Monday 27th of May 2024

Nairobi, Kenya

Ami Doshi Shah, a Jewelry Designer, Reinvents Jewelry in Kenya Using Ropes, Brass, Salt, and Stone.

Sisal ropes, old brass, salt crystals, and volcanic pebbles are just a few of the unusual materials that award-winning Kenyan designer Ami Doshi Shah has consistently used to create elegant jewelry that redefines value in a market obsessed with carats. In an interview with AFP on her rooftop studio in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, Shah, 44, said, “As a child, I was always finding beauty in unusual things like stones and fossils.” Shah creates her pieces by hand.

Her 2019 collection Salt of the Earth, which was on display at the Brooklyn Museum in New York and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, included ropes, salt crystals, and patinated blue-green metal.

Shah claimed that it took her years to devote herself entirely to her vocation, even though she graduated from a university in Birmingham, England, with a degree in jewelry and silversmithing and the coveted Goldsmiths medal for best apprentice designer.

Ami Doshi Shah interned at Indian jewelers like The Gem Palace, whose clients have included Princess Diana, Oprah Winfrey, and Gwyneth Paltrow. She is a third-generation Kenyan of South Asian descent.
She did not agree with traditional Indian notions of jewels as an opulent investment. Furthermore, she wasn’t quite sure how to reconcile the demands of the commercial world with her experimental sensibility. Shah then started working for an advertising company, where he was based in Nairobi and London for the following twelve years.

She remarked, “I knew it wasn’t my calling.” During her second pregnancy, she took a break and started an artist residency at the nonprofit Kuona Trust in Nairobi for a year in 2014–2015.

Ami Doshi Shah claimed that although it was a cathartic time, it was also “filled with self-doubt.” It is difficult to realize that you might not be a commercial success, especially after spending so much time focused on earning money. I was concerned about whether people would enjoy my work.

Personal and Political
Ami Doshi founded her brand in 2015 with the intention of producing striking, sculptural pieces that honor the talismanic significance of jewelry in Kenyan culture, where it is worn for protection, strength, and at significant life events.
Her collection includes everything from sisal neckpieces to brass earrings that sway with every movement and stone-inlaid cuffs.
Her creations are built to order using materials found in Kenya, marking a dramatic break from the traditional Indian jewelry that is dominated by expensive metals and jewels. She works with materials including leather, mango wood, and zoisite, a byproduct of the nation’s ruby mining in East Africa, in addition to brass, which is the predominant metal used in Kenyan jewelry.

The end product is jewelry that ranges in price from $75 to $375 and is quite personal and occasionally political.

“Not everyone will enjoy or comprehend my work, and that’s okay,” she remarked, emphasizing that she views jewelry-making as “a labor of love” rather than a financial endeavor. Her critically praised 2019 collection examined the contradictory properties of salt—it is a material that is both caustic and life-giving.

It also alluded to Britain’s colonial past, as Shah’s grandparents moved from Gujarat, India, where Mahatma Gandhi led a famous protest march in 1930 in response to harsh salt tariffs. That’s when she stated, “I felt for the first time that jewelry could be political, that it could be a thread connecting so many things.”

Tell Our Own Story
Her most recent collection, Memento Mori, came up as a result of her grief, as she considered her father’s passing in 2021 and their last days spent together in the Kenyan town of Watamu, which is located on the Indian Ocean.

Her concentration is squarely on the continent she calls home, both as the inspiration and the market for her sophisticated creations, which are stocked in shops in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Ivory Coast, and Kenya, despite the fact that her work is sold and recognized in the West.

After the painful expulsion of South Asians from Uganda in 1972, she urged her fellow South Asians to embrace integration rather than seek safety in self-segregation, saying, “I feel far more Kenyan than Indian.” Her goal is to establish a multidisciplinary studio with “predominantly Kenyan” designers, building on her recent ventures into the furniture industry. “It’s crucial to be able to narrate our own story in our own unique way rather than having one forced upon us.”

Content courtesy of  Kuwait Times & NFH Digital Team

KiKi Layne Chose Her Own Jewelry For Coming 2 America, According to Costume Designer Ruth E. Carter

Coming 2 America, the highly anticipated follow-up to the Eddie Murphy-Arsenio Hall classic, opens just like the original. As viewers, we’re immediately transported to the grandiose and opulent Zamunda, a feat achieved thanks largely to the costumes, thoughtfully reimagined by Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter.

The cult-favorite film, which broke box office records when it premiered in 1988, is a study in visual splendor when it comes to the wardrobe, from Prince Akeem’s draped furs to Lisa’s pink royal wedding dress, not to mention hilarious as hell  who could forget Murphy’s goofy, Scottish-inspired McDowell’s uniform, complete with a red tartan vest and matching tam-o’-shanter hat?

Fans of the first movie will be pleased to know that many of the outfits, as well as the characters wearing them, make a triumphant return in the sequel, while others are reworked to feel decidedly more modern and African, including the aforementioned McDowell’s looks.

For Carter, crafting the wardrobe of the new Zamunda required making hundreds of costumes, with several options for each principal actor, including exact replicas of memorable looks, like the lady-in-waiting’s shimmery gold dress (spoiler alert: Sheila Johnson is back, and, yes, she’s still barking like a dog and hopping on one leg).

POPSUGAR spoke to Carter, who’s designed costumes for Malcolm X and Black Panther, about what it was like dressing the stars of the exciting new release.

POPSUGAR: How does the style in this film differ from the first?

Ruth E. Carter: The first film had such grandeur  it was shot like a big Hollywood movie. When we came into the palace, we saw the opulent dresses, the tuxedos, the way the men stood with their envelope caps and sashes . . . that is signature Coming to America; I wanted to maintain that.

At the time, we didn’t see much of that from Africa; we weren’t even sure how authentic it was, but we loved it. The lion on the shoulder, Akeem in the Mets jacket  those were iconic images. I went through and picked out the things that I needed to move into the new movie. I even found some dresses from that ballroom scene in a rental house.

And we created our own new-style Zamunda looks, too, because I wanted to replicate the headdresses and big, full dresses, but in a way that was uniquely ours. We made some of the same silhouettes with more modern fabrics and treatments.

PS: So you repeated exact outfits?

RC: Oh yes. We screen-grabbed them so we could copy them exactly. We duplicated all of Murphy’s “I Love NY” buttons and [his] cap in the same way. In the flashback sequence, when Murphy and Hall are in the nightclub, we used stock footage of Arsenio entering the club and re-created his whole outfit. You can’t buy that jacket; that fabric is no longer around. That whole scene was spliced together, but I think it was very successful.

PS: Sheila Johnson’s gold dress was re-created to a tee as well.

RC: We did a ton of work looking at the images of that dress and even commissioned a jeweler who specialized in illusion-style dresses, where you have a lot of sheer spaces and strategically placed beading. We identified the shape of each gem and made a complete replica of what she wore in the first film.

PS: Were Teyana Taylor’s looks meant to be an homage to the lady in waiting?

RC: We made her some cool Shiraki military costumes, but for the big prince number, we created that costume from scratch. I was inspired by Afropunk and steampunk for her bodice, and the boots and cape were designed to be the big reveal.

PS: What were some of your other inspirations for creating the wardrobe?

RC: I was inspired by modern African fashion: the bright, brilliant colors of Ozwald Boateng suits and the Ankara fabrics that are used so prevalently in celebrations. My mood boards featured a lot of modern takes on African style, as well as images of Egyptian royalty. I wanted to bring a lot of gold and opulence into the story, so I gave it permission to be very blingy and showy. I wanted [Zamunda] to be a place you’d want to go and visit and shop and explore, because the people were so vibrant and interesting.

PS: As a Black creator, can you speak to the importance of sourcing Black designers for this particular movie?

RC: Because this was a continuation film as opposed to a remake, I wanted to move it through time by honoring the first movie while giving people another view of Coming to America. I had pieces made by artisans all over the world, from east India to New York. For me, traveling to Maxhosa in South Africa to dress the palace servants was representation that was necessary and beautiful — the prints you see on the staff really colored the palace.

PS: What are the differences, if any, between the fashion of Zamunda vs. Wakanda?

RC: When I did [the costumes for] Wakanda, I was very clear that it was not Coming to America. Wakanda is a world that was built prior to colonization, so I wanted to present a tribal view. Most people don’t know how to get to Wakanda. You can [theoretically] go to Zamunda and have a great time and buy some Ankara and see all of the colors and people and fabrics.

PS: Were there any hidden Easter eggs in the costumes?

RC: Randy Watson’s jumpsuit was based on Elvis, because I knew that Eddie loved Elvis. I showed Eddie a picture of a jumpsuit Elvis wore late in his life, and we patterned the Randy Watson jumpsuit after it.

Written By Claire Stern

Content courtesy of POPSUGAR & Nairobi fashion hub

Jiamini Kenya Fashion Accessories Brand

Jiamini is a family run, Kenyan based Fashion Accessories Brand meaning believe in yourself in ‘Swahili, founded in 2016, on the belief of preserving its Traditional African Heritage.

