All Articles Tagged "jewelry"
They say diamonds are a gals best friend, but what happens when your pockets can’t necessarily afford such pricey merchandise? Well, that’s when we’d opt to say accessories. You know, necklaces, rings, bracelets and much more that pull your look together instantly.
Well, recently, the most popular accessory trend in fashion from low-end to high-end has undoubtedly been the choker. Very much a ’90s resurgence, everyone’s got a velvet, metal, rhinestone or leather variation wrapped around their necks, showing off their decolletage. From Zoe Kravitz to Kelly Rowland to Rihanna, everyone’s been getting in on the choker action.
After perusing through YouTube, one of our favorite vloggers, UK’s Shirley B. Eniang, shared a super cute video of ways to create a choker necklace yourself. “Loving the trend, I hope you try!” she wrote on the video that’s already accumulated over 76,000.
Who doesn’t love DIY projects that’ll save you some coins? Press play and get in on the choker trend for less!
Take a quick walk down the glittering Diamond District in New York City and two things become apparent quickly: the desire for fine jewelry doesn’t seem like it will wane anytime soon and the smiling shop owners and hustling sales people look nothing like newcomer Crystal Streets. After 10 years outfitting A-listers like Mariah Carey and Usher, the sunny celebrity stylist (and mom) is on a mission to bring a whole lot of her #BlackGirlMagic to the jewelry industry.
Streets launched her Crystal Streets Jewelry collection at New York Fashion Week’s Accessory Exhibit in 2011 and received rave reviews and tons of press coverage. The inspirational and affordable costume line featured brass, sterling silver plated with 18k gold, rose gold and silver and cubic zirconia. In 2014, Streets followed up with Crystal Streets Fine Jewelry – a luxury and custom made collection made of solid gold and sparkling diamonds.
Available by appointment in her showroom, online and retailers including Macy’s, Anthropologie, Smithsonian Museum, the American Natural History Museum and HSN, her collections are also sold internationally including in Dubai, Kuwait, Japan, Netherlands, Paris and Sweden.
Being one of the few women and even fewer African-Americans in an industry valued at more than $72 billion has influenced how Streets runs her business, sources her diamonds, and even how she grooms her young daughter to take over the reins one day.
We got to chat with the bling queen and legacy maker and found out what makes her business shine.
MadameNoire: You’ve styled celebrities like Mariah Carey, Jay Z, and Rihanna. How did you get your start?
Crystal: A stylist in New York got me an internship with Derek Khan who was at the time styling Monica for the video “The Boy is Mine.” I went to intern with him and I was like “this is my life?!” and from there I moved to New York. I started at Essence magazine as a fashion intern then moved to fashion assistant. I assisted a number of stylists for about two and a half years just to hone my craft before I went out on my own.
And, then I got my first client – Jay Z – and he became a kind of a big brother and mentor to me. He taught me the business side of it.
How has having a mentor impacted your career?
It’s funny because throughout my whole entire career God has placed people to oversee and mentor me and I’ve been so blessed in that way. I think the first mentor came in college and then Jay was like my second mentor. He really taught me the business side of styling. I didn’t even know how to invoice when I signed up with him.
He was very savvy in that way and he taught me how to make styling into a business. Even going into diamonds and bridal jewelry. I have a mentor now who taught me everything I needed to know about gemstones and diamonds.
What’s been your inspiration to move from styling to designing jewelry?
It was something that I always wanted to do even when styling. Many people start their looks with the shoes or a dress and then they build on that, but I would always start my look with accessories and I was obsessed.
Being in a service business, it was very taxing on my time. I had my daughter in 2008 I just wanted to be present. So while on maternity leave, I also launched my (jewelry) collection. And it took off.
I didn’t think I was going to have two passions in life. I’ve been blessed in that department. I’m just as passionate about jewelry design as I have been with styling.
What is the essence of the company?
Crystal Streets Jewelry is for the fashion-forward mom. She is very deliberate. She knows an accessory is the exclamation point to your outfit. I make pieces that are inspiring and have meaning.
You are one of the few women in the diamond district. What’s that experience been like?
It’s such a funny experience because not only am I a minority, I’m a Black woman with blond curly hair. I think in the beginning they thought that I worked for someone. Honestly, it’s a secret society. So I definitely had to build relationships.
How do you get your diamonds?
