In his jewelry designs for his brand Khiry, Jameel Mohammed challenges Eurocentric notions of luxury and high fashion by employing the principles of Afrofuturism—the intersection of African diaspora culture with technology. “It’s a means of reexamining my own history and culture, and finding beauty with myself and my people,” says Mohammed, who grew up in Chicago and was encouraged by his parents to explore his African ancestral history. He channels these stories and motifs into his sleek, minimal designs, such as these Jug Drop Earrings, which are inspired by the shapes of water jugs and calf skin—”unspillable life” according to Mohammed. Intended for everyday wear and made in New York City from polished sterling silver and gold vermeil, the earrings measure 1.5"l each.
Khiry by Jameel Mohammed
Founded in 2016 by designer Jameel Mohammed, Khiry is a NYC-based Afrofuturist luxury jewelry brand. During a lecture in Japan, as part of his political science studies at the University of Pennsylvania, he was told that “luxury brands only come out of Paris and Milan.” The comments infuriated Mohammed because they suggested that a Black aesthetic could not be considered “high fashion.” To prove them wrong, he created Khiry. "I realized that, as a Black artist and designer working in the fashion industry, I would be contributing to the creation of images that would inevitably reflect and reinforce values that would resonate with larger political issues and struggles."
“My designs are the result of a research process on what the future will look like for Black people, and the world more broadly. The individual pieces are inspired by ideas or icons that stick with me throughout my process.”
“My Jug Drop Earrings are inspired by goatskin bags made for carrying water. They’re a physical metaphor for the desire to safeguard the precious elements of life amid a globally felt struggle for equality and recognition as full human beings.”
“My goal is to relate everyday moments of Black life to the global experiences of both resilient joy and nuanced oppressions. I try to keep abreast of emerging perspectives from artists, thinkers, historians and academics from the diaspora and the African continent.”