Growing up, my childhood was far from 'normal'. My fathers work took us to different continents, one of which was Africa. We spent a few years living in Zaire (now known as Congo) and Ivory Cost, and so my childhood was colored with some unique experiences. Having to adapt to new surroundings, cultures and languages formed not only the person I am today, but also the 'look and feel' of my jewelry- strong and feminine, with presence that doesn't overtake your look.
In my designs I am drawn to these experiences, as if they etched a mark in my aesthetic view. It was only a matter of time until I was to make a whole collection inspired by these places. Kind of a homage to a place that inspires me to this day.
My African collection is formed with several lines, each is named after an African tribe, and influence by an aesthetic aspect of it that I was inspired by.
For example. The Turmi people of Ethiopia have a body scarring ritual, where the outcome if often a geometric pattern. These patterns inspired my to create a strong, geometric line, with round and triangular shapes.
[Click on image to view collection]
Another line is inspired by the Ashanti people of North-West Africa. I was intrigued when I read that when colonialism arrived to their area, the men were inclined to negotiate with them, while the women were eager to fight them off their land. These strong, brave women warriors are the inspiration behind my 'Ashanti' line, featuring arrow heads and shields.
The Karo people of Ethiopia are most famous for their white face and body painting and their colorful accessories. Their colored faces reminded me of the masks we always had hanging in our house. The 'Karo' line features masks, some are bare and minimal, and some are festive and colorful.
As a jewelry designer, I was especially drawn to the SAMBURU people of Kenya, whos' outfits and accessories are just eye catching and appealing. The Samburu line is about color combinations, preferably bright and summery, but not just.
Hope you enjoy wearing these pieces as much as I enjoyed creating them!
View the entire African Tribes collection here