By Joe Alexander
Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin
2015 has been a significant year for Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, the entrepreneur who has been dubbed the “rebel heiress.” With pop songs soaring through the charts and a burgeoning business enterprise, Consuelo has expanded her empire with a capsule collection of pearl jewelry for HSN.
A direct descendant of one of NYC’s founding families—shipping and railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt—and a cousin of Gloria Vanderbilt and her son Anderson Cooper, Consuelo created Homage, a 25-piece pearl and diamond jewelry, which launches in November, just in time for the holidays.
The range is comprised of pieces inspired by the Vanderbilt women of previous generations, and a few that reflect her own, more “rock n roll” style. The collection includes designs such as The Coronation Choker, developed in homage to her namesake and great-great grandmother, Consuelo Vanderbilt, the Duchess of Marlborough, who wore the choker to accentuate her famously long neck, much to the envy of society women of that era. The Coming of Age Pearl Necklace is another item inspired by the single-strand pearl necklaces that each Vanderbilt woman born in the past five generations received on her 18th birthday. Additionally, Consuelo is developing a fragrance with Symrise Perfumer David Apel.
Beyond her burgeoning design career, her passion for music has led to great success, with the release of her album I’m Just Me earlier this year. Consuelo always loved to sing and entertain, but it took a car crash at age 19 for her to decide that music was something she wanted to pursue as a career. From that point on, she was determined to realize her dream. With the support of her manager, Christian Seidal, who encouraged her to write her own material, she perfected her technique. It was during this time that she developed plans for the creation of her own record label, C&R. This was realized in 2011. With her label she is able to retain creative control and own her master recordings, and was able to secure major distribution via H’ART Music in Germany.
As I’m Just Me surges in popularity across Austria, Switzerland, and the UK, the latest single from the album, “Lose My Mind,” landed on Germany’s mainstream charts, where Consuelo performed for fans on the entertainment TV show, ZDF Fernsehgarten.
From pop to pearls and entrepreneurship, Consuelo is moving full steam ahead. She is also closing the last rounds of funding for Soho Muse, Inc. Upon its launch in 2016, the site will become a “trusted source for creative people” and provide a way for artists, designers, and others in the industry to showcase their talents to a global audience.
Consuelo continues in her family’s philanthropic tradition and gives back through her involvement with organizations that are close to her heart. She is affiliated with the American Heart Association, and performed at one of their recent summer galas. She also serves on the board of the Ovarian Cancer Coalition of Greater California, where she dedicates her time to educating women and to helping find a cure for this devastating disease.
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