(Journey With Jewels)
Veronica Webb's Glamorous Giraffe Bangle Proves More Really Is More
The model’s favorite gemstone pieces are charged with special memories.
Journey With Jewels is our series that explores one’s relationship with jewelry beyond adornments — as a force to transform, empower, and even draw on energy from the past. The meaning we attach to these decorative objects — from perennial favorites to vintage heirlooms — range and reveal more than our styling preferences. This edition is with multi-talented supermodel, Webb On The Fly Founder, and media personality Veronica Webb.
Veronica Webb in Zooming live on my laptop (and looking remarkably luminous through the grainy computer camera) to talk about her love of jewelry — and her love of wearing lots of it. “I’m a maximalist,” she tells me with a knowing smile. “I grew up walking the runways of Chanel, Versace, and Alaïa, [where] more is more. And there’s nothing wrong with putting more and more great stuff together.”
Indeed, Webb would know best. An OG ‘90s supermodel worthy of a first-name-only distinction (think Kate, Naomi, and Cindy), she’s spent the last three decades and change brushing elbows with the industry’s most discerning tastemakers. She’s been the face of mega beauty brands (her 1992 Revlon deal made her the first Black woman to land a major cosmetics contract), appeared in iconic movies (including Clueless), and written for some of the world’s most-read publications (The New York Times, Elle, and Interview, to name a few). Most recently, she’s been focused on helming her own fashion, beauty, and lifestyle site, Webb On The Fly, which advises readers on living fabulously at any age. In Webb’s world, that definitely includes dazzling jewelry.
“Holding gemstones is like holding sunshine in the palm of your hand,” she says. “It’s like holding the history of the cosmos — prehistoric history — because it’s a combination of light, earth, and sun that’s been compacted over many years to create a diamond, ruby, or emerald.” Some favorite gems from her personal collection? Those found on her custom David Webb cuff, a gift from her husband (and longtime diamond industry vet) Chris Del Gatto for their 10th wedding anniversary.
“He gave me a giraffe bracelet so I could always have two beautiful [creatures] with me,” Webb, a self-proclaimed animal lover, explains before running off screen to find the handprinted, one-of-a-kind bangle to show me. Even through a digital camera, the quality of the design is clear: the giraffes’ ruby eyes sparkle; their diamond stripes shine. “I gave them names,” she says with a laugh. “Casino and Fiasco.”
But aesthetics aside, what makes the opulent piece most meaningful for Webb is that it represents a special benchmark in her marriage. In her opinion, it’s life moments — big and small — that imbue our adornments with significance. “Jewelry is about hope, faith, and love,” she explains. “It’s a very portable way to tell the story of your family life.” And now, as she gears up this summer to send her youngest daughter off to college and transition to a new phase in her own life, there’s sure to be new experiences to commemorate in the years ahead. After all, she points out, beautifully cut stones that have burnished over time are the perfect metaphor for the power and beauty of getting older.
“Women, like diamonds, get better with age,” she says. “Stronger and more brilliant, precious, and rare.”