High fashion modeling is a world filled with contradictions. If one took the social media at face value, one would think a model’s life is replete with glamorous photo shoots, endless red carpets, first-class travel, and a never-ending stream of extraordinary clothing and accessories to wear. Okay. Some of this is true. From an insider’s point of view, however, a model’s life is not as glamourous as it seems. Modeling is hard work. Really hard.
When we cast Maryse Kye for the photo shoot showcasing our Spring/Summer 2019 collection, we knew right away that she was an Auvere “Golden Girl”. Not only did she capture the spirit of the brand, she brought her incredible work ethic, poise and professionalism to bear from the second she arrived on set at 7:00 am on a cold March morning in Brooklyn, New York. Only a few hours before, Maryse was aboard a red-eye flight from Los Angeles, sleepless, having worked non-stop in the days prior.
One cup of juice and a chocolate chip cookie later, Maryse was ready to go. And she delivered. For the next 8 hours, this beauty, adorned in Auvere True Gold jewelry, brought nothing less than pure joy to our set. As the photo shoot progressed into the late afternoon, we took an opportunity to learn more about Maryse and her personal relationship to gold.
Maryse was born in Burkina Faso, a landlocked West African country that is just a bit larger than the state of Colorado. Interestingly, one of the top exports from Burkina Faso is gold. A significant portion of the Burkinabe population are employed in the gold industry, whether in mining, production, or exportation. But, Maryse’s connection to gold is much more emotional and personal, as our Golden Girl shares below.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
I am from Burkina Faso, a small country in West Africa.
WHAT IS YOUR JOB?
I work as a model, and at being a quality human being in this world. The latter seems to be the most challenging right now, and that’s pretty telling because modeling is a hard heck- of-a-job.
WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO GOLD JEWELRY?
My relationship to gold jewelry at first seems, even to me, like a simple draw to aesthetics. But it also comes from seeing it throughout my environment while growing up. Gold jewelry was the main accessory worn by my mother.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC TRADITIONS INVOLVING JEWELRY IN BURKINA FASO?
Jewelry is not just a prized possession because of its aesthetic qualities but because of the history the pieces hold within each family and its monetary value of each piece, which can be used as a means to alleviate difficulties that one might encounter in life.
HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED TO WEAR JEWELRY?
I was so young that I can’t even recall when I first started wearing jewelry. I just remember always having gold earrings and bracelets on throughout my childhood.
IS GOLD JEWELRY PASSED DOWN FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION? OR IS NEW JEWELRY PURCHASED FOR CHILDREN AS THEY GROW UP?
Both. Jewelry is passed down as an inheritance due to its history in the family and also because of its worth. As a child, I remember my siblings and me, and other children having custom gold jewelry made with our names for the pieces. If you took care of them correctly, you would get those pieces adjusted by the bijoutier as you grew up. Sadly, I personally don’t have mine any longer, as I’m sure that I lost them during playtime.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC JEWELRY CUSTOMS FOR WEDDINGS & BIG, LIFE- AFFIRMING EVENTS?
For my family, gold jewelry worn at weddings is typically passed down from generation to generation. I’m sure this varies from family to family though.
DO MEN AND WOMEN WEAR JEWELRY EQUALLY?
I cannot speak for men, but women mainly wear gold jewelry that has a high value and good quality that can be sold or traded if and when necessary. In a way, gold jewelry itself is a form of insurance to protect one during difficult times.
WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT TYPES OF JEWELRY? EARRINGS? NECKLACES? RINGS? BRACELETS?
I personally think all of them are important. They all add an immeasurable value, be it sentimental or monetary.
IS GOLD THE MAIN MATERIAL FOR JEWELRY?
Gold is one of the primary resources in my country, so it’s easy to imagine why it’s an essential element in the creation of arts and jewelry.
HOW DID YOU FEEL WEARING AUVERE GOLD JEWELRY AT THE PHOTO SHOOT?
I felt a number of things for sure. In particular, I felt inquisitive and curious about the collection and the pieces I wore, but mostly I felt beautiful wearing them.
WHAT PIECES WERE YOUR FAVORITES FROM THE SHOOT?
This is a hard one! I just know I loved all of the pieces and how I looked in them!!!