“I think the title of the exhibition says it all,” Lola Oladunjoye, founder of small-batch jewelry company Lola Fenhirst, tells Grazia USA. “How often do you see these adjectives used together? ‘Brilliant and Black’ is about taking up space, having a voice, and being recognized for what we bring to the table.”
Born and raised in London, Oladunjoye draws on her West African Yoruba heritage to craft striking, architectural pieces rooted in sustainably. Her Nigerian heritage takes form in the brand’s captivating ring on display in the exhibition, the Sybil Ring. The hybrid, 18k yellow gold/white gold ring, complete with brilliant-cut diamonds, takes inspiration from an ancient Greek tale while also nodding to her West African lineage through the integration of the bead—a traditional West African tribal motif—represented by the rounded scalloped forms.
For Oladunjoye, like many of her “Brilliant & Black” contemporaries, this exhibit is a chance to expand her platforms, take a crack at the proverbial glass ceiling within the luxury sector, and contribute to something far greater than themselves. Much like Grant’s initial spark for spearheading this show, Oladunjoye feels a sense of purpose in her participation.
“In my opinion, nothing happens in a vacuum. There’s a continuum of social awareness at play and this show is a part of it,” she says.