Baby name story: Tiffany

Trump Tower, located on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, was completed in late 1983 thanks in part to a $5 million deal with Tiffany & Co. to purchase the unused air space above their flagship store next door.

On October 13, 1993, almost a decade later, Donald Trump and Marla Maples had a baby girl they named Tiffany. Here’s what Trump had to say about Tiffany’s name:

Everything involved with Trump Tower has been successful. And Trump Tower was built with Tiffany’s air rights. But I’ve also always loved the name.

Tiffany was originally an English surname belonging to Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812-1902), co-founder of Tiffany & Co. It was based on the medieval female personal name Tiffania, which can be traced back to the Greek name Theophania, comprised of the elements theos, “God,” and phainein, “to appear.”

The name became popular in the U.S. following the release of the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). It was one of the top 100 girl names in the nation from 1970 until 1999.

Journalist Walter Shapiro wasn’t too keen on Trump’s choice back in 1993. “How much more tasteful had the parents simply explained that Tiffany rhymes with epiphany,” he wrote. He also gave us these prophetic lines:

Picture a kindergarten of the future as the teacher calls the alphabetical roll: “Armani, Burberry, Cartier, Fendi, Gucci, Hermes…” all the way down to “…Valentino, Vuitton and Zabar.” Instead of superhero lunch boxes, these kids will tote personalized shopping bags.

That future is getting closer, Walt. In 2009, hundreds of babies were named Armani and Valentino, and dozens more were named Cartier and Hermes


  • Boyle, Robert H. “The USFL’s Trump Card.” Sports Illustrated 13 Feb. 1984: 53-63.
  • Brozan, Nadine. “Chronicle.” New York Times 14 Oct. 1993.
  • “Donald and Marla have a baby Tiffany.” Reading Eagle 13 Oct. 1993: A10.
  • NYC – Zoning Glossary
  • Shapiro, Walter. “The Importance of Being Tiffany.” TIME 15 Nov. 1993.
  • “Tiffany.” Dictionary of American Family Names. Vol. 3. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

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