Fine Jewelry That’s A Force For Female Empowerment: Girl Up Collection

Girl Up Collection Stackable Power Gem Bracelets with Empowering Charms $190 – $400 Classic Link

The dynamic movement for global gender equality takes fine jewelry form in the new Girl Up Collection. Designed to appeal in equal measure to women of all ages, including girls aged 12 – 19, this activist jewelry range benefits the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up initiative, a global leadership development program that coaches girls to fulfill their potential, while also working for gender equality through 4,000 Girl Up clubs in the USA and over 100 countries. New York-based UNI Creation, one of the industry’s long-trusted suppliers of both responsibly sourced diamonds and finished jewelry, along with veteran jewelry marketing consultant Andrea Hansen of Luxe Intelligence, are in partnership with Girl Up, whose influential supporters include former First Lady of the U.S. Michelle Obama, actor Kate Hudson and model/actor/singer Cara Delevingne.

Having already made a six-figure corporate contribution to the Girl Up initiative, the jewelry brand is also pledging 5% of all Girl Up Collection jewelry sales to support the organization’s programs, which since 2010, have been training and mobilizing girls to be effective advocates and agents for global gender equality. As UNI Creation’s owner and CEO Ashit Parikh related, “The Girl Up Initiative is founded on the premise that when girls rise, the world rises with them. We stand with every girl as a force for good in her community, and in the world. We want to help girls lead the way,” he continued, “so that they gain equal rights, develop individual and community strengths that combine to create a better world.”

Andrea Hansen is equally focused on making Girl Up Collection a catalyst for training more capable and highly skilled female thinkers, leaders and innovators. “In this era of instant gratification,” she explained, “jewelry has lost market share to personal electronics and fleeting experiential luxury, both of which have short lifespans. Fine jewelry,” she ventured, “holds an enduring emotional and intrinsic value that stands the test of time. Attracting Gen Z and Millennial consumers is critical and giving them jewelry to get excited about is key. Girl Up Collection,” she asserted, “offers fun, collectible designs that make a statement about the wearer’s personal commitment to female empowerment, while simultaneously supporting the cause in a literal and tangible way.”

 

Speaking of literal and tangible effects, in the past 11 years, the Girl Up initiative has fostered the personal and social development of 75,000 girl leaders in 120 countries and all 50 U.S. states. Led by Executive Director Melissa Kilby and her team at the United Nations Foundation, the initiative has raised more than $27 million for girls’ leadership programs and impact partners at the United Nations. According to Kilby, “UNI Creation embraces our core values of community, and has transformed those ideals into jewelry pieces you can wear. The Girl Up Collection is more than a jewelry line. Each piece,” she asserts, “is symbolic of our movement, and highlights strength, compassion, and togetherness. Each piece starts conversations about what Girl Up is and highlights the work of our young leaders before a word is ever spoken. That’s what makes the Girl Up Collection so special.”

As Hansen explained, jewelry designs in the Girl Up Collection are informed by a recent data-driven international survey of 14 to 19-year-old girls called Her GenZ World: Insights into the Global Girl. (The study was created by BAVGroup, a Y&R consultancy, and creative partner Berlin Cameron, in partnership with the Girl Up initiative’s board of Teen Advisors.) Conducted in five languages, the project queried girls in the United States, United Kingdom, Colombia, Mexico, Spain, India, and China. Notably, the study reveals that globally, Gen Z girls are motivated by social conscience and thus prefer to buy goods from companies that take steps to improve various social conditions. More compelling insights into the consciousness of Gen Z girls include:

*65 percent of them surveyed say that buying from brands that give back to their community is important, while 72 percent agree it’s important to buy products or services from brands that are environmentally friendly.

*81 percent of girls think being given equal education in STEM as boys is important, yet only 42 percent feel they have equal access

*68 percent of Gen Z girls agree that their generation has more stress and anxiety than previous generations, yet 49 percent feel they can easily access quality mental health resources in their communities.

Hansen noted that, “The UN’s “Her Gen Z World” research makes it clear how important it is to young women for brands to give back and to contribute in meaningful ways to the conversation about social issues. “I am a big believer in female empowerment,” she added, “and tying female empowerment to jewelry combines two of my greatest passions.”

