By Ashley Davis
Supermodel Gigi Hadid was lensed by photographers Mert & Marcus in the new Messika campaign, which features jewelry from the “My Soul” collection, designed by Hadid in collaboration with Valerie Messika.
New York—French jewelry brand Messika has once again partnered with American supermodel Gigi Hadid.

Hadid not only models Messika’s new “My Soul” collection, just as she did with the first collaboration, but also helped design it this time around.

“She embodies fashion, and fashion is a big source of inspiration for me,” creative director Valerie Messika told National Jeweler at a press presentation of the new collection during New York Fashion Week.

“When I create my jewelry, the goal is to treat the diamond with a more fashion attitude. When I said to myself, ‘Who embodies fashion today?’ I quickly think about Gigi because she is one of the new, younger generation of modeling who also loves designing. I was looking for someone who designs and loves to create.”

Hadid also represents Messika’s target demographic.

It’s no coincidence that the brand chose to collaborate with an American celebrity upon making a push into the U.S. market, exhibiting at the Couture jewelry trade show and gaining wholesale accounts in the country.

And Hadid’s role as a key figure in the new generation of models Messika references is largely contingent upon her overwhelming social media reach.

“I chose (to continue working with) her because this new generation of modeling has changed the industry a little bit because of (social media),” she said. “She is not only a face for a brand, she also embodies her own style and her own brand. I know I have big success with the younger generation. Sometimes their dream at 18 is to have their first piece of fine jewelry from Messika, so we represent exactly the same target, we speak to the same people.”

The way Hadid mixes her fine jewelry effortlessly with casual wear like jeans and leggings, documented by the paparazzi and on Instagram, exactly embodies the effortless, unfussy styling approach with which Messika designs.

While the first partnership saw them play with the best-selling Move collection, interpreting the motif in a new way in honor of its 10th anniversary, the second started with Hadid’s inspiration.

“With the second collection, we knew more about each other,” Messika said. “This year it was a blank page. We started from what she loves, and she was even more excited about it.”

Hadid created mood boards that she sent to Messika, which the latter described as “sunny” and “more Bohemian,” with hand chains, anklets and body chains indicative of Hadid’s Middle Eastern background.

Messika’s challenge was to polish and streamline Hadid’s concepts, keeping it more minimalist and in line with the brand’s ethos.

“My Soul” is the result of that balance between bohemian and sophisticated; it’s comprised of earrings, rings, bracelets, necklaces, and, yes, hand chains.

The initial campaign image shows Hadid outfitted in a milieu of the new pieces, which are delicate enough to be thoroughly layered without appearing over the top.

“What is funny and what is beautiful is that the more you stack the pieces, the cooler it looks,” Messika noted.

Retailing between $1,590 and $7,360, the brand is currently accepting pre-orders. The full collection will be available at stockists, Messika stores and online on Sept. 30.

Messika couldn’t say whether the partnership with Hadid would continue, but she did say she thinks the rising star has a knack for design.

“She told me she used to see her father, Mohamed (a developer), sketching when she was younger and she always admired that. I don’t know what she’s going to do over the years, but I’m sure she will continue to design because she is a very creative person.”

As for the brand, it’s intent on solidifying its U.S. presence. Valerie Messika confirmed to National Jeweler that next year it would open its first two stores in the country: a Miami location in the beginning of 2019 and a Los Angeles store later, likely around September.

Meanwhile, shortly after Messika’s New York Fashion Week presentation and party held with Hadid, TrueFacet announced the launch of its white-label e-commerce service for luxury brands, with as its first client.

The service from the pre-owned luxury jewelry and watch site includes all aspects of e-commerce website development, from optimization to shipping and order fulfillment.

TrueFacet said its white-label service was created to assist brands who excel in traditional, high-end manufacturing and want to outsource direct-to-consumer e-commerce.

TrueFacet is specifically focused on developing e-commerce for international brands geared toward the American market and said it focuses on a high-touch retail experience through an online concierge service as well as digital storytelling and content creation.

For, it also provides sales processing, financing and payment options, overnight shipping and order fulfillment through its New York headquarters.

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