Last year was a huge one for Jameel Mohammed. The 27-year-old designer and founder of jewelry brand Khiry earned a spot on Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30” list, mounted his first New York Fashion Week presentation and was named a finalist in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. Capping off his year of accomplishments, Mohammed recently launched his first ever fine jewelry collection—making it clear that Khiry, which began as a more demi-fine collection, is a brand on the rise.
Founded in 2016, when Mohammed was still in college, Khiry first made its name with sculptural designs rendered in sterling silver and gold vermeil. Drawing inspiration from the Afrofuturist movement, Mohammed distills traditional African motifs to their purest, most minimal form. The fruits of this effort are usually sleek and sinuous; think tapered stacking band rings and studded hoop earrings. From the beginning, Mohammed has said, he aimed to “subvert the conventions of luxury.” With his expansion into fine jewelry, he’s doubling down on that promise.
“Both are marketed as ‘jewelry is an heirloom product’,” the designer said of his two collections during a panel for New York Jewelry Week. “In a way, [younger consumers’] value systems better align with the idea of something that’s an heirloom, that’s not disposable. I definitely think that the younger folks like a jewel or two.”
Mohammed is answering them with designs that build upon the aesthetic he’s established in his core collection, upping the ante in terms of both materials and design. Highlights from the fine collection include a graphic rhodium-plated white gold ring crowned with spikes and dotted with diamonds, yellow gold African mask pendants with emerald eyes and an eye-popping cocktail ring featuring a Muzo emerald framed with malachite inlay and diamond pavé—designs with a dose of drama but that don’t sacrifice the easy wearability that has made Khiry’s demi-fine collection a success.
It’s a bold new addition to the world of fine jewelry, and only the latest from a talent who seems destined for a thriving career. —Kareem Rashed
Top photo: 18k gold Basket Drops earrings with emerald and diamond, price on request (all photos courtesy of Khiry)