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Ashley Graham on Her Most-Worn Jewellery, Celebrating Milestones and Her Favourite Fashion Trend
The model stars in Pandora’s newest campaign, Diamonds by Pandora, which launched on August 25.
by : Heather Taylor-Singh- Aug 26th, 2022
Having nice, high-quality jewellery almost always comes with a soaring price tag. Enter: Pandora, one of the world’s largest jewellery brands. On August 25, the brand launched their newest collection, Diamonds by Pandora, which aims to empower people to buy their own diamonds, and wear them every day—ranging from $300 to $1,950. To further solidify the brand’s commitment to sustainability- the collection is made with 100% recycled silver and gold, using lab-created diamonds grown in the United States. Since Pandora was founded in 1982, this is the first time the brand is releasing a completely sustainable collection.
Diamonds by Pandora includes rings, bracelets, necklaces and earring— at a modest price point. Pandora designers Francesco Terzo and Filippo Ficarelli have worked to give us chic jewels, without the astronomical prices. The collection is a modern interpretation on the brand’s classic infinity motif—each thoughtfully crafted loop features little gemstones which refract against the light, giving off exceptional sparkle.
“Diamonds by Pandora represents a new day for diamonds. The collection’s lasting style and the idea of accessibility encourages women to feel empowered to buy their own diamond jewellery to fit their personal style,” Terzo said.
“The design direction is a reminder of life’s infinite possibilities,” Ficarelli said. “The collection points to a future of affordable jewellery created in a way that reduces the burden on our planet.”
One of the collection’s campaign stars is model Ashley Graham, who sports the jewellery pieces with exceptional radiance. Graham has been in the fashion industry for over two decades, modelling for brands like Fendi and Prabal Gurung. Through her time in the industry, Graham has created a safe space to empower women to love their bodies in their most natural form and celebrate their most authentic selves. We chatted with Graham about the Diamonds by Pandora campaign, her favourite jewellery piece and the one fashion trend she hopes never goes away.
What is your taste like when it comes to jewellery? Are you into simple or statement pieces?
For me, less is more but a lot of less. I like the understated [jewellery], but [I also love] layering the double chain [with simpler pieces] and stackable [jewellery.] have 17 or 18 piercings in my ears, so I love mixing metals and diamonds. It’s just so fun to just put a random curation all together. If I’m going to wear one piece, it’s going to be the statement and like everything else is understated.
For today, what’s your vibe?
It’s the same [as I mentioned above.] I’ve got little stackable rings, several earrings. [I’m wearing] my favourite earrings from the collection. I love the double chains— I just think it’s so good.
How has your relationship with jewellery changed as you’ve gotten older?
My taste level has gotten better. It comes with maturity [and] it comes with experience in the fashion industry. In high school, I was the earring girl, like [I wore] chandeliers, and I worked in a fast food restaurant and I was the girl who did take out through the drive-thru. When [customers] would come around, I had my big, ole’ chandelier earrings—I always got compliments. [But] In the last couple of years, I’ve definitely become a layered necklace chick.
Tell me about one piece of jewellery that you can’t leave the house without.
My wedding ring and my earrings. I feel naked [without them.] My thumb always goes to my wedding ring, just to touch it, like out of habit. [But also] every hole is covered in my ear.
I read that you wore your jewellery when you gave birth to your first child, Isaac. What was that like? Did you do the same when your twins were born?
Did I have jewellery on when I gave birth to the twins? I forget. I maybe had a necklace on with the twins. But when I had Isaac, I was just really obsessed with wearing chains at the time. I remember there’s a video of when he came out and he came onto my chest [and I] pulled the chains to the side. God, this poor little baby just came into the world and had to have cold chains on their skin. Honestly, [I wore necklaces during labour] because I would sleep in them—I just never took them off. Unless I had the job that required it. And luckily, none of my kids have broken any of my chains.
This campaign is really championing empowerment and inclusivity. What does that mean to you?
What’s really great about the initiative that Pandora is doing right now is talking about milestones, and celebrating milestones in your life. Big, small, personal, professional. We just had a party [to celebrate the collection] where they had brought a bunch of different types of women in to celebrate their milestones—anywhere between surviving breast cancer, writing a book, starting your own business. Something that we forget to do in our day-to-day life is celebrate ourselves for the big and the little things. So I appreciate that. That alone is empowering for yourself and for the people around you watching you live your life.
What was the last moment that you celebrated yourself for?
I have really, in these last seven months, been celebrating myself. I have three little kids and I’m doing it with a smile on my face. Yes, I’m tired, but I’m not exhausted. Yes, it’s a lot, but I’m having fun. That to me is such a big celebration.
What’s your favourite pieces from the Diamonds by Pandora collection?
Definitely the double layer chain because there’s that one little teardrop diamond and then it’s got the two chains on one side, one chain on the other, so it looks like it’s multi-layered. I love that.
As we know, diamonds are forever. What’s one fashion or jewellery trend that you hope stays around for a long time?
I do love this cargo pants era we’re in. I love [wearing] my cargo pants— it’s very hard to get away from [wearing them], so I’m kind of married to them. I just hope it doesn’t go away for a long time. They go with everything—they’re like the new jeans. You start small, you get like a tapered pair, then a little baggier. There’s high rise, low rise. You get camo or dark [colours], you get black.
I wonder if they make denim cargo pants.
I’m sure there are some out there.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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