Jiamini’s vision, through its innovative designs and use of renewable resources, seeks to combine timeless traditional technique, craftsmanship and heritage with a touch of modernity, manipulated in the construction of its delicate beaded embroidery and weave. Each piece is developed around the idea of comfort, complementing the body’s feminine form and grace.

The Brands one of a kind pieces are a reminder and encouragement to women of who they are: Bold, Brilliant, Confident, Courageous, Strong, Sensual, Liberated and more. She’s an enigma to most and a balance of delicacy and strength to those who come across her path. It’s the pep in her step, the subtle elegance she carries herself with and the silent confidence that fascinates a crowd.

Her precious Armour, ‘JIAMINI’, around her body, that only she knows the true significance of. She never forgets her roots, the broth that runs through her veins and that just like tradition, she is and always will be timeless. All that’s left to do is believe in herself.

Jiamini Kenya designs, while respecting the old – age traditions passed down from generation to generation are brought to life by skilled female artisans, Creating timeless staple pieces.

Their mission is to design an international wardrobe for today’s global woman while at the same time helping women rise above poverty through economic empowerment and employment, one stitch at a time through fashion.

Content courtesy of Jiamini Kenya & Nairobi fashion hub  

Serena Williams On Designing Jewelry and Supporting Black Owned Brands

Serena Williams is an undisputed icon. The tennis champion has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles and four Olympic gold medals, and is regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time. But off the court, she’s taken on a newer role as a fashion designer and, most recently, marked her first foray into jewelry.

Earlier this year, Williams launched her Unstoppable limited edition jewelry collection, with 100% of net proceeds from the collection benefitting Black-owned small businesses through the Opportunity Fund, an organization that provides loans to low- and moderate-income immigrants, women, and other underserved small business owners.


“I have always had an affinity to jewelry and often I’ll wear it while I’m playing,” Williams tells Bustle. “My background, actually, is fashion design, so this is a whole new world for me. But I’ve always loved jewelry. I’ve even done a few matches in some pretty crazy pieces.”

Her latest collection, called Unstoppable With All Your Heart, features three new designs: a chain bracelet, bangle, and necklace. With each piece, a pavé diamond-accented heart complements sterling silver design elements.

Ahead, Williams shares more about her design inspiration, favorite Black-owned businesses, and current self-care routine.

How did you come up with the name Unstoppable, and what is its significance to you?

I wore a specific necklace [an elegant chain with a circle pendant] the last time I won all four Grand Slams in a row back in 2015. I felt really unstoppable with it on. That’s where the idea came from. The circular design of the Unstoppable collection was inspired by the necklace I wore at the four Grand Slams.

Why was it important for Unstoppable’s proceeds to benefit Black-owned small businesses?

We really wanted to find a way to not only give back, but to find ways that people could feel progressive during a time like this. Everyone is asking what they can do to help fight social injustice. I wanted to create an avenue for people to do that. I wanted consumers to feel good about buying a necklace or bracelet that supports women of color, Black women in particular, who are [subject] to oppression and rejection.


Which Black-owned small businesses are you shopping from these days? Any brands you’d like to shout out?

Mahmee, founded by Melissa Hanna. Mahmee is a group of technologists and health care industry leaders that connect maternal and infant health care ecosystems together to help fill in the gaps. As you can imagine, this is a cause near and dear to me, given my birth experience to Olympia.

How have these last few months in quarantine affected your personal style? Are you more “comfort over everything,” or do you still get dressed up?

I’m definitely still comfort over everything. I love to throw on my Nike loungewear and have on something I can chase Olympia around in mommy-proof gear.

What’s your go-to look whenever you need to be put together quickly — say, for a last-minute Zoom call?

I am usually in something comfortable between training, chasing after Olympia, or sitting in meetings from my home office. When I need to look more professional, I throw on my S by Serena plaid belted overcoat. I keep it hung up in my office so I have easy access to it when I am back to back and don’t have time to get more dressed up before a Zoom meeting. It’s also a great jacket for travel. It’s light, but warm and versatile for layering in different temperatures.

Your on-the-court outfits are so iconic. What do you love most about fashion?

The reason I love fashion is because we can use it as a vehicle for sharing a powerful message. When I worked with Nike and Virgil [Abloh, CEO of the fashion label Off-White], we were able to create pieces that will inspire a new generation of athletes everywhere.

If you had to pick, what are your favorite on-the-court looks from years past? What did you love most about them?

What immediately comes to mind is the jean skirt I wore in 2004 with the high boots. But I have to say I really loved the Nike x Off-White tutu outfits [from the 2018 US Open]. Tutus are my favorite thing in life. I kept all the dresses and I still wear them sometimes.

