Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 26 November 2020

All ears for Melody Ehsani’s funky jewellery

Funky palm leaves in neon green, studded watermelon studs, turquoise stones set in eagle totems and blue evil eye beads are just some of pieces adding a daring and deviant tone to Melody Ehsani’s jewellery line, now available in the UAE.
Melody Ehsani’s designs, which are now available in the Middle East, have been worn by Rihanna and Alicia Keys.  Courtesy Melody Ehsani
Melody Ehsani’s designs, which are now available in the Middle East, have been worn by Rihanna and Alicia Keys. Courtesy Melody Ehsani

Melody Ehsani has been attracting plenty of attention with her funky, colourful jewellery ­designs, with celebrities such as Rihanna, Alicia Keys and Nicki Minaj wearing her unique ­pieces.

Now her designs are available for the first time in the Middle East, exclusively through Dubai-­based online retailer Sivvi.com

Funky palm leaves in neon green, studs that look like watermelons, turquoise stones set in eagle totems and blue, evil- eye beads are just some of the pieces adding a daring and deviant tone to Ehsani’s jewellery line.

Her namesake brand has rather humble roots. It started when Ehsani began experimenting with a laser-cutting machine while taking a product-design course in Pasadena, California. Her first creation was a three-­finger acrylic ring.

“I kind of reinvented it, so to speak, using plastics. I was fascinated with all the different materials I was able to cut, the precision of the laser and the idea of cutting only two-dimensional surfaces, but creating them to be worn in a three-dimensional way,” she says.

In an industry riddled with competition and tough critics, Ehsani stood out among niche jewellery brands, quickly catching the eyes of hip-hop artists, as well as the athletic giant Reebok, which earned her a collaboration that made other young designers very envious.

Ehsani’s graphic prints have been featured on sweatpants, cropped tops and varsity jackets. Her renditions of the Reebok Ventilator trainers feature grungy python-print ­accents and bold eye charms. “I’ve been blessed – they have allowed me to carve a little niche for women,” says Ehsani.

Of her clients, Ehsani notes an interesting trend: “Most of them are hybrids – they know how to move through different worlds effortlessly. They take risks and view fashion as something that’s not a prescription, but rather individual expression.”

In terms of future plans for her brand, Ehsani hopes to move away from jewellery and launch her own apparel line.

“It feels like a very authentic and natural evolution in my work,” she says. Ehsani says she would also love to expand her brand’s presence in the Middle East market, given that she has a personal connection to the region.

“I am from Iran, but I have never been there due to the political climate,” she says. Nonetheless, she says that her background and culture have shaped and inspired her work.

“Many of my views on justice and on breaking the status quo derive from things I learnt or saw growing up,” she says.

She also expresses her desire to work with designers in the Middle East, such as Sarah Beydoun of the popular Lebanese accessories brand Sarah’s Bag.

The two have connected online and kept communication channels open for a potential collaboration. It’s not hard to imagine Ehsani’s laser-cut graphics and tribal accents adorning the Lebanese brand’s bold box clutches.

“I really love that she uses women prisoners in the region, who are outcast from society, and gives them work while teaching them a skill they can carry forward in their lives,” says Ehsani. “It’s an incredible business model.”

hlodi@thenational.ae

Updated: August 25, 2015 04:00 AM

Editor's Picks
THE DAILY NEWSLETTER
Sign up to our daily email