Luxury jewellery retouch by Studio Impress
Luxury jewellery retouch photoshoot for designer Jameel Mohammed
Jewellery designer Jameel Mohammed hopes to change how high-fashion consumers interact with the African diaspora through his luxury jewelry label. “Khiry” is this label’s name, which the 21-year-old launched this year, while juggling his studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
“In a context of fashion, things we tend to associate with luxury are pretty immediately synonymous with European history and tradition.” – Mohammed told Vanity Fair on a recent phone call. His sterling-silver cuffs coated in leather and rose-quartz stones earrings is a root in the African diaspor. It is a source of inspiration that carries its own sense of historical importance. It offers a different approach to luxury than the couturiers of Paris.
“People approach black culture in fashion from an exotic viewpoint, or, ‘Oh that was fun for a season.’ But what if we just revered it? What if we just accepted that it was a really amazing thing? That it offers a completely fresh take and is distinctive and no less stunning and no less beautiful?,” he said.
And though the brand is still relatively new, he’s already found a fan in HBO star Issa Rae. But with Khiry’s debut on Moda Operandi this fall, more A-list fans are sure to follow.
With Khiry, designer hopes to disrupt the way high-fashion consumers interact with black culture
The African diaspora is admittedly a wide, varied source of inspiration. One that spans the stories of black Americans, Cubans, and Nigerians, for example. Mohammed grounds his designs in research, “identifying the units of cultural production that are relevant” to the people he’s inspired by. Khiry’s collection features sleek, sloping rings, bracelets, and chokers that mimic the curved horns of the cattle, which Dinka tribe in Sudan herd. “They’re a nomadic tribe and they spend all their time with the cattle. So I just wanted to honor the importance of that.” – Mohammed explained, referring to the ways in which cattle feature prominently in wealth, status, and even courtship rules within the community.
Photography (c) Maria Karas