To maximize the relevance of the Girl Up Collection’s style and substance, Hansen connected the brand with Hal Rubenstein, a founding editor of InStyle magazine and the author of six authoritative fashion books, to serve as creative artistic director for the jewelry range. “What’s so exciting about the Girl Up Collection’s contemporary design,” Rubenstein explained, “is the way we’ve linked jewelry to advocacy.” Major national retailers such as Macy’s also back the Initiative: 18 pieces from the collection are available on the Macy’s website. This collection is composed of fine silver and yellow or rose gold. With retail prices ranging from $35 – $900, the range’s designs and price points will doubtless appeal to female self-purchasers of all ages, and those buying gifts. Many jewels in the line adorn all genders with suitable style.

Comprising designs in sterling silver and fine gold that embody motivational symbols and phrases, the pieces are set with pink and blue sapphires, as well as ethically sourced diamonds. The “Power Gems” assortment consists of bracelets made of hand-cut, 6-7 mm beads of precious and semi-precious gems such as ruby, sapphire, emerald, opal, amethyst, pearl, labradorite, turquoise, watermelon tourmaline and moonstone that are unisex in appeal.

Ranging from $65.00 for a pink morganite bead and sterling Girl Up charm bracelet to $530.00 for a three bracelet set gleaming with milky aquamarine for harmony, blue sapphire for truth, and white moonstone for inspiration, the bracelets stretch to fit various wrist sizes and can be worn alone or stacked. Three removable sterling silver charms with trigger clasps add meaning. The Dove Charm with blue sapphires is for peace and understanding, the Heart Talisman Charm with diamonds is for love and compassion and the Laurel Leaf Charm with diamonds symbolizes achievement. All charms have trigger clasps so they can be worn with necklaces or on link bracelets. “My favorite pieces in the collection are the ones that utilize the dove,” said Kilby. “The dove is so symbolic of Girl Up – representing unity, peace and community.”

While the dove symbol animates many Girl Up Collection designs to convey peace and freedom for all, jewels in the shape of laurel leaves reference the laurel logo of the United Nations Foundation, as well as Olympic laurels. Jewels in the shape of planet earth symbolize unity and global consciousness, while star motifs encourage girls to fulfill their potential by aiming high and reaching for the stars. Some of the most compelling pieces in the Girl Up Collection embody the “Fearless Girl” symbol. This motif is based on the bronze sculpture of the same name that stands on the street outside the New York Stock Exchange building. Standing with both hands on her hips while confidently facing the world, the sculpture is girl power incarnate, and so are the Girl Up Collection’s Fearless Girl charms and pendant necklaces, along with necklaces that spell out, “Fearless”, “Girl Up” and “Fierce.”

The Girl Up initiative grew out of media mogul Ted Turner’s philanthropy. In September, 1997, Turner announced his pledge of up to $1 billion to United Nations causes through the creation of the United Nations Foundation (UNF). The UNF supports the goals and objectives of the United Nations to promote a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world. UNF has identified four core priorities: women and population, children’s health, the environment, and peace and security. These priorities are embodied in the symbols and messages of the Girl Up Collection.

Shoppers and retailers can view the Girl Up Collection by visiting the website. The Virtual Try On feature allows anyone browsing on their phone or tablet to try on Girl Up Collection jewels digitally. They can even share the look with a friend or post on social media. After viewing the jewels on their phone or tablet, they choose an item, select “Try it on” and follow the prompts to position themselves in the frame. Next, they take a selfie or “capture” the picture of where they’d like to try on the jewelry. The selected item is automatically placed on their picture. (People may need to pinch the image with their fingers or use their mouse to enlarge and move it around the photo to situate it.) They can turn and spin the jewelry 360 degrees to see it in all possible ways. Download the picture— and it’s saved.

Although the Girl Up Collection seems destined to be a hit for Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanzaa gifts, the release of this Collection also comes just in time for International Day of the Girl Child, which falls on Monday October 11 this year. This international observance day declared by the United Nations was first celebrated on October 11, 2012. By retailing or purchasing pieces from the Girl Up Collection, people around the world can help support girls and young women as they gain valuable knowledge and skills, create new opportunities for themselves, and thereby advance gender equality.