When it comes to American first ladies, accessories are everything. Jackie Kennedy had on his pillbox hat. Michelle Obama had fabulous hoops and belts. Today, a jewelry designer hopes her bracelet will become one of Jill Biden’s iconic pieces.
Natalie Holst, Creative Director and Founder of Holst + Lee, said seeing her signature gold mesh bracelet on the current First Lady, as Dr Biden visited a Wisconsin school this fall, was a dream come true. Since then, the Mesh Classic Gold Everything bracelet has driven traffic to the Holst + Lee website and propelled the Charleston, SC-based studio âinto high gear,â says Holst.
âOne of my favorite moments was getting a call from an older man who wanted to buy the bracelet for his wife. He was struggling with the internet, âHolst said, so she explained the command to him. âWhen we got a call from the local newspaper and saw the story on the front page, we knew it would be huge. “
The whole experience started with a simple email, says Holst. A Holst + Lee client let her know she was giving the bracelet to the first lady, but Holst says she wasn’t sure when or if Dr Biden would wear it. She watched the news for months, hoping to see that golden glow around Dr. Biden’s wrist.
âWe were even panicking when we shipped it. All we knew was it was a gift for Jill Biden, âsays Holst. “I knew [Dr. Biden] was going to London, and I asked myself: would she wear the bracelet in front of the Queen?â¦ I kept looking up her travel plan and doing research on Google. “
Then, in September, it was there. The Associated Press released a photo of Dr Biden waving to the crowd at Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee. Holst said she could see her company name on the bracelet and recognized her signature magnetic clasp. It was a career high, she says.
âIt was epic. [The bracelet] is one of my best sales people since starting the business. I think it’s because he speaks to all ages. It’s a must-have because it goes with everything and complements other fine jewelry – you can wear it casual or you can dress it up.
Since then, Holst has renamed the bracelet on the website “the Jill”. The designer says she admires the classic American style of the first lady and would like to see Dr. Biden wear more of her jewelry in the future.
Chances are it will happen â Dr. Biden is said to select all of his own clothes and accessories. When the first lady was featured in the August issue of Vogue, she told the magazine, âI like to choose from a diverse group of designers. When I planned my inauguration outfits, this is one of the things I took into account. According to Dr. Biden’s communications director, Elizabeth Alexander, the first lady does not work with a stylist; she said Vogue: “That’s all her.”
Holst is hoping people who visit her website, social media, or future retail store will look at all of her jewelry, including this bracelet known as “the Jill.” She loves color but also likes to play with design, fresh materials and unusual shapes. Her jewelry is made from climbing rope, brass finds she discovered in a hardware store, and even parachute rope.
Holst founded Holst + Lee in 2012, after training with Proenza Schouler and Marc Jacobs. Although her mother is a “daughter of diamonds and gold”, the designer began to make her own jewelry, bringing as much color and texture to her designs as possible. Its fan base is not just local; Celebrities such as Mary J. Blige, Bella Thorne, Solange Knowles and Vanessa Hudgens have worn her work.
One of her pieces even appeared in the swimsuit edition of Illustrated sports, “but no one noticed the jewelry,” she laughs.
Now, with two sons, Holst continues to experiment, especially after the coronavirus pandemic has brought her more in touch with his playful side. As a result, she wears popsicle or dinosaur earrings, bandana necklaces, and a recently launched Good Vibrations collection, which includes an evil eye pendant.
âBasically I want to do stuff that I want to wear and I hope that resonates with people,â she says.
Above: Holst + Lee’s Natalie Holst says there was a rush on her Mesh Classic Gold Everything bracelet after First Lady Jill Biden wore it. (All photos courtesy of Holst + Lee)
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