As we’re getting ready to ring in 2014, everyone’s thinking about a New Year’s Resolution. Whether it’s to finally get in shape, actually use that gym membership, or go for that coveted promotion, the New Year is the time to harness that inner strength and be the powerful woman you already know you are.
Pearls have been an iconic accessory on powerful women for as long as we can remember, being seen on almost every first lady, political powerhouses, fortune 500 CEOs, and celebrities that know what’s up. So what is it about the little pearl that makes its wearer seem like a force to be reckoned with? We think that it has less to do with the pearls and more to do with the women, so we’ve compiled this list of fabulous women who’ve worn pearls and rocked them this year – some, all the way to the White House.
- Michelle Obama is the most powerful woman in the United States, and always looks classy and fabulous in her designer duds, frequently wearing pearls. Presidential First Ladies have worn pearls for decades, but Mrs. Obama isn’t afraid to share her style in the Oval or on the spreads of glossy fashion magazines.
- Hilary Clinton may be in the running for the Democratic presidential nomination for 2016, which may make her the most powerful woman in the world. The former Secretary of State and First Lady is known for way more than her fashion sense, or at least her infamous pantsuits. A lover of eccentric jewelry, Clinton opts for a versatile multi-color pearl strand instead of classic white pearls, which compliments her air of power wonderfully.
- Chancellor Angela Merkel – Chancellor of Germany – as the first female German Chancellor, Angela Merkel has been named one of Forbes’ world’s most powerful women for 8 out of the past 10 years. Serving as a formidable opponent on the world’s political stage and especially in the European Union, Merkel wears the uniform of a powerful woman every day, and loves wearing her pearls while changing the future of the European economy.
- Angelina Jolie made even greater headlines this year when she revealed that she was struggling from a very rare strain of breast cancer, and shared candidly about her preventative double mastectomy. Jolie has been named one of the world’s most powerful women because of her love of philanthropy in the past, but this year she took a humble step forward as a pioneer for women’s health.
- Lady Bey – Beyonce is frequently hailed the Empress of Pop and didn’t disappoint in 2013, especially with the secret release of her new album this month. Never afraid to be seen as a mom on the go or as a musical and fashion icon, we think it’s safe to say she’ll continue raising the bar for musicians and celebrities in years to come.
- Diane Sawyer was a pioneer for female journalists when she started her career, which is reaching its peak 46 years later. This year’s season of “ABC News with Diane Sawyer” has its largest amount of viewers in several years. The 2013 interviews of both Amanda Knox and Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year old who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban are just two notables of the year.
- Irene Rosenfeld – CEO Kraft Foods. Rosenfeld pledged to grow Kraft 5% in 2013, in which she’s succeeded, and she always looks good while running this multi-million dollar company, favoring pearls for her public professional appearances.
- Indra Nooyi – CEO Pepsico – Nooyi has been hailed one of Forbes #10 most powerful businesswomen, but also one of the most humble as well. She took a 17% cut in her own salary to combat other company cutbacks, and somehow managed to up Pepsico’s revenues 1.2% this year. Her fashion sense is as impeccable as her business sense, and Nooyi always favors pearls as her go-to accessory.
- Melinda Gates – Co-chair Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which donated over 3.4 billion dollars in 2013, mainly to health programs. It’s no secret that Bill and Melinda Gates are two halves of a power couple, but Melinda Gates is the beauty and the brains for much of the operation, and frequently wears pearls as the unapologetic spokeswoman for the foundation.
- Oprah Winfrey made history when she was the first African American television talk show host, and is the United States only African American billionaire. Savvy in business and a headliner for philanthropy, it’s no surprise that Winfrey spent over $100 million on the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. Oprah’s been outspoken about her personal struggles as well as her professional ones, especially her body image issues. We think she always looks amazing, especially when she wears pearls.
Like I said, we’re not sure what makes these ladies pick pearls as their go-to rock to wear when they’re rocking the podium or the world stage, but we can’t deny that we’re thrilled about it. Want to hone in on your inner empress in 2014? A simple pearl strand might be the secret to success.
Happy New Year!
Pearl & Clasp