Kerry Washington is one of Hollywood’s most admired multi-hyphenates. She is an actress, director and philanthropist. Her latest feather is her investment in direct-to-consumer jewel company, Aurate. Washington collaborates with Aurate founders Bouchra Elzzahraoui and Sophie Kahn for the design of her latest collection that is an ode to, among others, one of the greatest multi-hyphenates of them all: Josephine Baker, actress, producer, singer, dancer, Francophile… and more…”Josephine Baker was a huge inspiration for me, especially when I think of the ’20s and that Parisian Jazz age,” Washington says, adding that she even named her puppy, who sadly passed earlier this year, for the Black performer. Baker made a lasting impression on entertainment, Washington being one of them. The Aurate x Kerry holiday capsule is aptly named “Be the Lead” and launched today. Washington describes Baker’s timeless glamour and the “classic leading women of Hollywood” that she has collaborated with as her secret ingredient in her Aurate collaboration. “You don’t have to be a star or a woman to wear jewelry. Jewelry is open to all genders… That’s one reason why “Be The Lead” felt more inviting and active for a collection. It doesn’t matter who or what background you have, leadership is yours,” says Washington.
Washington tells us that the five-piece collection includes an ear cuff, hoops, a necklace, a ring and a wrap necklace. Prices range from $150 to $580. Each Aurate design combines Aurate’s minimalist appeal with a hint of Old Hollywood red carpet sparkle. Washington and Kahn also took inspiration from the Jazz Age architecture, which is reflected in the collection’s art-deco elements. These included thousands of artists, sculptors and muralists who were able to transform public spaces with their art. Washington was attracted to Aurate’s dedication to making high-quality jewelry more affordable than its competitors, by eliminating the middleman. Ezzahraoui, Kahn, and others are committed to sustainability in design. They adhere to the Kimberly Process – which aims to eliminate conflict diamonds from the global supply chains.
It is a timeless, yet modern collection that encourages wearers to be the stars of their lives. It can also be a way to point others to the star they are. Washington says, “I think [something] from this collection is a really wonderful present to get for somebody you think of as someone who’s been a leader, somebody whom you have inspired, or somebody who needs encouragement.” Washington reminds us that no matter what you do to celebrate the leader in your life this holiday season, there is no need to put off the gift hunting. Don’t wait! Everything I’m seeing says that the supply chain will be a problem. Don’t delay, go out and shop!