Meghan Markle is taking a stand for women in a unique, fashion-forward way. Earlier this year, the Duchess of Sussex added some new jewelry to her collection, and now the founder of that jewelry collection is sharing the special meaning behind the pieces.
Markle debuted two new diamond rings by Shiffon Co. during the Invictus Games in April and then wore the pinky and ring finger sparklers again at Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. Shilpa Yarlagadda, the brand’s founder and CEO, recently shared the jewelry’s hidden message with People.
Markle sported the company’s 1972 Tennis Pinky Ring, which celebrates 50 years since Title IX gave women the rights to play school sports, and 19.72% of proceeds go to Women in Sports investment fund.
“Pay parity and equal pay is still a huge issue in sports,” Yarlagadda said. “Tennis is one of the few sports that has equal prize money for women, which is why we are calling this the 1972 Tennis Pinky Ring.”
She also wore another one of the brand’s symbolic pieces on the cover of Time last year, where she posed alongside her husband Prince Harry. The Duet Pinky Ring has a small diamond accompanied by a bigger one to symbolize women supporting other women through a “pinky promise,” according to People.
“Everything she does is with intention, thought and meaning behind the impact that she could have,” Yarlagadda told the outlet. “I know that when she’s wearing a piece of jewelry, there’s a lot of intention behind it. We both care so much about empowering women and she’s a fellow female founder with what she’s built, too.”
Meghan’s go-to jeweler has dedicated 50% of its profits to invest in female founders and other companies that support women. Yarlagadda noted that the brand has funded 11 female-founded companies so far.
“I think in many ways, Meghan and so many of these incredible women that have worn our rings really inspired me to create Shiffon because when I was young, I didn’t really know what I could do,” she said. “In high school and growing up in Silicon Valley, which is where I’m from, and especially in Palo Alto, we never saw that many female founders, that many female investors. The original pinky ring was designed to represent a pinky promise, to pay it forward, to support women.”