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By Neharika Padala | October 30 2014
In an industry where collaborations are generally short-term and commercial in nature, Robert Procop and Brooke Shields have been friends for over 30 years. They first met when the young jewelry designer snuck into the back of a crowded bookstore where the teen actress was doing a signing. Procop struck up a conversation with an older woman who turned out to be Shields’ mother. Afterwards there was an introduction, and an enduring friendship has lasted ever since, throughout personal and professional ups and downs (Shields upcoming book There Was A Little Girl explores her relationship with her alcoholic mother).
Shields told a group of jewelry writers during lunch at The Lamb’s Club that her love of jewelry comes from her mother, who “wore rings on every finger” and favored layering. Her own style, which tilts toward “statement pieces” pieces, developed later in life from her role as Wendy Healy during the NBC hit Lipstick Jungle. Over drinks with Procop in London some three years ago “Legacy Brooke” was born. The chatter between friends became a serious endeavor when the American icon followed up by emailing Procop some sketches. Forbes said of Procop, “His true skill is being one of the best and most knowledgeable diamond and gemstone dealers in the world.” On receiving the drawings from his friend he put one of his designers on it.
Between their busy lives, the Los Angeles House of Ruth charity gave the two a reason to prioritize the project. A transitional housing shelter and program for women and children to start a better life, House of Ruth will benefit from sales of the collection.
A booklet describing the collection references Shields’ discovery that she carries royal French blood, and says the jewelry combines “the subtle influences of this rich legacy and her chic and contemporary elegance.”
The collection features heavily on cabochon shaped amethyst, topaz and emerald stones adorned by diamonds and set in white or rose gold. Prices range from $5,000 to $50,000, and there are one-of-a-kind pieces that will exceed six figures. Procop says the collection will hit the stores in the spring. He is looking for a select group of high-end retailers who are passionate about jewelry and the charitable nature of this project.
Shields, who says she wants to design cufflinks next, is also open to private commissions from elite travelers as a way to support House of Ruth. The actress who often lends her name to charitable causes says she was taken by this project after seeing first hand progress as money donated was directly put into building houses.