Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ehsani on the Rise

Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Erykah Badu and… MC Lyte? Besides being influential tastemakers in music, urban culture, and most obviously fashion, what do these artists have in common? Take a closer look at the earrings, knuckledusters, and stilettos they’re rockin’ and the answer is loud and clear, Melody Ehsani. A relatively new designer on the scene, her blinged-out baubles have become the new celebrity favorites in the urban fashion market. Ehsani’s playful pieces emphasize the best of modern women, appealing to a female’s “roar” just as well as her “rawr”. Designed for “women who wear fashion for themselves because of the way it makes them feel”, Ehsani focuses on creating fun choices for the woman who’s all about reppin’ herself in style.

Stand outs like Ehsani’s African-theme “The Mama Earring” and the comic book inspired “The Pow Ring”are part of a new trend in the women’s jewelry popping up in the streetwear community.

Designs of yore, like LL’s infamous bamboo earring, are making a strong comeback. And while many basic old skool designs are still flooding the market, more and more emerging jewelry designers are taking advantage of the trend and building off the basics. A perfect example is seen with lines such as Disney Couture and Obey, both featuring bamboo hoops that are updated with newer, sleeker metals or intricate detailing. Similarly, nameplate necklaces are being updated from plain gold to modern, fluorescent plastics or mirrored metals that spell out phrases that speak to the independence spirit the streetwear scene inspires—check Steven Shein’s “The Missbehave Reflective Plexi Nameplate” for an idea of what I’m talking about.

Another move that designers are making is the use of traditional, chunky gold metals in their designs. Funny, smart designs playing on street culture are being crafted into thick rope gold chains and solid gold finger pieces. One of the companies doing it big is Office Tramp Jewelry, an up-and-coming design team whose chains are thick enough to make Slick Rick jealous. But Office Tramp never forgets to give their products funky, feminine twists, incorporating nods to the working woman’s grind in their jewelry. A top seller is the “9-5 Pendulum Clocks Necklace”, featuring clock charm pendulums attached to heavy linked gold chains.

To go back to Ehsani, I think that the reason her designs appeal to such a wide cross section (hey, even men like the design, just ask poet/actor/rapper/amazing human being Saul Williams!) of the streetwear market is because she recognizes the trend and capitalizes on it. She understands that the contemporary streetwear market isn’t just about logos and bright colors anymore. It’s evolved into a market that thrives on creativity, revels in design, and laughs its ass off at it’s own jokes. It’s an industry that gives props to the past, but can’t wait to move forward. So, move forward and go out and cop yourself a pair of those Melody Ehsani “The Pow Bamboo Earrings in Pink”!

(image courtesy of www.karmaloop.com)

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