It’s a funny fact that a lot of the people in high positions and that wield power in what is thought of as a such a feminine industry, like fashion, are men. From the old 7th avenue garmentos to many of our favorite it-designers (thing Balmain, Alexander Wang, Zac Posen, Wes Gordon, the list goes on). The same is true in the fine jewelry industry and beauty. Well from the DNC to Nasty Gal, the times are changing and #GirlBoss is not just a trending hashtag, it’s a rallying cry. In honour of International Women’s day, I thought I’d share some of my favorite up and coming women designers making their mark right now in fashion and accessories, all over the world.
Catherine Sarr of Almasika
With roots in Benin, Parisienne raised and splitting her time between Abu Dhabi and London, fine jewelry brand, Almasika designer, Catherine Sarr is the epitome of jet-set chic. While the brand is in it’s infancy, it is already carried by topshelf retailers like Luisa Via Roma and Colette. Based in London, Almasika fine jewellery is a celebration of the magnificent jewellery and adornment heritage of Africa. Inspired by the history of ancient kingdoms, ALMASIKA fuse iconic motifs with an international sensibility, to create jewellery with universal allure. With an extensive background in luxury, including time spent at DeBeers, it’s refreshing to see a black woman at the head of a fine jewelry brand and “African-inspired” jewelry that breaks the usual motifs of Massai inspired collections.
Donna Kang of Timo Weiland
I can’t get enough of Donna Kang, one third behind the immensely popular brand, and a favorite of mine, Timo Weiland. Majoring in evening wear, art and knitwear, Donna is the only one of the time with a technical fashion background and it’s safe to say that the magic that is Timo Weiland wouldn’t happen without her.Donna is the cool NYC Timo Weiland girl, the life of the party, I can’t remember Donna ever not greeting me with a smile.
Already a huge fan of the brand, when I met designer Tanya Taylor at the White House, I found out she was as charming and elegant as her designs. Hailing from a line of entrepreneurs, Tanya isn’t one to sit on her laurels. She has turned that finance degree from McGill University into a successful New York City based design house. Worn by women I love such as Michelle Obama, Lena Dunham and Kerry Washington to name but a few, I definitely look forward to Tanya’s collections season after season.
Phoebe & Annette Stevens of Anndra Neen
You know when you meet someone and immediately click with them? That’s how I felt when my friends Hannah & Hassan introduced me to Phoebe & Annette Stevens during their NYFW presentation a few years ago. That same fashion week, I went gaga over my friend Kyleigh wearing one of their cage bags, so the brand’s name was definitely in my head. Based in NYC, with the collection being made in Mexico City, where they were born and raised, and often jetting around the world, there are few things I love more than our catch ups where we dish about life and love. Surrounded by art and artists for all of their lives, it’s no surprise that their designs walk the fine line between jewelry and accessories and wearable art. A major source of inspiration to the sisters is their grandmother, Annette Nancarrow, a jewelry designer and artist in Mexico City who ran in the same circles as women like Frida Kahlo, Peggy Gugegnheim and Anais Nin.
You might recognize the name Min Wu from a previous post where I did an editorial with her designs or the ‘Nomads piece I ran about her. And I’ll say it again. I adore this designer. We might in Vicenza last spring and it’s been such a delight watching this Vogue darling grow since then. Min’s designs are quirky, cool and effervescent — much like her. She’s definitely set to change everything you think about Made in China.