Females in Focus – a photography exhibition in tribute to six extraordinary women
At an exclusive launch event in New York City, we unveiled our new Females in Focus photography exhibition as well as the launch of our online store, where guests were able to try on pieces from the Forevermark Tribute™ Collection and purchase them from Forevermark.com for the first time.
The Forevermark Tribute™ Collection pays tribute to the unique qualities and characteristics of the woman who wears it. Through our Females in Focus photography series, featuring portraits captured by the exceptionally talented Sophie Elgort, we were honored to celebrate six real women from different backgrounds and industries, who are all pioneers in their field, and are dedicated to the advancement of women – empowerment we greatly value and live by.
Here, in celebration of the notable, influential and talented women whose portraits were captured as part of the exhibition, Rosario Dawson, Sophie Elgort, Cristina Ehrlich, Janet Mock, Violetta Komyshan and Dr. Niamey Wilson explain the female inspiration in their lives, their passion for working with women and the importance of supporting other women and future generations.
Actor Rosario Dawson has starred in a range of films from Seven Pounds to the Sin City franchise. Alongside this Dawson is also an activist, and in 2004 co-founded Voto Latino, an organization that helps empower Latino millennials to vote and influence change in government.
For Dawson, she believes we should celebrate the women that have helped make us the people we are today, and that we too should follow this, recognizing that we have the opportunity to share our life and contribute to others. We are only here for a short time and we should contribute as much of ourselves to the human story as we can. Having benefited from others, we should pay our knowledge and talents forward, elevating one another. “I feel closer to my mother, grandmother and beyond now, acknowledging the choices, sacrifices and triumphs of their lives that allow me the privileges and successes of mine. They paved the way with humility, fortitude, compassion, unconditional love and gratitude and I hope to carry on that tradition and pass it on to my daughter and beyond.”
Based in New York City, photographer and director Sophie Elgort work has featured in editorials such as Vogue Thailand, Elle, Rolling Stones and Glamour. We were honored to work with Sophie Elgort to capture the portraits featured in the Females in Focus photography series.
Having had a creative upbringing, with her father too being a fashion photographer, Elgort was lucky enough to have been exposed to photography and creativity her whole life. Because of this and wanting to make a difference for future female generations, alongside her photography Elgort co-founded Through Our Lens. “Most people don't have these opportunities and access, which is why I co-founded Through Our Lens, a non-profit that provides life-changing access and significant mentorship to teen girls through photography with the goal of more inclusion in the fashion industry.”
This is reflective in what Forever means to Elgort as she believes that Forever is what we can do to make the world a better place now and for the next generations, something that Through Our Lens achieves. Sometimes the smallest acts of kindness or standing up for what you believe is right can make the biggest differences.
Forever is about what I can do to make the world a better place now and for future generations.
New York City born and bred fashion stylist Cristina Ehrlich has always been innately drawn to visual expression. Originally a dancer, Ehrlich began her career as a fashion stylist at 27 and has since gone on to work with world renowned photographers and some of Hollywood's finest actresses. We were honored to have her as the stylist for the Females in Focus shoot.
Having always had a passion for working with women, when styling them, Ehrlich “looks at each woman as she is – her own unique identity”. She sees each job as a collaboration on understanding what they know, helping to teach them more and then creating something together, and it is this, the final outcome that Ehrlich finds the most fulfilling part about her career. “There is a moment – whether I’ve gotten a client ready for a premiere, or a shoot – where you can see them feel so beautiful in her own skin. When the beauty comes from inside, it makes me feel like I’ve done my job. The giveback to me is immense to empower women to feel as confident and beautiful as they can be.”
I look at each woman as she is – her own unique identity.
Writer, author, director, producer and campaigner for trans rights, Janet Mock hopes that her voice will be used to inspire other women. “I hope to offer girls, not used to seeing themselves, a mirror and reflection, to let them know that they are worthy, that they are deserving of being seen and heard, and most importantly to let them know that they are not alone.”
As well as inspiring women, she hopes that her stories will also contribute and give back to communities, making people feel affirmed, empowered and loved. This is something that is important to Mock, as after all, Forever to her means leaving a legacy that is both useful and purposeful, so that those after have a smother journey than the one she walked.
Native New York resident and ballerina Violetta Komyshan has always wanted to dance from as far back as she can remember and she has luckily had the opportunity to study at some of the most prestigious schools and work for some of the best dance companies. She believes that it is her qualities that have helped shape the person she is and allowed her to have the career that she has had. From her loyalty in what she does in her career with people knowing that they can always depend on her, to her strength, both mentally and physically. These are qualities that have made her the person she is today. “To me, ballet is the ultimate expression of strength and beauty in perfect balance. Training as a ballerina over the years has pushed me to find real strength within myself, both physically and mentally, and there is true beauty in being strong.”
For Komyshan, the woman in her life that helped inspire this strength was her mother. As she was a single mother, raising Komyshan and her sister alone, her strength and independence is something that inspired Komyshan and were qualities that she wanted to instill in herself.
Dr. Niamey Wilson
Healthcare Breast Cancer Program, specializing in all aspects of breast health and the surgical management of complex breast diseases. Wilson’s decision to become a breast surgeon is because she has always felt passionate about taking care of women, with breast health in particular being of paramount importance to her. For Wilson delivering the news that the surgery was successful is what she finds most rewarding. Seeing each patient’s relief makes her want to continue fighting the disease. A feeling that she carries into all aspects of her life “in that we can all change each other’s lives, and that human connection beyond our perceived differences is the most powerful force in the world.”
Influenced by her job and as a working mom, Forever for Wilson “is right now; it’s this precise moment and it is profoundly important to me that I'm present in those moments. When I’m with friends, family or patients, each moment is a forever moment, and I appreciate each one as though it is one that will be with me forever.”
Making a change for Forever
With their passion for the empowerment of women, Cristina Ehrlich, Janet Mock, Dr. Niamey Wilson, Rosario Dawson, Sophie Elgort and Violetta Komyshan are just some of the extraordinary women that the De Beers Forevermark Tribute™ Collection represents, and with our ongoing work with For Women. Forever, it is extremely important to us to continue to celebrate the incredible work, achievements and ways that women are using their voices around the world to make a difference now, for future generations and Forever.
Photographer: Sophie Elgort
Stylist: Christina Ehrlich
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