Grading the Jewelry on Celebrity E-Tail Sites: Preserve, Draper James, Goop

Whether you think Goop is a must-read or the media equivalent of a Splenda-riddled vanilla soy frappuccino, you have to give it to founder Gwyneth Paltrow.

The Oscar-winning actress paved the way for A-list Hollywood celebrities to moonlight as Martha Stewart–like lifestyle gurus with her site, which continues to be a mash-up of luxury shopping opps, travel tips, and diet recommendations designed for the chef-assisted life. 

Now it seems the ball is really rolling. Blake Lively’s hippie-ish retail site, Preserve, debuted last year—stocking all the artisanal salt a lithesome gal in a vintage dress could wish for. And last week, Nashville-bred actress Reese Witherspoon (also an Oscar winner) debuted Draper James, a site specializing in preppy, Southern-style clothes, jewelry, accessories, and home wares.

Unlike the offerings at Preserve and Goop, Draper James is less a lifestyle portal and more a straightforward retail site. And the wares are pretty much what you would expect from someone really selling their Southernness. There are cotton napkins emblazoned with phrases including “Pleased as Punch” and T-shirts that command we “Keep it Pretty Please.”

What the trio of high-profile sites do have in common is a wide selection of jewelry for sale. Of course, each site’s selection was curated to enchant a different demographic. Here’s a brief roundup/breakdown of the picks on each portal.

Courtesy Preserve.com

Pieces from Blake Lively’s Preserve, clockwise from top left: Dream Collective earrings, $70; Mikal Winn spike earrings, $198; Wild Air & Co. necklace, $107; In God We Trust heart necklace, $50

Preserve

Lively’s site was a subject of major media ridicule in the media when it debuted last year—mainly because the actress penned a welcome letter that was so painfully earnest. But the site does feature a collection of beautifully curated costume and precious metal–plated pieces from indie brands including Wild Air & Co., Saressa, Throne Watches, In God We Trust, and Alexis Russell. Prices are accessible, hovering around the $100 mark for most styles. Looks are casual and earthy—there are lots of drusy-stone rings and bracelets, a host of artfully bent hoop-y earrings, and engraved pendants with sassy messages like “I Gotta Man” and “hair flip. strut.” The girl knows her audience.

Grade: A–

Courtesy DraperJames.com

Pieces from Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James site, clockwise from top left: bow charm, $25; cowboy boot charm, $25; pearl necklace, $200; magnolia necklace, $245

Draper James

Where Lively shines a spotlight on the artisans her site features, Witherspoon is clearly trying to build her own Draper James jewelry line—with the magnolia flower, a motif used prominently in half the pieces on the site—as its signature. There are 14k–22k gold-plated chain necklaces and bracelets with resin magnolias and a host of gold-plated charms—from horseshoes to cowboy boots—that click onto Draper James charm bracelets. Prices aren’t steep (bigger pieces are between $100 and $200), but the pieces can feel awfully generic. Still, Witherspoon connects with her fans—WWD reported yesterday that a few dress styles on the site sold out in a single day. 

Grade: C+

Courtesy Goop.com

Pieces from Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, from top: Lena Wald X Goop stud earring, $200; 10k gold personalized earrings from Brigette Romanek, $1,050

Goop

The jewelry mix currently on Goop is a mash-up of site exclusives—special pieces created with well-known jewelry designers including Sarah Chloe, Jennifer Meyer, and Lena Wald—and pieces from big brands and retailers including Tiffany & Co. and Neiman Marcus (presumably sold through an affiliate program in which Goop gets a cut of the sales it sends their way). The site’s jewelry selection has always been tasteful, if slightly/wholly inaccessible to the 99 percent. Think stylish, pure gold-and-diamond staples. No surprises, no disappointments. And 100 percent on brand. 

Grade: B+

JCK Magazine Editor