Professional Jeweler Archive: When Worlds Collide

March 2001

Professional Insider/Trend Spotting

When Worlds Collide

Fashion and sport two words not formerly linked combine to create a new world order

A glance at the newsstand in January was startling – the covers of two major fashion magazines adorned not by stick-thin models, starlets or the ubiquitous Gwyneth Paltrow, but athletes. Serious athletes – the kind who win multiple Olympic medals, set world records and dominate their chosen sports. Physically strong and mentally tough, they also happen to be beautiful women – which probably didn’t hurt the chances that track star Marion Jones and tennis-playing sisters Serena and Venus Williams would land on the covers of Vogue and Elle.


Banish the stereotype of female athletes as butch pseudo-men. Active women are as likely to follow fashion as those who worship at the absurd always-ready-to-wear-high-heels feet of Barbie.®

“Fashion and sport are about to collide – just the way that celebrity and fashion crashed onto one another in the early 1990s,” Simon Doonan, Barney’s New York creative director, told Elle.

More women and girls than ever are involved in sports of some kind, says the Women’s Sports Foundation – and chances are they’ll be just as, if not more, conscious of the clothes, shoes and jewelry they wear as other women are. In part, they’re active because they like the effect it has on them physically. Often this means they like to showcase their well-toned forms in beautiful apparel and jewelry.

Fit and Function

Active women are less likely to suffer for their style though. They value form, fit and multifunction. The hot TechnoMarine watch with the diamond-encrusted bezel (and its lookalikes) meld fashion and performance, making it the perfect accessory for the older members of this group, while teens and younger women have already made the Baby-G watch a best-seller. Stock sports-themed charms for the younger set, and defy De Beers by continuing to sell diamond line bracelets as tennis bracelets – for this group, the connection to the sport is a selling point. Rings with bezel-set or invisibly set diamonds or other hardy gemstones will stand up to abuse, making the transition from office to gym without hindering progress or catching on clothes.

– Liz Smutko

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications