Kimberly McDonald prides herself on incorporating nature into her fine jewelry designs, and now she’s giving back to it.
This story first appeared in the December 24, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The Manhattan-based designer has begun an initiative to help animals on the endangered species list. This month, she launched the Ursus Maritimus Collection — earrings, pendants, rings and the like that incorporates her signature geodes with diamonds to help raise awareness for polar bears. Ursus Maritimus is the Latin name for the animal.
McDonald uses gold, diamonds and white geodes to evoke the ice caves in which the animals rest. Small pavé diamond-covered polar bears are set into the geodes for an earthy yet glamorous look.
Ten percent of each piece sold will go to the nonprofit organization Conservation International in its efforts to preserve the environment, in turn benefiting the polar bears. McDonald marked the new collection with a party also attended by the collection’s ambassador, actress and animal lover Sophia Bush. Prices range from $5,000 to $15,000 at retail, and the line has been picked up by Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Forty-Five Ten in Dallas and Browns of London.
“I have always been concerned with the plight of animals caused by what we as people have done to the environment,” said Bush, a client of McDonald’s. “It is an exciting way for me to give my time and support to an organization that strives to safeguard our environment and vulnerable species like the polar bear.”
McDonald said buzz is growing on the collection.
“It’s been a crazy holiday for everyone, but we’ve sold several pieces,” she said.
Next, the designer will launch a collection inspired by sea turtles, which will be endorsed by another celebrity. There are plans to do a line to benefit an animal each year through The Nature Conservancy.