Women of the Year 2012

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Two weeks ago, Maiden Nation walked the red carpet at Glamour’s appropriately enchanting Women of the Year night at Carnegie Hall. In addition to the amazing and inspiring women being awarded, Glamour also traditionally honors a special project through the Women of the Year Fund initiative – and this time around, it was our Kiss Kiss Bracelets! These lovely pieces, with their intricate paper beads and bright woven bands, are the product of our partnership with illustrious designer Chan Luu and Sean Penns’ J/P Haitian Relief Organization. A portion of the proceeds from every sale goes towards supporting the artisans in Haiti, and additionally to the American Red Cross in their relief efforts after superstorm Sandy. 

Our founder and guide, Willa Shalit, took to the carpet to model all five of the captivating bracelets before the show - and what a show it was! There’s no question that this annual event is an intensely star-studded affair. The women being honored ran the gamut, from photographer to actor, court justice to Olympic athlete. They were, in no particular order (how to go about ordering such talent?): architect Zaha Hadid; humanitarian and documentarian Ethel and Rory Kennedy; actress, writer and director Lena Dunham; documentarian Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy; J. Crew president and executive creative director Jenna Lyons; famed photographer Annie Leibovitz; sexual abuse activist Erin Merryn; actress Selena Gomez; Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and five of the U.S. female gold medalists – track and field virtuoso Allyson Felix, judo champion Kayla Harrison, soccer star Carli Lloyd, swimming sensation Missy Franklin and gymnast Gabby Douglas (seen modeling the Kiss Kiss Bracelet in Glamour’s WotY magazine issue!). 

The prodigiously talented women accepting the award were by no means the sum total of distinguished attendees. Both audience and stage held a whole swathe of equally impressive women – Glamour Editor in Chief Cindi Leive, Cynthia Nixon, Arianna Huffington, Katie Couric, Solange Knowles, Mary J. Blige, Tyra Banks, Ana Wintour, Donna Karen, Chelsea Handler, Grace and Mamie Gummer and Chelsea Clinton all made an appearance. 

For all of us at Maiden Nation (and we’d be surprised if any of the other guests disagreed), it was an incredibly inspiring night. Listening to exceptional women from across the board share their experiences and stories against the stunning backdrop of Carnegie Hall was nothing short of life affirming. In particular, the Lifetime Achievement winner Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s candid and charming speech centered on a subject that seemed representative of the entire evening – women working, quietly and efficiently, to transform the laws of the world we live in to fit the one we dream about living in. Citizens unite!

By Kate Andersen