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Ciara is one of those celebrities who radiates light.
I mean, sure, when we met on Wednesday afternoon she was back lit with pale sunshine streaming in from the windows of New York’s Gramercy Park Hotel, and the wash of perfectly placed highlighter certainly helped. Oh, and she was dripping in 18 karat gold-plated jewels that were stacked on her neck, her fingers and her wrists. But still.
The 32-year-old singer and red carpet style icon beamed as she spoke of her new role as Pandora’s first U.S. ambassador for the Shine Collection — which also happens to be the fist gold-plated collection in the 36-year-old Danish brand’s history. Appropriately, the 38-piece collection, available on Thursday, was inspired by the sun.
Here, Ciara opens up about her favorite princess-inspired ring (recall the infamous lyric, “the princess is here: Ciara!”), her red carpet rituals as well as her (rhyming) tips for posing one of her signature silhouettes, the thigh-high slit: “Don’t get tangled in the angle!”
Why are you excited to be the ambassador for this collection?
I’m excited for so many reasons — I’ve been a huge fan of the brand for years and I really am super thrilled because I feel like I’m becoming a part of history because they’re introducing their new 18kt gold-plated collection. This is a first for them, and the collection is really amazing. It’s fresh, it’s young, it’s luxurious, it’s cool — as you can see, I love stacking all of my pieces, but I really love the movement.
On top of all that, it’s about inspiring us women to feel bright and shine bright and to express ourselves creatively. I just thought that was really cool that there’s a deeper meaning behind what you’re wearing. It is about letting your light shine.
Any favorite pieces?
I love the honeycomb bracelet, but I’m also obsessed with the honeycomb choker. And the cool thing is that you can adjust it to make it tighter or looser. And you can stack them, which adds a really cool effect, too. This is one of my favorites, the bee — it’s actually called the Queen Bee. I also love the princess crown. These are all a reflection of my personality. Princess is my middle name, actually.
It seems like there’s a bee theme?
The bee is actually a big part of the heritage of the brand, it’s been there since the beginning. It has a strong symbolism within the brand — and there aren’t a lot of this particular gold bee out there, so it’s really special.
I’m a big fan of your red carpet style and your work with stylists Rob and Mariel — do you plan to incorporate these pieces into red carpet looks?
The choker stack is brilliant, if you ask me, and that’s definitely one of my go-tos in all of this. I love the ring stacks — I don’t think you can ever have too many princess crowns. So I could do multiple crowns and play with them and reverse it. There are so many ways to incorporate these into my look when I dress up and my looks when I dress down.
Do you have any red-carpet-getting-ready rituals?
It depends. It’s funny because I always feel like I’m rushing. Even if I’m on time, it feels like, ‘Oh, we gotta go! We’ve gotta get there!’ But I always have a lot of family energy around, a lot of kids running around. We all sit down and kind of play catch up — I think that’s why it always feels like we’re rushing, too, because we’re catching up on life.
Sometimes I sit with Sienna in my lap, and she likes to hold a blush brush or something. She’ll try to swipe it on my face and I’ll say, ‘Don’t do that, Sienna. You might mess up the look.’
You and Russell always look so put-together and coordinated on the red carpet. What’s that getting-ready process like? Do you help him match whatever you pick?
We are very fortunate that every time I’m feeling something, he has something to work with it. Sometimes I want to go with some drama, and he finds a way to complement my look. He always just happens to have the right suit moment going on. He’ll ask, ‘Babe, what do you think about this?’ And I’ll tell him, ‘I trust you.’
He knows suits so well and he wears them well, so I know he’s always going to find the right moment. We’ve had moments where he’s had a suit that he’s wanted to wear for a while and I had this dress that I found that happened to have some of the same colors by coincidence — we just go with the flow.
It’s an important time for change for women in the entertainment industry. As a mother of a young daughter and also a young son, what kind of advice are you passing on to them — what do you hope they take away from this pivotal climate?
I would tell them to have no fear. Have no fear in what you believe in for yourself and the things you see yourself doing — believe that they are possible. Obviously they have each other, so I would advise them to lean on each other. But mostly have no fear. That’s a huge part of what I’ve done in my journey and in my career. A lot of times people are going to tell you no, and you have to be prepared for that. You’re going to face adversity and it’s all about how you respond.
I’ve heard “no” a lot more times than I’ve heard “yes” in my career, and I’ve always found a way to make those no’s in my career yeses. I’ve always found a way to figure it out.
Of course, for my daughter I just want her to be fearless. I don’t want her to think that she can’t be anything in this world because of her gender. You can be whatever you set your mind to, but you have to believe in that.
You’ve worn some amazing thigh-high slits in the past — is there a trick to it?
Before we leave the house we always do a photo check. Just in case!
And there is a technique to sitting — you must know how to sit with a slit! [Laughs] You’ve just got to be confident, and there are certain angles for standing, so beware of those angles. Don’t get tangled in the angle!
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Jeriana San Juan