As a Black designer, Jameel Mohammed views his designs for his brand Khiry as a means for reexamining his own history and culture—and considers how they will resonate with larger political issues and struggles. Employing the principles of Afrofuturism—the intersection of African diaspora culture with technology—Mohammed channels these stories and motifs into his sleek, minimal designs, such as these Tiny Khartoum Earrings. These sleek hoops have a tapered silhouette, expressing the designer’s vision of “marrying sophistication with edge.” Made in New York City from polished sterling silver and gold vermeil, these Khiry Tiny Khartoum Earrings measure .075 diam. each.
Sterling Silver, Gold Vermeil
Year of Design
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.”
“The Khartoum motif is inspired by the cattle herded by Sudan’s Dinka tribe. I like to interpret shapes that are present in an African or diasporic context to suggest different versions of luxury. The horn symbolizes the goals of Khiry: the evaluation of Black life and culture in its own context.”
“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.”