I have a mining certificate in South Africa. Most of my stones are straight from the mines. I don’t work with any blood diamonds. Knowing where my diamonds were from was the only way that I was going to go into this part of the business. I didn’t want to be stripping my people of their natural resources. So, I know exactly where my diamonds are coming from
So, is the business that you’ve created one you’re hoping to pass on to your daughter?
Absolutely. This is something I’m building and I’m trying to instill in her in at a very early age, so she’ll have enough business sense, be creative and able to take over. She’s already a budding designer and can sketch. I’m teaching her CAD, Photoshop and Illustrator. We already designed our first collection together – The Mommy N’ Me Collection.
We literally designed it together and I always say I know a girl who stole my heart and she’s the one who stole my heart. So, she wears the heart and I wear the bar. This is all for her and I want her to be able to kind of run this business (when she is older) and be a little boss.
How do you encourage her type of creativity and business sense?
I introduced her to different things so that she could try everything. At one point she was doing my gymnastics, dance, horseback riding and art classes, so I could find what her genius level gift. I think we all have these gifts that God has blessed us with. It’s about finding it and once you do, it’s up to us as parents to foster that and just help them grow.
What’s been the most rewarding part about running Crystal Streets Jewelry?
The most rewarding I would have to say is just that just that it’s mine. I love seeing a piece, a collection I’ve created come into fruition and people love it say to me, oh my gosh I’m never taking my necklace off.
Besides your website, how can people get in touch to make an appointment?
In addition to shopping on my website, people can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My showroom is Crystal Streets for Dream Stone and we are located at 15 West 47th Street and it’s appointment only.
When you visit Eldenwadesigns.com, the first words you see at the top of the page are “FUNctional Art,” a perfect description for the pieces created and sold by the brand’s founder, Ellen Wagner.
Six years ago, Wagner made the leap from employee to entrepreneur when she left the world of advertising and forged full speed ahead with eco-friendly fashion accessories brand Eldenwa Designs, a decision she came to fairly easily.
“When I realized that I did not want my bosses job I knew it was time for me to focus my efforts somewhere else.” she said. “Somewhere I always had a flame burning. It was time to stoke the fire.”
Although starting her on company while freelancing in the ad industry was new for Wagner, she’d actually been creating pieces for herself since she was a kid. She also studied Fashion Design/Merchandising at Clark Atlanta and went on to study Art Direction at Creative Circus in Atlanta. But perhaps Wagner’s greatest teacher was her mom, whom she would watch “whip up a skirt” whenever she couldn’t find the perfect fit or style for a particular outfit. “It was magic!” Wagner declared.
Now Wagner is making magic of her own with jewelry crafted in designs that are heavily influenced by African culture, specifically Egyptian civilization, art, and design. All pieces are handmade fabric accessories made from recycled (up-cycled) jersey cotton.
“I have been a person who recycles for as long as I can remember. We can all do a small part to help out the environment and that is a no-brainer. And I have always enjoyed making old new again so it pretty much went hand in hand [with my brand]. But when I found out that each year we dispose of 11 million tons of textile in the US alone it became a passion to make fashion sustainable.”
And unlike many designers who attach a hefty price to that sustainability, nothing in Wagner’s current inventory of rope scarves, chain link scarves, hats, or fringe necklaces costs more than $60.
“There is no reason we should have to break the bank to be fabulous,” Wagner remarked. “I have never been addicted to labels and, frankly, I think that’s the easy way out. A true fashionista can look like a million bucks even if they only spent 5.”
As far as starting one’s own business, Wagner said there’s no reason women should feel like they can’t do that either, but what they have to remember is “You can’t do it all yourself.”
Aspiring entrepreneurs need to both outline their goals and create a strategic plan and then create a support system to launch their own venture,” Wagner advised.
“It is a lot of work and dedication and not for the faint of heart if you’re going to go all out. Do not worry about what everyone else is doing. Keep your eye on the prize.”
Ear cuffs are not a new phenomenon, nor are they a thing of the past. You’ve seen them on runways, on the red carpet and on everyday women. One thing is for sure: they are always fashionable, full of flavor, and seem to be a trend that never goes out of style.
Whether ornate, futuristic or simplistic in design, ear cuffs are a break from traditional earrings, make a bold statement and are guaranteed to turn heads. Versatile, you can dress you ear cuff up with formal wear, or dress it down with casual jeans and a T-shirt. And you don’t necessarily need a piercing in your upper ear to sport one, as most cuffs today can be worn atop or behind the ear. Check out some of these cool looks.
