This Self-Taught Jewelry Designer Is Redefining Black Luxury

This Self-Taught Jewelry Designer Is Redefining Black Luxury

Creating luxury jewelry takes art and craftsmanship. Black-owned brand KHIRY — known for its representational take of Blackness and storytelling within their pieces — knows a thing or two about both. Jameel Mohammad, the founder and creative director, started the brand in 2016 and has made it his mission to challenge the narrative that luxury is a space where  Black-owned brands are not welcome. Mohammad prides himself on using fine materials and inspiration from the African diaspora to bring his collections to life. 

It’s no surprise that his popularity has been growing immensely in the industry. Along with his pieces being worn by celebrities like Coco Jones, Chlöe Bailey, Megan Thee Stallion some of his many achievements include being a finalist for the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund in 2021, to magazine covers like Black Fashion Fair and jewelry placement in major retail stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Net-a-Porter. And still, Mohammad shows no signs of slowing down. 

Mohammad just launched Khiry Studio, which is his experimental and creative extension to his brand. This new journey includes modernist sculptures, high jewelry, and leather floggers. On August, 11th in New York City, Mohammad collaborated with the liqueur brand Fleuriste St~Germain for their second iteration of their Parisian Salon and flower shop installation. Mohammad was able to create and showcase his interpretation of the global flower shortage during the event. 

Unbothered spoke to Mohammad about the collaboration, his designing process, and what the future holds for his brand KHIRY.

Unbothered: Can you walk us through the story behind each piece and how they connect with the flower shortage? How many pieces did you design?

Jameel Mohammad: I would say the most central theme of the collaboration with St-Germain was the will to create and to innovate even in challenging circumstances. For Fleuriste St-Germain we made a series of vessels that were paired with Zoe Bradley’s paper florals, from resin clay, hand painted acrylic and gold leaf, with each featuring a figure in motion. By the time we completed the vessels, I felt that the figures were akin to hurdlers or dancers jumping, defying gravity and difficulty to make a moment of beauty. Within the series we created eight vessels as well as the prints.

Can you share the process of designing each piece?

JM: In each case I started with sketches, and then began with digital renderings; 3D models to determine the final direction of the vase series, and to sculpt elements of the print which were then rendered in gold for the final print design. The process was over several months and evolved with my understanding of the St-Germain brand and where it naturally overlapped with my own process.

Which materials did you utilize most while creating?

JM: We used a two-part resin clay that hardens when cured for the vases and acrylic paint gilded with 24k gold leaf. 

What is something people may not know about when it comes to your process of designing jewelry?

JM: I’m completely self taught! For that reason it’s really natural to me to incorporate new things I learn into the process, finding new materials, and methods of achieving my ideas. My education in this craft had been self-directed and without a formal end date, which means it constantly evolves without concern of adhering to a prescribed idea of what’s best. 

Can you share what else we’ll see from you this year and in 2023?

JM: This year we will be having a runway show during New York Fashion Week and we’re planning for a holiday pop up towards the end of the year. I’m also working on my own music, and looking forward to releasing something in the near future.

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