Zoë Kravitz Is The First Brand Ambassador For New Zealand Jeweller Jessica McCormack

By Dan Ahwa
Zoe Kravitz wears Jessica McCormack pieces including Gypset diamond earrings with a Ball n Chain necklace and pendant.

The independent London-based diamond jewellery brand has a turnover of approximately $62 million with a coterie of famous clients. Now it is reasserting its position as the go-to jeweller for diamonds that can be worn every day — starting with an endorsement from one famous high/low aficionado.

Christchurch-born, London-based luxury jewellery designer Jessica McCormack has carved a unique place for herself in the world of fine jewellery since moving to the English capital in 2005, and today marks another major milestone for the 43-year-old with the announcement of actor and director Zoë Kravitz as her first official global brand ambassador.

The high-profile coup is an organic connection — Kravitz is one of McCormack’s many famous clients, including Rihanna, Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Emma Watson.

Introduced by a mutual friend in London in 2020, the friendship has evolved from a designer-client relationship to one now based on friendship, with Kravitz’s role extending to that of a collaborator and muse for the brand. Kravitz is no stranger to luxury brand alignments — she is currently the face of YSL Beauty and has previously appeared in campaigns for Tiffany & Co. and Saint Laurent. The partnership announcement with McCormack precedes the release later this year of her directorial debut, Blink Twice, a thriller starring Naomi Ackie, Christian Slater, Alia Shawkat, Geena Davis and Kravitz’s fiancé Channing Tatum.

“I genuinely love Jessica and her jewellery,” said Kravitz in an official statement. “As two female creatives, we have a mutual love and respect for each other’s work.”

Earlier this year, McCormack spoke with Viva contributing editor Jessica Beresford for an interview with the UK’s Financial Times style supplement HTSI, reaffirming her appreciation of diamonds as everyday wear.

“If you can wear a diamond with jeans, then it’s a job well done,” said McCormack in the interview. “I think translating diamonds for every day is something we are really good at.”

A pair of Jessica McCormack's signature diamond and blackened gold Gypset hoop earrings.
A pair of Jessica McCormack's signature diamond and blackened gold Gypset hoop earrings.

Beresford tells Viva that several key factors have played a part in McCormack’s slow and steady expansion.

“I think Jessica McCormack’s success is down to a few things,” says Beresford.

“The fact that she’s stuck to her value of largely keeping the business DTC (direct to consumer), which has meant slower yet potentially more sustainable growth in the long run, and has allowed her to be nimble as a business. Her brand identity is really strong too, positioned as a distinctly London brand, yet with the perspective of an outsider, both as a born-and-raised New Zealander and as someone who doesn’t have formal training in jewellery. I think this gives an edge to her designs that customers seem to like — her use of blackened gold, for example, and slightly unexpected motifs and styles allow her to exist outside the traditional hallmarks of jewellery design and the old houses.”

“I also think her presence on social media is appropriate for today’s customers, helping the brand come across as relatable and attainable, despite it still very much existing in the luxury market. I also think her Gypsets are genius — they are very classic in design and aren’t remotely branded, yet are distinctly JM to those who know. Which is a winning formula.”

Famously working from her opulent salon in London’s Mayfair, an old five-story Georgian townhouse on Carlos Place that she opened in 2008 which also houses an in-house workshop, McCormack’s latest celebrity endorsement comes off the back of two other recent strides towards expanding the brand’s growth and visibility — a glossy new store in Sloane St and the appointment of former Burberry executive Leonie Brantberg as its new CEO.

“Appointing Zoë as our first global ambassador is an exciting step forward for Jessica McCormack as we plan our US expansion with the opening of our first overseas store in New York in 2025,″ Brantberg says.

“Zoë is a rare creative talent, and her authentic endorsement of the brand is a tribute to Jessica’s talent and craft. She perfectly embodies the modern spirit and style of Jessica McCormack, and we’re delighted to have her on board.”

Last week, Kravitz was photographed in Paris attending the 60th birthday celebrations for her father, rock legend Lenny, alongside her other famous parent, The Cosby Show star Lisa Bonnet.

Jeweller Jessica McCormack.
Jeweller Jessica McCormack.

The announcement is one example of a New Zealand-born designer finding success internationally. Designer and co-founder of New Zealand fashion brand Paris Georgia, Paris Mitchell Temple, recently relocated to London with her family to join her business partner Georgia Cherrie to focus on the brand’s international growth; while New Zealand skincare disruptor Emma Lewisham has also made a concerted effort in expanding her business interests in London with a dedicated warehouse.

Fellow New Zealander, Viva contributor, and editor of Vanity Fair on Jewellery Annabel Davidson says McCormack’s vision for the brand has helped shape fine jewellery for a contemporary audience, adding her unique design perspective inspired by her New Zealand roots.

“In the past 10 years, Jessica McCormack has created a brand that has broken all the rules of luxury diamond jewellery,” says Davidson.

“She has crafted a world of infinitely wearable diamond jewels that co-exist with the worlds of high-end contemporary art and architecture, fashion and film. She has made high-end diamond jewellery not just wearable, but must-wearable. As a fellow Kiwi, it’s super cool to see how one woman from Aotearoa has built a global brand coveted the world over, still totally connected to her New Zealand family and roots.”

The new ambassadorship will be marked by an intimate dinner in New York tonight. The brand plans to open its first store outside the UK in New York in the early half of 2025.

McCormack’s jewellery is exclusively available from Simon James in New Zealand.

Dan Ahwa is Viva’s fashion and creative director and a senior premium lifestyle journalist for the New Zealand Herald, specialising in fashion, luxury, arts and culture. He is also an award-winning stylist with more than 17 years of experience, and is a co-author and co-curator of The New Zealand Fashion Museum’s Moana Currents: Dressing Aotearoa Now.

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