For Women, By Women
This Women’s History Month, I want to give a nod to all the women being seen and being heard in a notoriously male-dominated industry. The irony of men running the world’s largest jewelers — think Tiffany’s, Cartier, Harry Winston—is inescapable. It’s a simple but true trope, women know what women want.
While these brands are iconic, ideally, a jewelry collection is an intimate reflection of one’s self; not purely a one-size-fits-all status symbol. It’s why I believe so strongly in the Jewelry Edit’s mission to act as a direct line to the needs and wants of our clients—to understand who they are. As a society, we’re in a far different place today than when these heritage brands were in their prime. And where we are today is a place that’s more inclusive and aware of diversity, sustainability and social activism – the issues at the heart of our mission. We have a long way yet to go, but progress is being made.
The new wave of designers we’re introducing to The Jewelry Edit is inspiring, especially as I think back to my time as a naïve designer trying to transition from working as an associate in a law firm to the world of fashion. I’ve spoken about it many times before, but gender and race are inextricably linked to the issue of lack of representation. From Anthropologie to Saks Fifth Avenue, to Neiman Marcus, I always dealt with white buyers. No racial diversity amongst buyers is limiting and isolating, not to mention discouraging. I’m grateful to have been sold in so many stores and to have contributed to diversifying their collections. However, it’s clear that much work still needs to be done as highlighted in a recent New York Times article that tracked the progress of the fashion industry’s inclusivity.
My team is fueled by female energy, through and through. My team is also 80% women of color. I’m trying to create a better path to success than the one I traveled. I’m proud that we’ve created a brand that caters to all different lifestyles, not just the ones filled with glamourous vacations and 18K gold everything. Frankly, we need to increase the accessibility of jewelry for women of all stripes. It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a $5,000 diamond ring or a $80 hand painted cuff, both can capture excitement and confidence.
Pursuing diversity solely for diversity’s sake can be short-sighted. We need to strive towards what is right—a place in the industry where women of all colors and backgrounds are welcomed and empowered. Change is on the horizon. And when we work outside of a white, corporate construct through the power of social media, our ability to push past a history of marginalization is quite literally at our fingertips.