Powerhouse actress Kerry Washington ventures into the design space with her latest project, a capsule collection of jewelry created in collaboration with Aurate. Aurate is a sustainable, New York City-based direct-to-consumer brand that crafts it’s wares using 100 percent recycled gold and ethically-sourced diamonds. There is also a philanthropic aspect of the company, with twenty percent of proceeds from all pendant sales go to women’s activism group Supermajority.
For Washington, who is not just the face of the new Aurate campaign but is also as an investor, teaming up with the jewelry brand and its two founders, Sophie Kahn and Bouchra Ezzahraoui, was a no-brainer. She was instantly drawn to the brand’s transparency on the types of pieces made, how they were being made, and who they were being made for. “When I met Sophie and Bouchra, I just pretty much became obsessed with them. They’re so smart and beautiful and tenacious. I loved them. I loved their jewelry, because, of course, they’re always wearing it, and I really loved what they were building,” Washington tells BAZAAR.com. “I love this idea of building a company that was really invested in cutting out the middleman so that you can avoid the insane markups for fine jewelry and making high-quality, beautiful fine jewelry accessible to more women.”
To announce her decision to sign on as an Aurate investor, Washington had a hand in co-designing the new Lioness Collection, which features a mixed-texture necklace, a corresponding bracelet, link huggie earrings, and the Lion Coin Pendant. All the pieces are meant to symbolize the power, strength, and resilience that lives within women. Applying the lioness symbolism to women, Washington says, “I just love that imagery for how it speaks to the power of women when women come together, how we are both fierce and loving. We also started working with the imagery of Sekhmet, who is a goddess from Egyptian mythology. Her name literally translates to, ‘She who is powerful,’ but she was a warrior, because she is a warrior goddess and also a goddess of healing.”