saying, ‘Let’s go there now!’
If it wasn’t Tunisia, it was India or Morocco or Bali; being exposed to a diverse tapestry of people and places from such a young age had a huge impact on my life. It’s why I studied medical anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, which led to working on human-rights projects for indigenous tribes. When I was 22, I lived among the Kalahari Bushmen in Botswana and the Batwa pygmies in Rwanda. To fund my studies, I sold jewelry while
“I have been so LUCKY to experience how DIVERSE the earth is and how extraordinary HUMANS can be”
traveling that I’d made with natural gems, shells and stones collected along the way: from Naga shells from India to Labradorite stones that looked like oysters.
I have never considered jewelry
as superficial adornment, but as a way of protecting oneself and connecting with the earth. It wasn’t until I was encouraged by a young woman I met in Thailand, while working with Burmese refugees, to show my pieces in Paris during Fashion Week that the demand for my jewelry grew. Then, in 2002, I collaborated on a jewelry line with Tom Ford at Gucci and enlisted the stone-cutting skills of the Kalahari Bushmen. I realized I could meld these two worlds by helping indigenous people become self-sufficient through craft. Now, I work with tribes through initiatives in Afghanistan, Kenya, Botswana and Rwanda. To say my job is inspiring is an understatement.
I think women find my pieces desirable because they want organic fine jewelry that is individual and not mass-produced – no two pieces of mine are the same. I want women to feel the same as I do when I wear these pieces – completely empowered. This season, I was inspired by the traditional spiritual Indian concept
of Navaratna, which allows the wearer to connect with the cosmos through nine gemstones that symbolize the planets.
Aside from work, I consider my greatest achievement in life to be my beautiful twins, Mac and Madeleine, who turned one earlier this year. At 44, I am an older mother and it wasn’t easy
to have my babies, but the difficult journey has been worth it; they have made me the happiest woman on the planet. I have been so lucky to experience how diverse the earth is and how extraordinary human beings can be – I just can’t wait to share that with them.”
“SLEEK BLOCK colors ensure my jewelry is the focal point of my look.”
“I WEAR dark indigo jeans with metallic sandals in summer.”
“A SHAWL IS A versatile travel companion.”
and jewelry as before
Stylist: Helen Broadfoot. Art direction: Gemma Stark. Makeup and hair: Katie Fine. Fashion assistant: Kelly Hogarth