West Hollywood, California. The sun is about to rise, and the timid glare kissing the hills feels like the opening scene of a retro award-winning movie.
The studio is all set up, ready to open its doors to a fun, open-hearted and inspiring – indeed – couple of days on set. The women we are about to meet are among those who Piaget – no introduction needed – has chosen to represent its vision of extraordinary women. And we are about to learn why.
The perfect melting pot of backgrounds, professions, cultures and visions united by the same fundamental value – inspire each other and other women and girls around the world. One mission, engraved into each one of these women’s journey of life, through their drives, achievements, and dreams. Emirati singer Balqees Ahmed Fathi, British actress, singer and songwriter Cynthia Erivo, Chinese photographer Chen Man and American duo Arianne Phillips and Carineh Martin, founders of RAD have joined us in a conversation about what it means to be a woman today, to chase dreams, to be empowered and to empower others. It doesn’t happen often to be in the same room with such inspiring figures and hearing their stories from their very own mouth, and heart. Join us as we discover each woman’s extraordinary journey, learning what makes them the women they are, from their timeless style, precious heritage and inspiring accomplishments.
“I’m constantly trying to find projects that show women in their complex beauty.”
Limelight Gala Watch and Sunlight earrings and ring, all Piaget. Customised dress, Tom Brown.
“I’d love people to say that I smiled a lot, laughed a lot, loved a lot and got things done. I want people to remember the joy I have,” Erivo says when asked how she’d like to be remembered. Not only is Cynthia a vibrant soul, she is also remarkably talented, as is evidenced by her Emmy, Grammy and Tony award wins and Oscar nominations.
From a young age, Cynthia Erivo was enthralled with performing. Thanks to her charming and daring persona, she quickly escalated from Broadway performances to Hollywood productions, becoming one of the most promising talents of the international entertainment industry. Other than her undeniable talent, her career path was strongly defined by her values and choices driven by the complexity of women and the desire to give a voice to the underrepresented: “I’m constantly trying to find projects that show women in their complex beauty, with their imperfect perfections. Now I have the platform to make that happen, creating spaces for women on set to make it feel more comfortable, make it feel like they are included so that the scripts tell us the right story. I want to tell stories of the underdogs, of the person you think is the villain but has a great heart, stories of love and heartbreak, the stories that you don’t get to hear.”
Piaget Limelight Gala Watch with 18K rose gold case set with 62 brilliant-cut diamonds and Milanese 18K rose gold bracelet. Sunlight earrings and ring, all Piaget.
The interaction with her team catches the eye on set, from a shared dance move to a group laugh. “What am I most grateful for? I’m most grateful for the wonderful people I’ve been able to meet along the way, some of whom have become my family, some of whom I couldn’t do this without. I think there’s something important in being able to share the great things that happen and the things that hurt with people who take care of you, with people who love you and I’ve been lucky enough to do that.”
ARIANNE PHILLIPS AND CARINEH MARTIN
“I mean, anything can be RAD!” says Carineh smiling over at Arianne when asked to tell us what RAD is. The complicity between the two is tangible at first sight, the perfect synergy of creativity and entrepreneurship. “What RAD does is infuse purpose into cultural moments and celebrations to make them more meaningful and connective because they’re now also creating social progress. Being RAD is using your platform to express who you are by sharing your values and beliefs, what matters to you and how you envision the world, in a way that contributes to the greater good.”
“It’s so powerful to have the liberty to be yourself.”
Founded by Arianne Phillips, remarkable costume designer and fashion stylist, who has worked closely with Madonna for over 20 years amongst others, and Carineh Martin, luxury brand marketer who’s worked for the likes of Prada and Dior, RAD is a social enterprise that modernizes the red carpet by elevating the relationships between celebrities and designers through cause, allowing for purpose and promotion to organically and glamorously co-exist.
On Arianne, Limelight Gala Watch and Sunlight earrings, all Piaget. Dress by Marques Almeidea. On Carineh, Limelight Gala watch and Possession bangles, all Piaget. Private collection dress, Alaia.
