“They’re an icon of an icon.” Said Lynda Resnick, a brand powerhouse whose company’s diverse product lines include Teleflora, Fiji Water and POM Wonderful. She was telling me about her purchase, for $211,000, of the most expensive fake pearls in the world. But, they were owned and worn by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
She knew any woman who wore an exact replica of these pearls would feel as if she was channeling the Queen of America’s Camelot. So what Lynda was really buying was the story of Jackie.
Lynda impressed me by her absolute commitment to authenticity. She analyzed and copied them right down to “the sterling silver clasp and the three little cubic zirconium and the silk cord and the seventeen coats of lacquer.” The reason it was so important to her to own the originals was that they gave her both the standing and the ability to produce the truest possible replicas and to own and sell the story they tell. Even though these pearls were copies, they were copies with credibility. “It has to be real,” she said emphatically.
More than 130,000 of these exact replicas sold for a gross profit of $26 million — all of it told and sold through story. As Lynda said, “the promise of the story has to deliver. If it doesn’t deliver, who would care?”