Circle Marks The Spot
Definitely feeling an Afro-Futurist vibe from this circle-patterned masterpiece created by Beads Byaree. This brass “Flora” design is art for the ear, inspired by flowers put behind the ear for decoration.
As a frequent visitor of wedding websites and message boards, I realize that diamonds are not every girl’s best friend. Instead of going the traditional route, many brides-to-be opt to have moissanite, sapphires, and other gemstones set in their engagement rings. However, I have never heard of an e-ring quite like the one that belongs to Carlee Leifkes of California.
According to BuzzFeed News, Leifkes’ fiancé, Lucas Unger, proposed this past Halloween with an engagement ring that featured his wisdom tooth as the center stone.
“When we’d spoken about it, I’d said that diamonds are so overrated,” Leifkes told BuzzFeed News. “My birthstone is a diamond. I don’t need one to prove how much someone loves me. He’d already moved all the way from Canada to do that!”
After a bit of brainstorming, the couple decided that they would use Unger’s wisdom tooth, which he had removed when he was younger. So they had his father send the tooth in the mail, and the rest is history.
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) November 2, 2015
According to the Leifkes, she refused to be like the other future brides in her Facebook network, who she accuses of being superficial and competitive.
“It’s almost a contest of who has the biggest ring and whose fiancé loves them the most, and here I am with the coolest ring I’ve ever seen in my life!” she said. “What does a diamond signify in anybody’s relationship? I literally have my husband’s wisdom on my finger.”
The couple is planning to tie the knot next month in Las Vegas.
While not wanting to be superficial is understandable, this is quite different. And as always, we’re interested in hearing your thoughts. Would you wear your man’s tooth in your engagement ring?
So it’s that time of year again, when mothers and daughters the world over are pitted against each other over fashion. We want to save you some drama and keep you on fashion point by highlighting these stylish but super wearable back to school fashion 2015 trends that you’ll most likely both love!
15 Back To School Fashion 2015 Trends You’ll Both Love!
Get ready for Wednesday morning or Friday night with these head-turning earrings that’ll have you all set for any occasion! We often need to have accessories that can transform for various occasions and these are sure to upgrade your jewelry department. Whether you are ready to splurge a bit or keep it cost-effective these, we’ve got some fun luxe founds.
15 Fancy Earrings For Work & Play
There’s nothing more frustrating than getting dressed for an occasion and looking through an old and overcrowded jewelry box for matching accessories to pair with your outfit. Jewelry boxes are traditional and we get it, but why not get creative and find other genius ways to organize your jewels. This will make your daily routines of getting ready much easier. Not to mention that organization promotes relaxation and peace which we all can use. Click continue to see some very interesting ways to organize your favorite pieces of jewelry!
Get Organized: 19 Genius Ways to Organize Your Jewelry
Allow us to introduce you to Katherine-Mary Pichulik a native South African and accidental jewelry designer and founder of PICHILIK. Katherine-Mary started out in fine art and cooking, but once she began creating jewelry (inspired by her travels) made from rope and locally found materials she realized she had something – wearable art.
And with this art she brought more native South Africans to the table (literally) and began creating pieces that she says are tailored for Brave Women – women who are courageous enough to be creative. Everyone from show-stopper Solange to Rihanna has been seen in these hand-made designs coming out of Cape Town.
The design team of brave women – Kat, Joyce, Elita, Sarah and Melissa, are inspired by making bold jewelry for other brave women. In their Cape Town workshop space you can find the ladies braiding ropes embellished with semi-precious stones to sea shells off the coast.
See what the team has to say about The PICHULIK Woman:
If the PICHULIK brand was a person she would have a wicked sense of humour , a strong yet inspired presence. Kind, wise eyes that speak of many journeys through exotic lands. She would smell the way jasmine smells in Johannesburg at the end of winter -promising spring. She would taste of pomegranates from Granada and rose syrup from Morocco.
We’re sold! And believe you will be too after checking out some of these brave, beautiful and one-of-a-kind designs!
International Runway: Drape Your Neck and Ears in Brave South African Fashion
What girl doesn’t love baubles? Whether it’s diamonds or faux leather, bling is truly a girl’s BFF. These A-list fashionistas include Rita Ora, Riri, Angela Simmons, Vashtie Kola, Solange and more rocking a variety of arm candy, including gold cuffs, designer chain linked bracelets, leather trimmed bangles and more.
Click through and get ready to feast your eyes!
Arm Candy: 15 Flicks of Stars Strapped in Fab Bracelets