For her primetime interview with Oprah Winfrey, it’s clear that Meghan Markle wants her clothes to do at least some of the talking. Her dress, a stunning silk Armani gown, was chosen specifically for the television special because it features an embroidered lotus bloom, a flower believed to symbolize rebirth and resilience.
She paired the dress with one of Princess Diana’s bracelets, because, per People, “the couple wanted Meghan, who is expecting her second child, to wear the bracelet during the interview so Diana could be with them.” And around her neck is designer Pippa Small’s “Colette” necklace, a gold and aquamarine piece that Meghan wore once before, on the Sussexes’ 2018 royal tour of the Oceania region. Both its unostentatious style, and the fact that the Duchess has worn it previously, suggest simplicity and practicality.
And, as Meghan faces new criticism for wearing earrings gifted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia to a 2018 state dinner in Fiji, the choice to sport an ethical jewelry brand like Pippa Small is a smart one. That said, it’s difficult to know if it was that strategic; news about the controversial earrings broke after the interview was filmed, and Meghan has been a fan of wearing ethical and sustainable fashion since before she even met Prince Harry. (Read Town & Country‘s reporting on the earring controversy here.)
Below, Small, who did not know Meghan was going to wear her necklace for the interview, reflects on how the royal’s endorsement has impacted her business, and what it means to be part of this moment.
What does it mean to you that Meghan’s choosing to wear your necklace for such a big moment?
I am so honored she chose to wear this piece. It has brought us attention at a time when work has been challenging for us all this past year, and this certainly gives us a boost. Meghan is again showing her solidarity with ethical brands.
How does it feel knowing she paired it with one of Princess Diana’s heirloom bracelets?
It feels like being a part of history.
How was Meghan introduced to your work?
We wrote to Meghan a few years ago and told her about the work we do with many charities, communities, and also ethical projects with fair trade and fair-mined gold all over the world. Our work includes a 13 year-long partnership with His Royal Highness Prince Charles’s arts charity Turquoise Mountain, whom we have worked with extensively in Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Jordan.
How has her endorsement impacted your business?
It has been amazing. Meghan has really helped highlight ethical fashion and jewelry by choosing brands like ours. Meghan has brought awareness to a wider audience as to what ethical means and why it’s important.
Why is creating ethical jewelry important to you?
I have young children, and like so many, I fear for the future. In every area of our lives we must stop and question our decisions, choices and ask questions about where, why, and who made what we buy. Jewelry has a long and often controversial history. There are alternatives that can empower communities and provide safe, sustainable employment alongside the movements to provide safer and cleaner mining practices.
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