Editorial by Kyle Garcia, Founder & Designer of KYLE CAVAN
As KYLE CAVAN has grown in the past year, we’ve been fortunate to work with and design over 100 collections for various organizations. All of these collections and partnerships emerged naturally from our original work with universities and felt like a natural extension of our mission - to empower women and give them the ability to proudly wear and celebrate their accomplishments with beautiful jewelry collections.
We have big plans this Fall with new collection releases and upcoming partnerships, but there is one partnership that particularly excites me - the partnership we are celebrating the launch of today - Miss America x Kyle Cavan. Like many people, hearing “Miss America” first conjured up visions of young women lining up to be judged in bikinis. As female entrepreneurs fighting to be respected for our voices and work, this wasn't exactly something that we could easily get behind but then we did our research.
We took a closer look at recent, radical changes at the organization: something described as “Miss America 2.0.” Gone is the bikini pageant. In its place is a more inclusive contest where women are evaluated on the basis of their achievements, ideas, and ability to convey them. And I don’t mean safe topics. At last year’s competition – the first of the “Miss America 2.0” era – contestants addressed issues of serious weight like the NFL player protests and the Flint water crisis.
It also came to my attention that Miss America is one of the largest scholarship-granting organizations for young women in America.
At a time when women hold nearly two-thirds of all college debt – and then can’t pay it back as quickly due to the gender pay gap – it was important to us to support an organization that helps young women pay for college and is choosing to evolve with the times, not beat them up for a past that doesn’t hold up well to modern values.
At KYLE CAVAN, we had to convince universities, licensing directors, and manufacturing partners of the need for beautiful, wearable college jewelry for young women, who represent 56% of the college population. We believed they were being underserved and overlooked by an entire industry for too long.
That’s why we are excited to support Miss America's initiative to bring attention to the growing debt facing young women graduates -- more women in college is an amazing thing but the debt that comes with it is not.
It is important to talk about this, and find solutions to help young women find the financial freedom to pursue their dreams. Take 2018 Miss America winner Nia Franklin, a masters degree-holding opera singer who is currently a fellow at Lincoln Center in New York. And unlike so many, Nia has been able to pursue her dreams unburdened thanks to scholarships through the Miss America organization.
Although it may take time to change public opinion of what Miss America is and is not, we, at KYLE CAVAN, feel strongly in the organization’s mission to support and empower young women and are excited to be the organization’s exclusive jewelry partner.
I knew this was something different and worthwhile. Beyond the obvious link to young women in college, I personally can get behind any organization lifting women up and providing them a home.
That’s because whether it’s through your experiences in college, membership in a Greek organization, competition in Miss America, or a million other things - a sense of belonging to something bigger than yourself, particularly as young women, is what it is all about.
Today's Miss America competition has evolved to represent female empowerment, excellence, and education – and that’s a crew we’re proud to be part of.
If you’re one of the thousands of young women who compete in Miss America every year, we hope you’ll check out our new collection.
Welcome to the Cavan Crew.