Everyday, with casual ease, Monica Rich Kosann piles on stacks of bracelets, rings and layered necklaces. But these aren’t merely accessories; each and every piece tells a different story. When asked about her jewels, Kosann is always happy to share the family photos in her pendant lockets or the motivating statements engraved on bangles. After all, these are the talismans and mementos that empower the designer.
Here, she shares how the jewels she wears everyday keeps her strong and smiling.
How does jewelry empower you?
Monica Rich Kosann: Jewelry is like a tattoo in the sense that it goes with us everywhere and keeps us strong. All my charms and pendants inspire and empower me for different reasons. Some days I might need more courage so I’ll wear my Never Fear charm; another day I might need more confidence so I’ll wear my I Think I Can pendant. They are my talismans.
I always say jewelry should not just be beautiful, but it should empower and inspire us!
What comes first when you get dressed: the outfit or the jewelry?
MRK: Jewelry. My clothes are always pretty monochromatic, so my jewelry is the star. My outfit is the canvas for my jewelry.
What are your go-to jewelry pieces?
MRK: I wear my charm bracelet every day, it is a part of my identity and I love the feel and sound. The charms include pieces about family, adventures past and present, celebrations and inspirations. Also, I’m rarely without one of my lockets on; depending on my layers it might be a slim locket or my four-image locket—those are my two favorites.
What’s your personal style?
MRK: I adore a monochromatic look with my jewelry because it really highlights the pieces and they become the star. I don’t think you will find a floral print in my closet—maybe a simple stripe, but that’s it. I also love to dress high-low, like wearing a diamond necklace with a white t-shirt and jeans, or a more casual silver layered look with an elegant gown.
Best styling tips?
MRK: There are no rules as far as I am concerned. I love creating my neck mess every morning—sometimes it’s short layers and sometimes it’s long layers. I mix white and yellow golds, enamels, stones and wear rings on many fingers. And there’s no such thing as too many bracelets… as long as they make you feel good.
Whose jewelry do you admire?
MRK: I have always loved Elizabeth Taylor’s charm bracelets. At the Christie’s auction of her jewels, her charm bracelets went for as much as some of the major diamond pieces. That’s because they were a big part of her, and they told her story; it wasn’t about the weight of the gold.
How does jewelry enhance a woman’s image?
MRK: If you wear jewelry that you love, it will translate to looking like you didn’t try too hard and give you confidence. Your pieces are a part of who you are. They set your style because they tell your story and help you navigate life, stay strong and empowered.