independent

Monday 21 April 2014

How jeweller turned to 'tribal glam' after a youth beset by illness

Jenny Lauren and Gerry Lauren

"WITH captivating blue eyes and dark hair, Jenny Lauren looked as though she'd stepped out of one of the ads for which her uncle, Ralph Lauren, is famous. It was not long, however, before she found herself in a world where it was easy to see herself as less than perfect."

Thus begins the blurb for Lauren's book, 'Homesick: A Memoir of Family, Food and Finding Hope'.

The 2005 book catalogues how Ms Lauren has suffered from depression, anxiety and bi-polar conditions, and also from anorexia which she developed at the age of 10 after she was rejected by the prestigious School of American Ballet.

She subsequently embarked on a dangerous mission to starve herself into the perfect dancer's physique.

'Vogue' magazine described it as "a story about learning to accept one's body as one's home" and a British newspaper called the book ". . . one of the most harrowing personal accounts of living with an eating disorder".

However, Amazon.com readers were not quite as complimentary or sympathetic, with one describing it as a "poorly written festival of whining," and another saying that throughout the entire book the reader wanted "just to slap her and tell her to grow up".

Ms Lauren is a 41-year-old single woman who lives on New York's plush Upper East Side at East 65th Street -- where a town house last year sold for $24.5m (418m).

She turned to a career in jewellery design after studying for a BA in Art History and Fine Arts from the 'Ivy League' Barnard College.

Her father, Jerry, is executive vice president for men's design at Ralph Lauren.

Ms Lauren specialises in "tribal glam" jewellery pieces which sell at high-end stores, including Ralph Lauren and Urban Zen.

'The New York Times' described her work as "a little American Indian and a lot 'Out of Africa' with a touch of prepster-on-vacation earthiness".

It's priced from $350 for earrings to $5,000 for a long necklace.

Irish Independent

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