Kennedy Celebrates International Women’s Day and the changing luxury landscape

Published 4 March 2022

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This International Women’s Day we celebrate the role of women in luxury. Women are important, active, and discerning lovers of finely crafted watches and jewellery, but they’re also integral in the luxury industry. We spoke to three women in leadership positions at Kennedy for their insights on the evolving landscape of women in luxury, as well as the women who inspire them.

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Eileen Gu
IWC’s Brand Ambassador Eileen Gu Wearing IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41.

Changing patterns in luxury retail is something Gabrielle Krieg, has witnessed first-hand: “In 2019 the Financial Times reported that women are a growing segment of watch buyers and that the stereotypical idea that men buy watches for women was long gone. Of course, there’s a connection between this and the rising spending power of women, as we see more women in the workforce progressing in their careers whilst successfully juggling family.” These changing patterns are resulting in more women falling for a wider range of fine timepieces; “We’re seeing that women are moving from wanting small, very feminine timepieces to something with a larger dial as perceptions of femininity and masculinity evolve. There is a new generation of unisex watches being worn by women as this trend takes hold.”

Of course, women are important in the world of fine jewellery too. Graff Melbourne’s Boutique Manager, Maria Pople, explains the importance of women in luxury. “Through Kennedy and Graff, doors have been opened, creating opportunities for women in the workplace. I’ve had the absolute pleasure of being involved in events that celebrate women, encouraging elevated and inclusive lifestyle occasions providing unique experiences; exquisite mother and daughter lunches, afternoon teas to indulge in creative activities and delightful formal dinners.”

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Women play a hugely important role at Kennedy, as Sonia Dimasi, explains: “Our workplace is predominantly female, and with more than two-thirds of middle management to executive roles held by women, Kennedy understands the importance of a work culture defined by flexibility, inclusivity in decision-making, and equal opportunity underpinned by principles of merit and equity.” Ms Dimasi goes on to explain that this approach has become even more important in recent times thanks to challenges like Covid-19. “Kennedy has continued its commitment to supporting and empowering our staff who are also considered the pulse of the ‘Kennedy Family’ as a workplace. Women at Kennedy actively support, coach, and mentor each other. When I first joined Kennedy, I was allocated a mentor who is an inspiring and accomplished woman, and she is both a role model and wise counsel for me; the same is taking place across many of our teams and it is incredibly powerful, especially for our future growth and succession planning.”

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Sonia Dimasi believes that taking guidance from inspiring women is a key factor in success in luxury, and in life in general. “Always believe in yourself and dream big. Importantly, invest in building your skills and knowledge. Observe the people that inspire you the most, reflect on the traits that make them successful and reflect alongside your own strengths.”

Inspiration can be found both near and far. For Gabrielle Krieg, role models were found close to home. “My mum is one of seven siblings, and having me late in life, she had time to focus on work. She loved me, and she loved my dad, but she also loved numbers. When she finished school, a woman having a serious career as an accountant was unheard of, but I grew up thinking that anything was in reach if you worked for it.”

In addition to being inspired by the women in her life, Maria Pople finds lessons in the life of one of fashion’s most legendary figures, Coco Chanel. “I have great admiration for her strength and courage in working her way forward in business to establish a legendary and iconic fashion house that is still thriving today.”

There’s been a great deal of positive change for women since Chanel’s day, but one thing has remained the same. In the world of luxury, the values of quality, integrity and passion are timeless.

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