Inspired by the deeper meaning attached to treasured possessions, jewelry designer and portrait photographer Monica Rich Kosann set out to chronicle the stories of such cherished belongings. Spending time with more than sixty-five intriguing personalities, celebrities, and thought leaders resulted in A Possession Obsession: What We Cherish and Why, a stunning photographic collection that transcends materialism and explores the secrets and stories behind beloved personal items.
This reoccurring column is an ongoing passion of Monica's to continue to chronicle people with what they cherish. Each month, a new person will be featured as a glimpse into A Possession Obsession.
How did you come to own your possession?
My Italian grandmother didn't have a lot of money growing up in Brooklyn, and as an older, more established woman, she never allowed herself any indulgences - except jewelry. She loved jewelry - the bigger and gaudier, the better. When she passed away many years ago - I was probably in my early twenties - she left all her jewelry to my sister and me. My sister took all the classic stuff, and I took everything else. This ring, which my sister hilariously thinks is hideous, is just one of my favorite pieces ever. It not only reminds me of her - and how she would often wear four gigantic rings at a time on one hand - but it was also a sort of premonition of what my style would eventually become - a mix of vintage and modern, uninhibited, a little gaudy sometimes, too, just like her.
How do you live with your heirloom?
I honestly get a little nervous I'll lost it, so I only wear it for evenings out to dinner or on special occasions. Although, it's just as fabulous for an ordinary day at the office.
Who in your life has most influenced your personal style and taste?
My grandmother for sure...She taught me how to wear red lipstick, too. The many powerful women and characters in film and television in the seventies when I was growing up...everyone from Charlies Angel's to Jessica Lange. And, of course, you can't go wrong with advice or imagery from Elsa Schiaparelli or Diana Vreeland; they are the queens.