Between the pandemic, the protests for racial justice, and general heaviness in the world right now, how are you staying creatively motivated? What does your self-care routine look like?

My self-care routine is never the same. Regardless, I always try to carve out moments to tend to myself and nurture my body  whether I’m trying a new product or staying loyal to my trusted coconut oil. It’s taken a while to fall back into a self-care routine. After having a baby, I didn’t want to do anything for myself. I wanted to do it all for my daughter. It’s a great attitude, but moms don’t treat themselves the way they deserve. So that’s my thing now.


Serena Williams Jewelry 

Written By Mekita Rivas

Content courtesy of Bustle & Nairobi fashion hub 

Top 10 Online Jewellery shops in Kenya

Pieces of jewelry are the costly things to invest your money. So, everyone does proper research before investing money in jewelry,no one wants to waste their money on fake jewelries, Due to trust issues, many of us still buy gold, diamond silver, bronze , copper jewelry offline. We are afraid of investing money online that too without seeing the quality of jewels.

Photo credit Adele Dejak

A perfect look remains incomplete for a woman without the right kind of jewelry. Jewelry shopping remains indispensable and irresistible when a woman is out shopping for an occasion,but with jewellery being readily available online, who really wants to wait for an occasion?

Here is a list of online Jewellery store to checkout while shopping:

1. Adele Dejak

Adele Dejak the brand is home to luxurious African inspired jewelry handcrafted in the heart of Kenya. Everything comes from materials that different African tribes would use to make their ornaments and trinkets. they have contemporary, artistic and wearable bags, necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets not forgetting some exclusive home decor items.

2. Ami Doshi Shah

Ami Doshi Shah is a jeweller and applied artist based in Nairobi, Kenya. Trained at the Birmingham School of Jewellery, she has been the recipient of the prestigious goldsmiths award for best apprentice designer UK & The African designers for tomorrow award.

3. Kipato Unbranded

Kipato Unbranded is a social enterprise that collaborates with local artists, promoting their talents and skills and giving them access to markets. Kipato Unbranded is about beauty and unique designs. they create jewelry that is inspired by everyday people and for everyday people. their pieces are made from local materials that include brass, recycled bone, and beads.

Kipato Unbranded was founded in 2015 as a social enterprise that creates unique jewellery designs and collaborates with local artists, thereby promoting their skills and talents as well as enabling them access premium local and international markets.

4. Zanta Adeyde

Zanta Adeyde is a brand that specializes in African inspired accessories made of beads ,leather,bones ,horns and brass it mainly we have a range of products which include pure beaded Zanta Adeyde leather handbags statement jewelry and everyday accessories that fits in to the current global fashion front but with the classy and unique African touch.

5. Shop Soko

Shop  soko make modern artisan jewelry made for people, by people,their jewelry combines a strong, yet minimalist aesthetic that hints at the natural, modern and historical landscape of Kenya. Each piece is handcrafted by our artisans using heritage techniques.

shop soko they at  adapt tech for good,unlike large centralized factory production, we use technology to empower human capital and artisan entrepreneurship, not displace it. their mobile-powered “virtual factory” directly connects Kenyan artisans to the global marketplace, a scalable production solution with greater positive benefit to people and their communities.

6. Kapoeta by Ambica

Kapoeta by ambica is a luxury collection of handmade feather & silver jewellery and beaded linen boho-chic apparel. As an african eco-fashion brand, kapoeta by ambica supports ethical and sustainable sourcing, production and design.

Each piece beautifully combines edgy, elegant and extravagant.

7. Kazuri

Kazuri, which means “small and beautiful” in Swahili, began in 1975 as a tiny workshop experimenting in hand crafted ceramic beads,Its founder started with two single motherhood women and soon discovered that there were many others in the villages around Nairobi, most of who were disadvantaged and were in great need of regular employment.

Today Kazuri has grown tremendously and now has a large workforce of over 340 women skilled in the crafting of ceramic beads, strung into beautifully and artistically jewelry, the flair has taken them to a different dimension of making their own unique range of pottery which reflects the culture and wildlife of Kenya. Each piece, like our beads, is handmade and hand painted in rich colors.

8. Zaveris

Zaveris offers a wide range of services including: engraving, jewellery polishing, repairs, valuations for insurance purposes, re-stringing of pearls and a bespoke design service where we can discuss how to bring your creative mind to a reality.

They are an Independent family run jewellery business established in Kenya since 1994. Coming from a background of jewellers from the last three generations we have a wealth of knowledge in this business.

