Diarrablu’s First Jewelry Collection Combines Artisans And Algorithms

Sustainable Senegalese and American style model Diarrablu has launched its first jewellery assortment. Like the model’s clothes, every bit is thoughtfully designed to characterize founder Diarra Bousso’s African heritage, whereas additionally embracing expertise with a watch in direction of the longer term.

Also just like the model’s clothes, Bousso makes use of arithmetic to create her jewellery designs (she can also be a math instructor, learn extra of her backstory right here).

Each piece is hand made, principally by Senegalese artisans with whom Bousso and her mom, Khoudia Dionna, the model’s Senegal director, have relationships. And Bousso crowdsources her designs in an try to scale back waste by creating solely designs which can be prone to promote.

I’ve shared with you beforehand Bousso’s unbelievable story of resilience and creativity—together with a brush with loss of life, amnesia, Wall Street and math—all of which led to her founding Diarrablu. Below, she shares her inspiration and course of for growing her first jewellery items, plus how Diarrablu has developed for the reason that international pandemic started.

Is this your first time designing jewellery?

“Yes, it is my very first time. I have been working on it since Summer 2021 and as usual I crowdsourced all the design with my Instagram audience using polls. I had so many designs to begin with, all over the place and after polls I was able to narrow them to the most wanted pieces. This really helps us reduce waste and only produce what’s wanted by our customer.”

What impressed you to wish to create a jewellery assortment?

“I had two completely different inspirations that I wanted to bring together. On the one hand I was inspired by the traditional ornaments in Wolof and Fulani cultures and how jewelry is such an important symbol of wealth and identity. On the other hand I was inspired by my own background in geometry and mathematics and wanted to explore how various polygons and circular shapes can be stacked upon one another to create unique jewelry pieces. This is very aligned with the DIARRABLU brand focused on oxymorons such as tradition and technology or artisans and algorithms. I feel like as a Senegalese born creative, I have really learned to live at the intersection of culture, mathematics and heritage and realizing they are not mutually exclusive at all is truly empowering.”

How do you apply math to creating the jewerly?

“For our first jewellery assortment, we used parametric round and polygon equation to create circles, half moons and rectangles which turned the fundamental shapes we used to create earrings and rings.

This course of is sort of distinctive as a result of in simply altering some variables we are able to design new sudden shapes to create new jewellery kinds in a really environment friendly means. We then share the jewellery with our followers by way of polls on Instagram tales and have them vote on what to supply so we solely make what’s wanted to scale back wastage.

We plan to discover extra iterations of those geometric jewellery shapes for our upcoming summer time assortment and have been sampling numerous designs in upcycled brass with our native artisan jeweler in Dakar, Senegal. I can’t wait to finalize them.”

Where are the items made?

“The TWIST earrings, The wolof earrings and The Luna Ring are all handcrafted in Senegal by Wolof and Fulani artisans. I’m from the Wolof ethnic group and jewellery is such an vital a part of our id. It is how we showcase who we’re, how we have a good time love and infrequently, how we create household heirlooms that get handed down generations. The earrings are handcrafted in both 925 sterling silver and dipped in 18k gold and the enduring LUNA ring is hand made in upcycled brass.

The GEO Earrings and LEAF Earrings are crafted in brass and plated with 18k gold by artisanal companions in China in a small manufacturing unit we selected to work with after reviewing their Sedex Member Ethical Audit report. It was actually thrilling for me to supply exterior of Senegal and was pleased to search out that there are studies in place to verify we work with international companions with out jeopardizing our enterprise values and social duty.”

Can you share a bit about how they’re crafted?

“The course of of making these items is so wealthy and attention-grabbing. For instance,

The Wolof earrings characterize household heirlooms in conventional Wolof society in Senegal and are excellent for significant gifting for particular events like weddings, child showers, engagements or self love celebrations.

Handcrafted by artisans in sterling silver or pure gold, every pair takes 5 days to make, as every geometric design is formed by hand and thoroughly added to the general piece. These earrings have been handed down from mom to daughter for particular events corresponding to weddings and carried for a lot of generations as a logo of cultural and familial wealth.The TWIST earrings: These luxurious heritage earrings are handcrafted by native Fulani artisan communities in Senegal and Mali, one of many largest nomadic teams in West Africa. The Fulani tribe is well-known for his or her conventional jewellery, which culturally characterize a logo of wealth they may carry always. The whole course of is handbook and no two items are alike.

The Luna Ring: Statement geometric ring handcrafted in upcycled brass by artisans in Senegal and every bit could have slight variations primarily based on the kind of brass used.

The GEO Earrings and LEAF Earrings are geometric crafts and the creation course of is what I’d name “digital artisanal craft.” You can see photos beneath for all numerous geometric iterations that ultimately led to those items. Almost really feel like a visible geometric algorithm.”

Will you do extra jewellery sooner or later? Will you increase the gathering?

“Absolutely, I am currently testing new designs with a local blacksmith in Senegal and it’s so fun to be able to share my ideas via Whatsapp as I live in California and have him send me videos of the testing process. I am also very interested in working with other artisans around the world and using jewelry to tell their stories. I am currently exploring places like India and Morocco to create unique handcrafted pieces for future collections. It’s so empowering to learn about jewelry and what it means to different cultures. Being able to share that with the world is such a gift.”

How is your small business altering now that we’re (hopefully) rising from the pandemic?

“The business has observed tremendous growth since the pandemic. This year we just started a partnership with Nordstrom, after working in the past only with Shopbop and Stitchfix. We have grown our Dakar production workshop over three times and have created many jobs. I just hired an operations director in Senegal, as my mom could no longer handle the workload and volume. Our team has grown from less than 10 pre-pandemic to over 45 today. The majority is in Dakar, Senegal but we also have employees in New York, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Madrid, The Philippines, Cape Town and Abidjan among others.”

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