Power Pearls: How a Classic Gemstone Came to Represent Female Empowerment

When it comes to jewellery, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris likes keeping things subtle – at least to the average eye. Looking a little more closely at her fashion choices, you’ll quickly notice a recurring theme: pearls.

Pearls have served as the favourite gem of royalty since the Victorian era. The lustrous and pure elegance of pearls surely stands out as an unfailing sign of good taste. Queen Elizabeth II loves keeping things traditional and thus swears by her three strands of pearls. You can rarely she the monarch without her favourite necklaces which have evolved into a part and parcel of her official uniform.

The sheer aura of pearls has also captivated ladies in the field of politics. Martha Washington, the foremost First Lady turned heads with a dove-shaped pearl studded pin and a beautiful double stranded gold and pearl chain necklace. Next came Abigail Adams who popularised the concept of faux pearls which became a rage during the 18th century. 1960s style icon Jackie Kennedy was occasionally seen donning diamonds while pearls served as her ultimate BFF. She felt that pearls can blend in effortlessly with any attire from your wardrobe and can help you nail a sophisticated look irrespective of the occasion. Her signature piece was a triple strand pearl necklace which looked gorgeous when worn over bright and bold hued dresses. The iconic and timeless pearls have been graced numerous first ladies of USA since then.

Harris also nurtured a soft spot for her precious pearls and was seen wearing a pearl necklace and earrings at her graduation snap. She included pearls into her power dressing routine while running for the election campaigns. Her California senator’s debate night jewellery consisted of a double stranded necklace, two pearl trinkets and gold-embroidered earrings. Pearls also serve as a nod to the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority of the US Vice President which is the first Black Greek sorority, whose founder members are commonly known as The Twenty pearls. When Harris completed her graduation in 1986 from Howard University, she walked away with a strong bond of sisterhood which is going tough even till this date.

The true meaning of Alpha Kappa Alpha lies in training young ladies to become wise leaders of tomorrow. While Kamala Harris took the vow as the 49th Vice President on Inauguration Day, countless black and brown American girls watched in pride, awe and renewed sense of hope as her pearls spoke out of commonality amongst its members. During the 59th inaugural ceremony, the first South Asian Vice President of colour made headlines with her purple dress and matching coat which was accessorized to perfection by a beautiful pearl necklace designed by Wilfred Rosado. This striking piece of jewellery was custom made to mark this special occasion. The necklace carried few unifying themes, gold open links symbolising strength, 12 South Sea pearls representing femininity and resilience and 11 diamond brilliants for enhancing the glamour quotient of the prestigious occasion.

The Pearl Source is a reputed online retailer and distributor of pearls in the United States. It has launched the Power Pearls collection by drawing inspiration from the trendsetting style of the US Vice president. This collection pays homage to all the colossal ladies who have instilled confidence amongst other women for attaining greater heights in both personal and professional fields of life. Users can avail the Kamala Harris inspired collection throughout the month of march following which it shall be replaced by a new one. A portion of the sale proceeds shall be donated to Dress For Success, a philanthropic organisation which empowers women and helps them attain economic independence by offering a support network, development tools and professional attire.

This announcement of collection launch by The Pearl Source commemorates the International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. 2021’s inspiration is #ChooseToChallenge which is actually a pledge of changing the world by challenging the age-old norms and bringing in alertness. Apart from generating money for the under-privileged women, it also aims to draw attention to the powerful female figures who often fail to receive their share of spotlight in the patriarchal world of modern times. Be it athletics, politics or business, women are often treated as a weakling and this is exactly what the women empowerment campaigns are trying to target. Various celebrities like Tom Hanks and Reese Witherspoon have also rendered support towards this cause by wearing vintage pearl pins to red carpet events.