GIRL POWER: In keeping with the times, Kim Mee Hye’s Kimy Gringoire and Wanda Nylon’s Johanna Senyk set out to make a strong feminist statement for their first hookup — a jewelry collection based on tin spins on U.S., European and British coins bearing the faces of three of their female heroes past and present: Nina Simone, Simone de Beauvoir and Malala Yousafzai.
The creations, which also carry messages encompassing what each woman stood or stands for, will feature in the Wanda Nylon show later today in Paris alongside showpieces by Gringoire. The collection includes a single earring, ring, necklace and cuff, with the collaboration expected to extend across at least three seasons.
Senyk, who will also launch bag and footwear collections in the show, said she had already been following Gringoire’s work when the designer approached her. “We fell in love. It was a girl crush story, and the collaboration was an energy bomb,” she said adding that during the initial ping-pong of ideas, they touched on the point that often women will wait for a man to buy them jewelry.
“I’m expecting a baby in three weeks, and people keep asking me if my partner is going to get me something. That’s so sad. I’m not waiting for a man to give me jewelry. I will buy my own,” the designer said. “We wanted to make a statement about women using their own money to buy themselves something. Also, I don’t think there are many men out there who would buy their partners something that’s super feminist with a woman’s face on it.”
“We wanted it to be a real dialogue, something with meaning,” said Gringoire, who was born in South Korea and grew up between Brussels and London, where she is now based. She launched her jewelry line in 2014.
Of the new Wanda Nylon bags, meanwhile, Senyk, who never wears a bag herself (saying: “I like to have my hands free, and I keep my keys on a chain around my neck”) explained the idea was to explore something a little less “jolie madame.” The styles are graphic and modern in form with contemporary twists like velvet chains in bright red, yellow and “spicy blue,” and mixed-media finishes. As for the footwear, the aim was “to make something a bit boyish,” she said, hinting square-toe flats are part of the equation.