The statement pieces of the collection are Uhuru’s Wings; crystal encrusted ceremonial style collars from which luxuriously dark silky feathers fan out.
A string of approximately 365 crystal beads and a silver clasp in the shape of a heart inspired the name for Tanzanian jewellery designer Jacqueline Kibacha’s handcrafted African inspired jewellery and fashion accessories label. Based in London, her jewellery label Heart 365 Emporium incorporates traditional Maasai beading with the drama of bold designs, colours, and layered textures.
[Image credit: Uhuru’s Wings Neckpiece – Heart 365 Emporium]
Proud of her Tanzanian heritage; Heart 365 Emporium is a celebration of cultures and traditions that go beyond borders and pays homage to handmade jewellery, traditional craftsmanship and the art of adornment. During a trip to Tanzania, Jacqueline spent time with Maasai bead workers sharing stories, making jewellery and learning more about the history and significance of the traditional beading she remembered from her childhood. Creating wearable African inspired jewellery pieces of art has helped Jacqueline connect with the semi nomadic Maasai people of Tanzania; experiences that are combined with the influences of having grown up in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
[Image credit: top, Mwiba Cuff; bottom, Nilot Collar – Heart 365 Emporium]
The debut collection, ‘Uhuru’s Wings: Freedom to Fly’, was inspired by Tanzania reaching the milestone of 50 years of independence – Uhuru is the Swahili word for freedom – and led Jacqueline to explore the meaning of freedom and what it means to people and societies, and how this concept could be translated into her work and into a thing of beauty. Paying homage to what calls Maasai Couture, Heart 365 Emporium reflects a culture of beading where Maasai women skilfully handcraft jewellery and other distinctive forms of adornment that have a specific meaning for the wearer, conveying messages through the use of certain colours and layers. An age-old craft, over time the pieces created began to feature different layers; at first made with locally found materials such as seeds; as brightly coloured European glass beads became increasingly available and popular meant the addition of another layer as they were later incorporated; and now Heart 365 Emporium adds its own complementary layer of crystals, semi precious stones and vintage pieces.
[Image credit: Mwiba Earrings – Heart 365 Emporium]
atelier | 55 is an inspirational design and lifestyle resource, that shines the spotlight on contemporary design from and inspired by Africa.
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