We always knew Monica Rich Kosann for her photography—black and white archival portraits—and her fine jewelry: heirloom-quality gold, silver, and gemstone lockets, whimsical charms, and made-to-be-layered pendant necklaces. (“The two are not that different,” says Kosann. “Whether it is a photograph that reveals memories or a woman who wears jewelry that tells her story, her dreams, travels, adventures ahead—it is the same thing.”) Yet we only just learned she’s a lifestyle guru. We’re slightly obsessed—in a totally healthy way!—with MRKStyle.com, where she discusses Coachella accessories, muses on Mad Men–esque vintage jewels, suggests a summer dinner-party menu, fashions flower arrangements, chats with Gossip Girl’s Kelly Rutherford, and even reveals the contents of her handbag (three words: Carmex lip balm). We’re no less obsessed with her jewelry, which will be on display in the Design Center at JCK Las Vegas. We promise while we’re there we won’t peek into her purse.
Monica Rich Kosann’s gold pocketwatch key
Age: Timeless, like my collection
Number of years in the biz: 20 years as a photographer and eight years as a jewelry designer
Number of employees you oversee: 10+
Family and pets: My two daughters, Danielle and Laura, my husband, Rod, my golden retriever, Ody, and my chocolate Lab, Buddy
Describe your personal style: Eclectic with a hint of classic
The silver shell locket
First piece you ever designed: A silver locket in the shape of a shell
Single piece of jewelry you’re most proud of: My charm bracelets
Best piece of advice you ever received: “Everything in moderation.”
Worst piece of advice: “Stick to what you know.”
First job ever: Modeling. Started at 5 years of age.
One of her signature charm bracelets
What is it about the locket that continues to inspire you? Lockets are mysterious and sexy! Look at an old masterpiece painting where the woman is holding her locket. She has this look on her face as if she is daring the viewer, “Guess who is in my locket!”
If you weren’t designing, what would you be doing? I would be a fashion photographer.
Jewelry you’re wearing right now: My charm bracelet (I wear it every day) and my planet pendants
Five items on your desk right now: Colored pencils, sketchbook, my vintage Agnes mug, Diptyque rose candle, and a disco ball
Five songs on your playlist: “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele; “Somebody That I Used to Know,” Gotye; “Besame Mucho,” Diana Krall; “Blue Skies,” Ella Fitzgerald; “Fifth Symphony,” Beethoven
Exercise regimen: Pilates and SoulCycle
What did you have for breakfast? Ezekiel toast with almond butter and jelly
Guilty pleasure: 3 Musketeers bar!
Drink (daytime/evening): Coffee/white wine
First website you check every day (not your own!): Women’s Wear Daily
Why did you create MRKStyle.com? To merge my philosophy of life, memories, and beautiful things!
Courtesy of Random House
How do you unwind? Sitting in front of the TV with piles and piles of magazines watching old movies from the ’40s
Superstitious? I never walk under a ladder and I knock on wood a lot.
Book you’re reading: Right now I am reading Nicholas and Alexandra since I am planning a trip to Russia.
Book you’ve been meaning to get to: Jane Eyre
Preferred news source: In this digital world, I still love holding something tangible…like a newspaper!
Main means of transportation: Walking
Favorite movie: This is a tough one. Moonstruck, Casablanca, Bringing Up Baby, Sunset Boulevard, and I love The Lord of the Rings!
Personal motto: “Carpe Diem!”