We asked them, “If you could only use three words to describe each other, what would you say?” “Talented, intuitive and empathetic” says Carineh about Arianne. “Smart, fierce and loving” says Arianne about Carineh; a balanced encounter of empathy and determination that hints to the promising future of their innovative business. Launched in January 2019, RAD is still in its early stages, but we were curious what they would want their legacy to be and Carineh’s answer set the path straight. “We live in a culture in which there’s so much agenda and everything is supposed to be strategic, and certainly as a marketer I come from that world, so maybe that’s why I am craving authenticity. For me, legacy is being my authentic self. I think it’s so powerful to have the liberty to be yourself — your best self, your true self and your whole self — because we all have so much to contribute and being able to do that is an unimaginably empowering gift.”
On Arianne, Piaget Limelight Gala Watch with 18K rose gold case set with 62 brilliant-cut diamonds, mother-of-pearl dial and sapphire crystal case back. Sunlight earrings, Piaget. On Carineh, Piaget Limelight Gala Watch with 18K rose gold case set with 62 brilliant-cut diamonds and Milanese 18K rose gold bracelet. Possession open bangle bracelets, Piaget.
Limelight Gala Watch, Possession ring and Sunlight earrings, all Piaget. Dress, Eve by Eve’s.
“The image exists within one and all.”
With permanent collections displayed at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum, Chen Man is one of a kind. As a visionary artist with a unique visual style, she has blurred boundaries between eastern and western aesthetics and cultures, becoming an integral figure in introducing Chinese art, photography, and culture to the global fashion industry. “I love using different kinds of light” she says “it’s like the yin and the yang, dark side and bright side”. A signature trait found in all of her timeless and fierce works, including the numerous photographic projects shot for Piaget, as the Extraordinary Women campaign itself.
Piaget Limelight Gala Watch with18K rose gold case set with 62 brilliant-cut diamonds and Milanese 18K rose gold bracelet. Rose gold Possession ring and Sunlight earrings, all Piaget.
As a female photographer, we asked her to tell us about an extraordinary woman in her life: “The most extraordinary woman in my life is with no doubt my mother. She worked and looked after our family at the same time, I think the coexistence between toughness and softness in Chinese women is the backbone of Chinese artistic life.” Man says. “As a photographer, I travel a lot. I absorb information from around the world, like a tree absorbs the sunlight. Hopefully I will bring beauty and oxygen to the world.”
BALQEES AHMED FATHI
Limelight Gala watch, Sunlight earrings and Possession bracelet, all Piaget. Suit by Judy Zhang, top Oroblu.
Meet Balqees, the first Arabic singer to perform at a women-only concert and mixed gender concert in Saudi Arabia. Wow, let’s take it from there. “Such performances made me and my fellow female artists, specifically in the Arabic world, extremely joyful and proud because this is something we’ve been looking after for the past decade. Woman empowerment is something that we’ve been after and gender equality is something that we’ve been also struggling to have.” proudly says Balqees with the most magnetic eyes. Women empowerment and gender equality have indeed always been some of the closest matters to her heart throughout her life, and career. “I want women to be enthusiastic and explore ways of success to stand out in their societies no matter what their fields of professionalism are, and this is something that I’ve been shouldering myself. I will always continue doing this, setting a good role model and a good example for all my followers and fans across the Middle East.”
“Power and confidence, it’s all about power and confidence.”
When asked to tip off a last message she’d like to pass, the award-winning singer stated “Tolerance, tolerance is the key. Tolerating your mistakes, either in the past or present, will help in shaping your personality. The ability to tolerate your community, the ability to tolerate everything that is not meant to be but is happening on the ground is the key for changing your personality and transforming from a caterpillar to a butterfly.”, and she has now become one, indeed.
Piaget Limelight Gala Watch with18K rose gold case set with 62 brilliant-cut diamonds and Milanese 18K rose gold bracelet. Sunlight earrings and Possession open bangle bracelet, all Piaget.
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