50 Shades of Grey Necklace Boosts Fledgling Designer’s Career

Seattle designer Lisa Richardt is flooded with orders for Dakota Johnson’s horseshoe necklace

“Holy, oh my God—that’s my necklace!” was the sentiment that popped into jewelry designer Lisa Richardt’s head when she went to see steamy blockbuster 50 Shades of Grey with some girlfriends last week.

The designer of 2-year-old Seattle-based brand Veronica & Harold created the delicate wire horseshoe necklace the movie’s star, Dakota Johnson, wears in literally every scene that exposes her throat. “It’s the only necklace she wears in the film,” says Richardt. “And it was the most surreal experience seeing it. It was so, so exciting.”

Courtesy Focus Features; Veronica & Harold

Dakota Johnson wearing a Veronica & Harold necklace in 50 Shades of Grey—and a closeup of the in-demand necklace

Richardt, whose collection is carried at West Hollywood boutique Show Pony, said almost a year ago “a costume designer contacted me and said an actress in a film had picked the piece out, and wanted to get multiples of it.” The designer forges every piece in her collection by hand, and by herself. 

“She wouldn’t give me any information beyond that,” she recalls. “They were very hush-hush.” Richardt says she assumed she might never see the necklace’s celebrity owner. “And I pretty much never go to the movies,” she says, laughing. 

Since the movie debuted, and sites including The Take (which show users where to buy items worn in film and TV) have featured the piece prominently, Richardt has been flooded with orders for the delicate design—which retails at an accessible $55 for a gold-fill version, and $50 in sterling silver.

“Both retail stores I sell through have sold out, which means around 250 necklaces sold in two weeks,” she says. Now, she says with weary glee, “I’m making this necklace constantly! My poor fingers are so sore, I’ve been soaking them in Epsom salt. It’s totally insane.”

Courtesy Show Pony

A promotion for the piece currently on Show Pony’s home page

Richardt says she hopes to hire some help in the coming weeks to create a makeshift assembly line while she figures out how to capitalize on playing a small (but memorable) part in the splashiest film of the year.

“I’m beyond excited,” says the largely self-taught designer. “It feels amazing being part of a moment in popular culture.” Next up: “I need to take a minute to sit and think about how to grow my brand using all the exposure. I literally haven’t had a minute since this all started—it’s been go, go, go.”

JCK Magazine Editor