Beyoncé foretold the world run by girls. Highest grossing film of the year? Hi, Barbie and Greta Gerwig. Highest grossing tour of all time? Hi, Taylor Swift and taylorgating swifties. Sciences? In historic milestones, Maryna Viazovska won the Fields Medal, Ingrid Daubechies was awarded the Wolf Prize, and Carolyn Bertozzi got the Nobel. In fashion, women designers are challenging the global status quo as well. Nowhere is the paradigm shift more profoundly evident than in the Israeli jewelry market traditionally dictated by men as goldsmiths, diamond dealers, and artists.
From high-stakes fashion diplomacy to scientific breakthroughs in geology and gemology, Israel is among the hottest trendsetters when it comes to women-led initiatives. “Some of us are mothers, others are partygoers, some are extremely career-oriented, and some are all of those things at once,” says Ginat Moyal, founder and CEO of Hotcrown, one of the fastest growing jewelry labels. The industry is diversifying its portfolio and practices. More players are entering the field. The Rolex-acquired watchmaker Bucherer has launched its jewelry collection. Luxury automaker Bugatti collaborated with Asprey on limited edition “precious objects” that cost like the car itself. EBay has introduced the Certified by Brand program in 190 markets boosting high-end jewelry resale value. All Made in Israel brands share a multifaceted perspective on interplay of diverse cultural heritage, textures, and vibes. I scouted nine women-powered jewelry brands that are changing the industry (and the world) for the better, for themselves, and for the next generation of creators and consumers. I wanted their masterminds to reflect on these gendered changes, the sources of their inspiration, the most “it” items in their catalogues as well as any dream-team collaborations that keep them excited about the future beyond the trends’ horizon.
“It makes you feel like a modern goddess, I’m not even joking,” says the designer. Founded in 2013 by Ginat and Yigsav Moyal, Hotcrown has become a success story championing the crowdsourcing power of inspiration. As a startup, they tapped into a niche of young consumers seeking access to the contemporary luxury lifestyle. “Men sometimes have treated jewelry merely as an investment whereas women tend to be more thoughtful when it comes to inspiration, materials, and practical aspects of wearing any piece,” reflects Ginat. The brand has an all-female creative and operational team and its audience wholeheartedly responded to a timeless sensibility executed in recycled gold and conflict-free diamonds. A hit with those in a pursuit of “having it all”.
The first collection was inspired by Marquise Madame de Pompadour and the court of King Louis the Beloved of France: passion, intrigue, luxury, sensuality, one endless summer ball. Further strengthening the life-style-Versailles connection, their current bestseller is Tailored, a line inspired by the sartorial world: buttonholes, buckles, seams. Longevity in jewelry design relies not only on the Instagram-ability of products and a price point but on technological innovation as well. Hotcrown has engineered an impossible-to-lose pushback closure for its earrings driving sales into the must-have stratosphere.
“My mother had a drawer she forbade us to touch. We obviously did it anyway, and I could get lost in the jewelry for hours. Only later did I understand its true sentimental value,” recalls the designer. Hotcrown’s latest knowhow is a twist on customization “where recycling meets sentimentality”. The late spouse’s wedding band can become a pendant while a grandparent’s precious heirloom is incorporated into a modern piece for daily wear. After all, jewelry is a love language. Speaking of Love, on Tour. Harry Styles is Ginat’s dream customer. “I’m obsessed with Harry’s non-binary vibe and that sparkling feeling is where Hotcrown could really shine, in every sense of the word.”
For 12 years, ADDA Gems has been delighting its clients with silver jewelry using unrefined stones ethically extracted from rare fields around the world. “I have been lucky to witness the pivotal impact of female jewelers on reshaping our industry. Their unique perspectives have ushered in a new era of creativity, sensitivity, and authenticity, fearlessly experimenting with unconventional materials and bold aesthetics,” reflects founder Tanya Liberman. Mother of five kids, she believes every person, much like a jewel, should be celebrated for their uniqueness. The courageous quest for self-determination is part of the brand DNA which is perfectly reflected in its bestselling Power Ring.
The combination of smoothness and transparency emits serenity rooted in the exceptional synergy uniting strong women worldwide. To cultivate this connection with signature Mediterranean flair, the brand curates popup events at must-visit chillout spaces in Tel Aviv. Their highly sociable nature comes through in a wish list of yes-please collaborators: women artists such as Charlotte Adam, Fabienne Meyer or Peggy Kuiper. The future is female, as the memes prophesize!
After brainstorming “246 or so” ideas, childhood friends Sapir Zimmerman and Mor Kirshtein decided to pursue the path less traveled. As avid fashionistas, they craved meaningful jewelry. “The fact that we are women, that we love, live, and breathe our audience, is an advantage when it comes to design. We see the bigger picture of what we would want to wear where, when, and why,” says Zimmerman. Keeping the collections accessible for a wide range of consumers means focusing on creating interchangeable sets of necklaces and chains to be enjoyed in a variety of styles and combinations. The emotional connection doesn’t end with the purchase but continues to build over time proving optimism is a great added value. Kirshtein still treasures a bracelet she received as an infant.
Every item designed by the duo offers, in essence, a feeling a customer wants to recreate or aspires to have. The value of holistic approach to wellness is evident in their choice of collaborators like Keren Shaham, a health and fitness influencer on a healing journey. Chiara Ferragni is another social media role model for the brand: a powerful woman, true to herself, energetic, colorful, edgy.
Dada by Dana
“It’s a tired trope that men don’t get women, but it’s also clear that women know women best, we are more attuned to the needs of each other. My mission is simple: make her look good, make her feel good”, says designer Daniela Dana Wertheimer. Launched by the Shankar and Central Saint Martin alumna in 2022, the brand specializes in statement jewelry art pieces made with recycled materials, and a lot of love. The ever-evolving collection is created with an abundance of nostalgic colors and futuristic energy as exemplified by the popular April and Donna earrings.
Unabashed curiosity and commitment to experimentation sustains the creative process and healthy ambition over a lifetime. All pieces are handmade by women artisans in Israel for “all the lovers of rose-colored glasses worldwide.” She muses about historical figures who would have loved her designs. Cleopatra, for sure. “In all seriousness, my dream has already come true. Iris Apfel has worn my earrings and there’s nothing more I can really ask,” she smiles.
From the tranquility of the U.S. Virgin Islands to the hustle and bustle of Delhi, India, the brand’s alchemy has been forged from a myriad of divergent influences. The designer’s mission is to convey that the spiritual quality of authentic life relies on the freedom of choice from one moment to the next. In 2015, a one-month backpacking adventure turned into a three-year odyssey transforming every aspect of her life. “When I design, I wonder what does a woman want to feel? I’m creating pieces that vibrate with specific energy of spirituality, sensuality, and confidence, all seamlessly intertwined,” notes Gerber. She is inspired both personally and professionally by Jasmin Larian Hekmat, the founder of Cult Gaia, a brand known for its viral fashion hits.
Gerber’s own trademarked potion-in-a-bottle necklace captures the delicate balance between our desire for rootedness in tradition and the need to take a leap of faith in pursuit of our heart’s dreams. Perhaps, this is why Gerber creations are known for their length. These are not only cool jewelry pieces. These are certified emotional lifelines.
It’s a Unicorn! MyGemma’s custom-made ring went viral with Noa Kirel at Eurovision 2023. Second-generation jeweler Sapphire Cohen Ben Zvi creates fashion-forward pieces by applying an alluring artistic vision to the natural diamonds of exceptional quality. She was introduced to jewelry making by her designer parents. Her mother’s signature Pave Diamond Bowtie, which served as a ring, pendant, or a bracelet, sparked a passion for unique self-expression. Today prides herself on the ability to infuse exquisite handmade craftsmanship with unconventional design concepts. Growing up in Asia, the knowledge of the sacred and healing nature of gemstones was ingrained in the curious mind.
As each stone comes with powerful heritage, millennia of medicinal knowhow and indigenous folklore blend with high-tech innovation. “The rise of prominent women designers can only benefit the industry with a fresh perspective, redefining norms, and catering to the diverse tastes of women,” says Cohen. The brand’s pioneering MyRefresh® service allows customers to recreate their heirlooms using the latest techniques and sustainably sourced precious materials. The brand looks to the royal families as role models for valuing the cultural significance of jewelry. “It would be great to contribute to any royal collection of treasured pieces passed down through generations,” muses the designer.
Hadas Cohen became a vegetarian at an early age. The decision had shaped her personal and professional journey as a sustainable jewelry artist. Based on a childhood nickname, the brand creates “future heirlooms” infused with the idea of a happy home. “When my mother’s family came from Iraq, they could only bring some modest gold jewelry, but for them in symbolized a connection to their values, culture, love. The day I inherited my grandmother’s bracelet, I felt blessed with safekeeping family history,” reminisces the designer. The wedding industry is enamored with her alternative commitment rings made with gemstones allowing couples greater emotional ownership of their love story.
“As a woman, it is very important for me to bring forward the concepts of alternatives and differences, to open people’s minds to something less expected, less known,” notes Cohen. She also uses salt and pepper diamonds, a mining byproduct deemed unfit for fine jewelry. By honoring nature’s (im)perfection, Dusa leads the way in innovative craftsmanship and storytelling. Fittingly, a dream collaborator for the brand would be Stella McCartney, another champion of sustainable design way before it was trendy.
Born from Rock
Since 2014, Gili Barnea and Nira Dubious have been turning their passion for surrealist art, modernist architecture, and fashion into creating “thoughtful wearable objects”. For example, their sea glass pieces have gained an eager following thanks to a fascinating blend of traditional metalsmithing and mysterious storytelling of found materials curated by the ocean itself. “Our team consists only of women; this wasn’t an ideological decision but rather something that happened organically. The lack of male gaze in the studio enabled us to create jewelry that is in dialogue with the body as we see it, more connected to nature, material, form, and essence”, explains Barnea.
The brand name is translated from the Sanskrit word for emerald meaning “growing in the belly of the earth” and its toad-with-an-egg logo is an alchemic symbol for creation and transformation. The keen powers of slow manifestation are the heart of the duo’s sustainable design ethos. For their next creative challenge, they’re attracting a collaboration with a stage or video production. “We would love to participate in a project where we can let go of functionality restrictions and immerse ourselves in a fantasy,” dreams Dubious.
Sharón Chandally Pedrini runs her Fairmined jewelry business as an “Atelier D’Emotion with #ATouchOfHistory”. Coming from a renowned lineage of Yemenite filigree jewelers, this native New Yorker was first introduced to the craft during childhood summers spent in Israel alongside her grandfather and great uncles, all artisans. “I loved all the vivid stories of how jewelry was originally used for different ceremonial occasions to mark the significance of particular life events,” recalls the designer. “I instinctively understood jewelry as having a role beyond just self-ornamentation.” Her body of work explores the creative tension between tradition and chaos, balance and asymmetry, jarring aesthetics and notions of classic glamour.
Perhaps, the Equilibrium ring best embodies these playful contradictions while honoring the craft heritage of Yemeni metalworking. She personally wears all protype models to ensure perfect physical, aesthetic and emotional fit. Inspired by the oeuvre of Alexander Calder, an iconic American artist known for his mobile sculptures, Chandally Pedrini is currently working on transferring her craftsmanship know-how to a nine-foot installation called Infiniswing. The scale is always love.