October 29, 2021

"One of the most beautiful outcomes of being in this cohort, is the connection with the other designers," agrees Lola Oladunjoye, of Lola Fenhirst. "There is a creative energy between us, we exchange ideas, and take delight in supporting one another’s achievements." None of the designers in the show come from jewelry-industry families, several have previous careers before they started in jewelry - Oladunjoye still practices as a lawyer, Nelson began designing jewels to wear when he performed as a rapper, Sheryl Jones is a former fashion PR. Now they are all figures of representation to others.

"Our time has come"

Oladunjoye sold her Sybil ring in the sale, an elegant blend of the Yoruba weaving motif and her signature gold beading accented with diamonds, in an exploration of the contrasts between strength and fragility, motion and stillness and the designer's African and British cultures. "When I learnt that my Sybil Ring had sold I was giddy with excitement and sobered by the realization that a house established in London in 1744 could see the value in showcasing the work of contemporary Black jewelry designers. Our time has come."

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