26 Clinton Street
There comes a time in every professional famous person’s life when magazine covers, awards-show envelope opening and guest appearances on Project Runway cease to satisfy your marketing potential. Next you could move on to promoting a signature scent, preferably embossed with your name and a single word in flowery cursive (this works best if your public image has largely been defined by writhing seductively in sand). Then there is the fashion label, the athletic apparel line or the jewelry collection (or, alternately, the jewelry collection with the social conscience, if you’re going for a more soulful vibe).
For R&B crooner Alicia Keys, it’s the latter, and, of course, hers is no ordinary jewelry. Teaming up with designer Gisele Theriault, the Grammy-winning singer is launching a line of silver and jewels bedecked with words from Gandhi, Shakespeare, the Buddha and Ms. Keys herself. One rings says: “Blaze on with a fearless heart.” A cuff reads: “I am a superwoman!” (Shakespeare?) The line, called the Barber’s Daughters, will expand its pop-up display at 26 Clinton Street into a permanent gig starting next spring, where the wearable words that Ms. Theriault calls “grounding agents for the soul” will be available for purchase. (One soul-grounding necklace goes for $2,500.)
Ms. Theriault has said her jewelry is inspired by the work of New Age guru Masaru Emoto, whose book Hidden Messages in Water displays microscopic photos of water crystals supposedly influenced by words either positive (happy water crystals!) or negative (diseased, dejected water crystals). “Since our bodies are 70 percent water,” Ms. Theriault says, “positive words worn upon them reflect the same back.”
Ms. Keys, who has said the project spoke to the songwriter in her, adds, “The words, when you read them, they really do resonate with you. They kind of inspire you to want to find that place in yourself.” Word.