue paper.
“I get a lot of fans from around the world,” Tiffany explained earlier over afternoon tea at Marché. Now those fans can get a dose of vintage-inspired pop star power at The Shoppes on Fatherland.
“I used to live here, over on Shelby [Avenue], before East Nashville was cool,” Tiffany says. She now lives with her husband and their nine dogs (who have their own nanny) in White House, about 30 miles north of Nashville, where the first Tiffany’s Boutique opened in 2012. “But I always do my meetings here, all my friends are here and I’ve been wanting to have a store here. I love it when it’s 10 a.m. on a Saturday, and somebody’s got on shorts and tights and a funky hat walking their bulldog, and I’m like, ‘That’s my girl!’ I knew they would get it.”
Stepping inside the rather small store is like entering a celebrity’s rather large closet: purpleand pink-painted walls are packed from floor to ceiling but neatly organized and, even for the amateur shopper, conquerable. Everything seems to fall into two covetous categories: shiny or soft. Sparkling necklaces dangle from window displays, while leather bracelets and supersized cocktail rings sparkle with bling. Fur vests purr from their hangers, while lacy camisoles and gauzy maxi dresses float nearby. Tulle and rhinestones embellishments elevate a tweed blazer into a statement piece. A satin Marc Jacobs “little black dress” that just arrived at the store seems ready for the spotlight. But, oh—the shoes! Metallic strappy sandals from the fabled Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik perch regally on their pedestals, just feet away from the ultimate party heels that seem to have been dipped in confetti glitter and a pair of quirky but sort-of-perfect blue corduroy pointy-toe boots.
“That’s what I got into this for: to find pieces that were unique and different,” Tiffany says. She started collecting funky finds and vintage pieces from around the world more than a decade ago, with the dream of opening a store someday. Some items in the store have been lived-in; others are brand new and come in a variety of sizes. “I’ve been a shopaholic since the mall tour!” Tiffany says, nodding to the cross-country jaunt that helped launch her pop career in 1987. She discovers most of the merchandise while on the road performing or on frequent trips back to Los Angeles, all while working on a new album of ballads to be released later this year. “Music is my passion, songwriting is my passion,” Tiffany says, “but second to that is the boutiques.”
If browsing at a store owned and curated by Tiffany isn’t enough for you, the singer/ shop owner also schedules private shopping days. But she admits that some of her fashion advice has been hard-won—including the tips she gained in an appearance on “What Not to Wear” last year.
“I’ve been hit-and-miss,” she says laughing. “But you need to wear what you’re comfortable in. And that doesn’t mean frumpy!” Confiding that she still has sweatpants and ponytail days, she says her recent 35-pound weight loss has helped boost her confidence, on and off the stage. “You don’t have to be a size 2. A lot of bigger-sized women come in, and I love working with them … I’m constantly throwing myself in the fire to have more wisdom for what I’m doing—and to take that wisdom to a lot of women who can’t afford a stylist, or have no need for a stylist, but still wonder, ‘What do I do with this?’”
The woman who singlehandedly catapulted the jean-jacket craze of the ’80s cites the 1970s as her favorite decade of style. Femme Punk designers Betsey Johnson and Vivienne Westwood, as well as boho-gypsy singersongwriters Janis Joplin and Stevie Nicks are her fashion icons. True to form, Tiffany plans to launch her own line of handmade tie-dye dresses in 2014. And just in case you missed them, she is also working on a line of—you guessed it—jean jackets.
Tiffany’s Boutique is located at 1006 Fatherland St., Suite 201. Hours are 11:30a.m.-7p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11:30a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday.