How Cartier Celebrates the Beauty of Bold Women, Wealthy or Not


Cartier Coloratura 2018

Cartier is helping redefine what luxury means. While the iconic French luxury goods and jewelry brand is beloved by the rich and famous (or rich and discreet), it’s also empowering women to chart their own destinies through turning bold ideas and actions into entrepreneurship and leadership.

The brand is now in the 13th year of its Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards, which recognize innovative, financially sustainable, socially responsible startups that help solve global challenges. A joint partnership project with the Women’s Forum, McKinsey & Company and INSEAD business school, the awards have supported 198 women-led businesses to date.

Isabel Pesce Mattos - Cartier award winner

Case in point: Isabel Pesce Mattos (above), who founded FazINOVA in São Paulo, Brazil, to provide skills training for entrepreneurs from all walks of life with free and fee-based online courses. Her goal is to “change their mindset and achieve their goals.” Her organization’s vision and ambition led her to become the first Brazilian woman to receive such an honor since Cartier’s Awards were established in 2006.

The social impact of the program includes creating more than 6,000 jobs and standing up for women who may be years away from being able to afford Cartier pieces, but who consider the brand’s investments in their dreams a priceless gift.

Each winner receives $100,000 in funding, business coaching and mentoring, along with access to INSEAD on the education front. Cartier will announce 21 finalists in February from seven global regions, and from this group seven winners will be announced in the spring of 2019.

The largesse extends beyond the winner’s circle, as the remaining 14 finalists each will receive $30,000 in funding. In all, Cartier will be granting more than $1 million each year in funding to female entrepreneurs, “making it the largest and most generous competition for women entrepreneurs in the world.”

Over the years, winners have represented a broad group of industries including environmental, healthcare, technology and education. About 80% are still in business. The awards website supports female entrepreneurship year-round.

The women’s entrepreneurship awards have contributed to a Cartier legacy and ethos that looks beyond the fleeting fashions of the day, forging a style out of its extraordinary history and encounters with exceptional personalities. At the recent Haute Couture Fashion Week in Paris, Cartier officially unveiled its Coloratura High Jewelry Collection that celebrates vibrant color and artistic cultures in India, Japan, Africa and elsewhere.

After threading the marketplace needle during a turnaround that began about a half-century ago under one of its young executives, Alain-Dominique Perrin, Cartier is proving its continued relevance in other ways as well. One of its famous necklaces, Touissant, “stars” in the female-led Oceans 8 movie, for example—yet another example of its relevance to generations of powerful women.