travel with jewelry is our series that explores the relationship with jewelry beyond adornments – as a force to transform, empower and even tap into the energy of the past. The meaning we attach to these decorative items – from perennial favorites to vintage heirlooms – varies and reveals more than just our style preferences. This edition is with a multi-talented model, webb on the fly Founder and media personality Veronica Webb.
Veronica Webb in Zoom Live on My Laptop (and looking impossibly bright through the computer’s grainy camera) to talk about her love of jewelry — and her love of wearing lots of it. “I’m a maximalist,” she tells me with a knowing smile. “I grew up on the catwalks of Chanel, Versace and Alaïa, [where] more is more. And there’s nothing wrong with putting more and more great things together.
Indeed, Webb would know better. A ’90s OG supermodel worthy of first-name-only accolades (think Kate, Naomi, and Cindy), she’s spent the last three decades switching elbows with the industry’s most discerning tastemakers. She’s been the face of mega beauty brands (her deal with Revlon in 1992 made her the first black woman to land a major cosmetics deal), appeared in iconic films (including Distraught)and writes for some of the world’s most widely read publications (The New York Times, She, and Interview, to only cite a few). More recently, she has focused on running her own fashion, beauty and lifestyle site, webb on the fly, which advises readers to live fabulously at any age. In Webb’s world, this absolutely includes dazzling jewelry.
“Holding gemstones is like holding the sun in the palm of your hand,” she says. “It’s like holding the story of the cosmos – the prehistoric story – because it’s a combination of light, earth and sun that has been compacted over many years to create a diamond, a ruby or an emerald. .” Some favorite gems from his personal collection? Those found on her personalized David Webb cuff, a gift from her husband (and longtime diamond industry vet) Chris Del Gatto for their 10th wedding anniversary.
“He gave me a giraffe bracelet so I could always have two beautiful [creatures] with me,” says Webb, a self-proclaimed animal lover, before leaving the screen to find the unique hand-printed bracelet to show me. Even through a digital camera, the quality of the drawing is evident: the ruby eyes of the giraffes twinkle; their diamond stripes shine. “I gave them names,” she laughs. “Casino and fiasco.”
But aesthetics aside, what makes the opulent piece most meaningful to Webb is that it sets a special benchmark in his marriage. In his opinion, these are moments of life – great and small – which imbues our ornaments with meaning. “Jewellery is about hope, faith and love,” she explains. “It’s a very portable way to tell the story of your family life.” And now, as she prepares this summer to send her youngest daughter off to college and move into a new phase of her own life, there are sure to be new experiences to commemorate in the years to come. After all, she points out, beautifully cut stones that have turned brown over time are the perfect metaphor for the power and beauty of aging.
“Women, like diamonds, get better with age,” she says. “Stronger and brighter, precious and rare.”