The Inspiration Behind Heritage
This is one of my favorite collection launches to date for so many reasons: the time that's been put into acquiring the collection, the meaning behind the tenth anniversary of the brand I've built, and the thrill of bringing new life to pieces with history;the same history that I hope AGJ will have to those who wear it for years and years to come.
I've always said one of my best skills is that I'm a good shopper. The thrill of the hunt is real for me, particularly when my goodies are one of a kind and I know no one else will have them! For the last decade, my calendar has been filled with travel to various trade shows across the country (most notably in Tucson and Las Vegas) to source my stones and findings for my regular collection. Along the way, there were always vintage dealers showing their goods, too. So, about 3 years ago I decided to just start buying vintage pieces that I loved, without knowing what their fate would ultimately be. There was no method to the madness, no strategy behind what I was buying. I wasn't buying pieces that were from certain "houses," nor was I in search of treasures from certain time periods. It was whatever spoke to me, whatever I would want to wear.
As I started buying pieces that felt modern, despite their history and age, I envisioned being able to wear them layered in with my AGJ staples—layers, stacks, you name it.
Flash forward to when I was trying to wrap my head around the 10 (!!!) year anniversary of AGJ, and a light bulb suddenly went off. It seemed like the perfect moment to make a true collection of all these treasures I'd been collecting.
So, I added a few more trips in my annual rotation (Miami and New York) and starting to work with local estate dealers in LA, too. And just like that, the Heritage by Ariel Gordon collection was born!
As I stand at the door of my tenth anniversary, it felt inspiring and motivating to me to really stop and reflect on all the different reasons that people have worn jewelry throughout the years, and the broader heritage of the industry that I'm a part of. Despite the technological advances we have at our disposal, the truth is that the basic building blocks of jewelry manufacturing have remained the same.
I get a lot of satisfaction thinking about the (sustainable) lifecycle of jewelry. With Heritage, I'm bringing new life to old pieces. Just like I design my own collection to live forever and be heirlooms, I'm honoring that same spirit by bringing new life to these vintage treasures in the same way.
I'm but a drop in the bucket of this global industry. I might buy something in Miami, but really it's from France 150 years ago. So it goes in this cyclical world of collecting. At the same time, I'm a drop in the bucket in the history of this industry. Ten years may seem like an immense chapter to me, but seems small when measured against these eras and the immensity of time.
And yet here we are, and it's all still tied together. And hopefully 100 years from now, someone will discover one of my pieces, with the special meaning of its stories and memories it's collected throughout the years.
I hope you love it as much as I do.