Designer Jameel Mohammed's jewelry is rooted in African diaspora, each piece inspired by historical and cultural importance. His signature horned silhouette, seen in rings, bangles and earrings, resembles the curve of a big horned cattle, a store of value among the nomadic Dinka people of Sudan. And a mask motif, seen in the form of a pendant, is inspired by features prominent in West African masks. I just love how his pieces embody femininity and power.
London-based Ghanaian designer Phyllis Taylor founded SIKA in 2005 with the vision to celebrate the colorful and bold prints of West Africa. Some of my favorites include a cotton batik off-the-shoulder dress and a puffer jacket in canary yellow pattern. Each collection is produced in Ghana by a skilled garment production team that receives fair wages.
San Francisco based designer Lauren Harwell Godfrey creates pieces with the talismanic power and healing energy of stones in mind. Gemstones like pink opal, lapis, onyx, malachite and tiger's eye are combined with references to the Four Elements and a modern take on geometric patterns inspired by ancient textiles. My latest obsession is her beaded necklace which is made up of a rainbow of smooth rondelle gemstones - it's an absolute stunner. Lauren also recently raised over $50k for the NAACP with the sale of her black onyx and diamond heart charm!
Sophia Demirtas is truly a citizen of the world. After relocating her family to Turkey, the New York-raised Haitian designer transitioned into womenswear after creating jewelry on and off for several years. Sophia and her husband opened an atelier in Kiev, Ukraine to design and produce collections under her label Fanm Mon. Each piece is crafted in the highest quality linen and embellished with both traditional and proprietary hand embroidery. I personally scored the prettiest off-the-shoulder midi dress, in mint green and with bright red rose embroidery.