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‘Travel Jewelry’ Is the New Aspirational Term In Our Lexicon

Kathy Hilton and Anna Zuckerman debut their new sustainable statement jewelry collection.

‘Travel Jewelry’ Is the New Aspirational Term In Our Lexicon
Courtesy of Mark Von Holden

Walking into the palatial foyer of Kathy Hilton’s Bel Air home, I see a table of Harry Winston-sized jewels on display. It’s not exactly an unlikely sight, given the venue, but there is something more distinctly playful about the jewelry as you take a closer look. Bold shapes, springy color palettes, theatrical statement pieces–it invites a kind of experimental candy-shop excitement. Kathy Hilton seems to approach the collection with the same spirit, picking them up excitedly and changing them out on her wrists like a girl in her mother’s jewelry box. To a certain extent, it is her mother’s jewelry box. The collection itself is modeled after her family’s precious heirlooms. Hilton explains, “I have a beautiful collection of jewelry from my husband, my mother-in-law, my mother, and grandfather. I decided I wasn’t really wearing it so I put it in the bank so I could sleep at night.” After joining forces with experienced fine jewelry designer, Anna Zuckerman, the pair went on a field trip to the bank vault to find inspiration for their eponymous jewelry collaboration. Hilton continues, “I’ve always collected what I call ‘travel jewelry’ because nowadays you can’t really tell the difference with a lot of [jewels].” For people who don’t own the type of jewelry that would cause you to lose sleep, “travel jewelry” is the kind that doesn’t require insurance and a lockbox.

The partnership between Zuckerman and Hilton was three years in the making (mainly playing phone tag over Instagram DM during the pandemic), but when they finally linked up, the collection came to fruition within a matter of months. Zuckerman explains, “We've [created a collaboration] and now it's Kathy Hilton x Anna Zuckerman. Kathy can send a message; I make the jewelry. I worked at the bench my entire life.” Zuckerman not only comes from a long lineage of jewelers, but she has her hand in every part of the process. From sourcing sustainable recycled metals to sourcing and manufacturing lab-created gems, the process always “results in a finish that looks and feels real.” With pieces ranging from $120 to $2,875, you don’t need to re-mortgage your house for a statement piece with some gravitas. Running the gamut from flirty to costumey to sophisticated, the collection is deeply versatile. “This is playful and fun. I'm wearing jeans. I'm not trying to act like it's real,” says Hilton. This jewelry can sit demurely on a bridesmaid or become a statement piece when paired with jeans and a T-shirt. High-low is back in. Anne Hathaway wears Bulgari with Gap on the red carpet. Mob wives are trending. Maximalism is out. Long live bold, opulent, statement jewelry.

When asked where they imagine the Zuckerman x Hilton brand will go in the future, they argue the possibilities are endless. Zuckerman says, “Maybe a candle, maybe a beach bag, headband, or a hat.” Hilton adds, “And I love brooches.” We all agree that brooches on men are our favorite style trend of 2024. When Hilton begins brainstorming more men’s options, I offer, “Maybe a bolo tie?” Her eyes widen, “Yes! Like Beyoncé. You are so industrious. Andie, welcome to the partnership.” While you can find this sustainable, glamorous collection online today, you also have a chance to shop in person following the opening of the brand's brick-and-mortar shop in Aspen in the upcoming weeks. For me? I might just hold out for a Kathy Hilton bolo tie.

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