Little Black Dress
I was extremely fortunate to have known 2 great grandmothers, my dad’s maternal grandmother, Angelina, and my mother’s paternal, Cecilia. Angelina was “Grandma Pots & Pans,” because she would let me take out all her cookware and set it up on the retro linoleum floor as I pretended to be a chef. Flash forward to present day for true irony: I do not cook.
Cecilia only spoke Italian so we could never fully communicate, but we managed nicely with our “mescolanza” blending of Italiana and Inglese. She was kind, gentle, and baked amazing Italian cookies. But the biggest impression she made on me was that she wore black. A lot.
“Nonna wears black because she is a widow,” my mother explained. “In the old country (our family’s colloquialism for Italy), women often wear black when their husbands pass away.” Very perplexed, I countered that my mother always wore black to parties, fancy restaurants, and weddings that she attended with my father, who was very much alive. My mother smiled. “No, that is a different kind of black. One day, you’ll understand the little black dress.”
There it was. That was the first time I heard the ubiquitous term, proclaimed with such conviction that it surely was some kind of dress code or fashion edict. Though I would not grasp its true significance and versatility until years later when shopping for a college friend’s wedding, the LBD seemed an integral rite of passage into adulthood, a kind of Rosetta Stone for how the future-me would think, shop, and dress. Seeing the lovely Audrey Hepburn in her Givenchy sheath in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is when its elegance and timelessness really hit home. I have since embraced the LBD to the point where the dressy part of my closet is practically monochromatic.
Very recently, I have come to think of Suna as the little black dress of the jewelry industry.
The correlation came to me suddenly as we were participating in a recent online jewelry conference in this socially distanced reality of 2020. Whenever we describe the Suna collection, we use words like iconic, classic, and refined. Crafting fine jewelry for over 85 years means we have a treasure trove of styles, and most can be worn today because they possess a refined elegance. We continually add pieces to our collection with the same aesthetic, and though Suna is not thought of as cutting edge or trendy, we remain totally relevant.
Suna is evergreen—never changing, always beautiful, and with staying power to transcend decades of evolving fashions. There are no expiration dates. Our quiet sophistication and tailored timelessness will always be relevant…just like the little black dress.
Coco Chanel showcased a short, simple black dress in American Vogue in 1926 and the magazine soon after predicted that the little black dress was destined to become "a sort of uniform for all women of taste.”
Danielle Barber, Suna Bros.