Zaveris specialize in all types of jewellery, which includes wedding bands and engagement rings in yellow and white Gold and bridal jewellery. We pride ourselves for using the latest technology combined with the best of traditional craftsmanship to offer you an extensive collection of gold Jewellery, precious and semi-precious stone Jewellery, Pearl Jewellery and Silver Jewellery of the highest quality and unique design.

9. Little Jewellers

little jewellers are dealers of 925 Sterling Silver Jewellery thier products include wedding rings,engagement rings, anklets, bracelets, chains, earrings, pendants, necklaces and birthstone  rings. We are a family owned business offering exquisite yet affordable jewellery to the individual or in bulk to our wholesale clients.

They exclusivity in dealing only with silver jewellery that makes them the ideal company to enter into business with because  they offer you a wide array and diversity of merchandise. This directly impacts the prices of our product making them most favorable to thier customer thus satisfying their needs.

10. Onyx Jewellers

Since its inception in 1974, the Onyx Jewellers in Nairobi, Kenya has earned the reputation as one of East Africa’s most prominent retailers of jewellery and wholesalers of the finest quality gemstones, Spanning two generations and built on trust and integrity, The Onyx boasts a product range of jewellery that is as diverse as its client base.

As a licensed mineral dealer The Onyx is also renowned for being one of the region’s leading stockists of Tanzanites, Tsavorites, Diamonds, Precious and Semi-precious Coloured Gemstones.

Offering a bespoke design and manufacturing service, The Onyx Jewellers is renowned for its dedication to creating exquisite and delicately designed pieces of jewellery that would suit any occasion and regularly commission important pieces of fine jewellery that today serve as a continued testament to the company’s commitment to aesthetic designs, expert craftsmanship and attention to detail.

La Haute Collection

We did random search for most popular online Jewellery store in Kenya list may vary from online ranking 

Content courtesy of Nairobi fashion hub Digital Team 

Kipato Unbranded


Who are Kipato Unbranded ?

Kipato Unbranded is about beauty and unique designs. they create jewelry that is inspired by ‘ “everyday people and for everyday people”. Their pieces are made from local materials that include brass, recycled bone, and beads.

Kipato is a Swahili word meaning ” income “. This underscores the social justice core of the social enterprise. From its beginnings, they  provide the artists with fair wages.
Being a women-led organization Kipato unbranded are conscious about empowering young women. Kipato Unbranded is adaptable and ethically responsible.

Kipato Unbranded was founded in November 2015. since then it has received media attention including features on television programming,publications in media houses both in print and online, blog features, and showcased in high
profile events.

Their shareholders are 5 young women from different cultures and backgrounds – an international group that is committed to seeing this vision and mission exceed in every way possible by contributing their skills in law, design, marketing and branding.

Some of Kipato Hand made African Jewelry


Why “ Kipato Unbranded ”

1. Kipato: Kiswahili word meaning ” income “. This underscores the social justice core of the enterprise. We ensure that our artists are empowered by their work and receive fair wages for their creativity. From its beginnings, profits from the artists’ work,
whether sold in international or local markets, go directly to the artists, creating a model that is sustainable and fair to them.
2. We are “unbranded” because we are focused on creating jewelry by everyday people, for everyday people. We believe that beautiful Kenyan jewelry should not be out of reach for Kenyans and Africans on the continent, and therefore are
striving to create an enterprise that is accessible and approachable.
3. Our brand is also adaptable, simple, and ethically responsible- the collections are designed to be versatile, suitable as much for a high-profile journalism awards event as for a casual Saturday afternoon with friends.
4. Our products are created from recycled products, and our packaging and operations are eco-friendly, making it an environmentally responsible enterprise as well.
Kipato Unbranded is about simplicity, accessibility and empowerment.

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Moyo By BiBi

Moyo By BiBi is a Kenya Luxury accessories Brand (company) founded by Bibi Ahmed accessory designer based in UK London with Kenyan roots,all her accessories are handcrafted at the island and Village by selected artisans from Kenya

Moyo By BiBi was founded by Bibi. The brand is Inspired by the Maasai, Samburu tribes, Kenyan culture and tradition. “Moyo” which means “heart” in Kiswahili the main language spoken in Kenya. All accessories have been handcrafted by native Kenyan men and women at the village using tradition method, making sure they have put effort in every little detail to give you a true statement piece, and long lasting accessories.

Her first collection of accessories was launched in march 2016 

Moyo By BiBi accessories are unique, versatile and vibrant. One of the reasons why Moyo By BiBi accessories are so unique is because men and women can wear, each piece has a story to it. Using a range of materials such as real leather, maasai beads, pipe beads and glass crystals. The art of the bead work is out of this world.

“Be bold and vibrant with African inspired jewellery”