Christie Craft is Refinery29's Managing Editor. Previous to this, she served on the mastheads of SEED, Nerve.com, and BlackBook, and is credited as the founding Hip-Hop editor of BRM magazine. Follow her Twitter, here.
"Accessories are key to any look. A creature of habit in most elements of my life, mine rarely change, consisting of a small armory of pieces, all of which are some tone of gold (call me a stereotype). My necklace, a 24-carat gold nameplate pendant on a thin, constantly-replaced chain, gets the heaviest rotation. I wear it practically every day (and have since I was 13)—and as my cohorts here at the R29 headquarters can attest—with anything from jeans to an Audrey Hepburn-esque black body-con cocktail number.
"Like so many vaguely ethnic New York (Brooklyn, specifically) born and bred girls of a certain generation, I was gifted my nameplate by my dad for my thirteenth birthday. And although my family and I had since relocated to Phoenix, Arizona, this piece of jewelry still held the same significance for me as it did my cousins back east—the horrors of puberty and transition to womanhood. Of course, the prestige I felt rocking my nameplate all day long (even in gym class!) was not felt on the West Coast. Nobody really "got" it, but it wasn't so much of a curiosity, and it didn't make me cool. It just made people look at my chest more, which was mortifying.
"When I moved back to New York to attend NYU in 2000, wearing my nameplate allowed me to blend into the City's cultural scenery I wanted so badly to be woven into, avoiding the crazy-obvious conspicuousness of middle-America's freshmen transplants. My shiny golden nametag also made it easy for city boys to scam on me, which was disarming ("Yo, baby-baby-psst-psst-mami-hey, ma!"). At the height of SATC fever, every rich white chick with a TV and penchant for shitty romance analogies called it the "Carrie Bradshaw necklace," to which I immediately waxed indignant: 'My dad got me this for my birthday. Like your nose.'"
"I still wear my nameplate, goons still use it to scam on me in bodegas, and prissy girls still call it the 'Carrie Bradshaw necklace.' These things will never change, just like ID jewelry will never not be a distinct part of New York's style landscape, and—God willing—it'll be an important part of my future daughter's coming-of-age."