Image credit: instagram.com/eneseajewellery
If there’s one misconception that needs dispelling it’s this: jewellery is not the exclusive domain of the wealthy or the well-to-do. A new crop of digital-native jewellery brands is democratising the way we buy jewellery, and inviting us to test the waters of certain trends (see the return of pearls; the single earring; mixed metals) without blowing our budgets.
The explosion of social media has given way to a wave of up-and-comers that are designing jewellery with different kinds of audiences in mind. By reclaiming the luxury space of necklaces, earrings and rings—most brands are available exclusively online and don’t have a bricks-and-mortar presence—these young labels have managed to evade the intimidating experience of walking into a jeweller and feeling overwhelmed or out of place, more often than not leaving empty handed.
Instead, growing their followings organically and making the purchase process conversational and affordable (most jewellery is exchanged via DMs), consumers are able to interact with designers on a level playing field and gain entrée into their worlds, sometimes even collaborating to customise their pieces.
A quick perusal of Instagram will unveil hundreds of thousands of offerings, inundating users with choice. But, navigating the digital rabbit hole to find smaller, local brands still in their embryonic stages—ones that cater to niche audiences and tastes—can be surprisingly difficult if one doesn’t know where to look. And, in an era of oversaturation where everyone has access to everything immediately, the best part of shopping online while surfing our newsfeeds is surely the discovery—being let in on a secret (sparkly, beaded or otherwise) that nobody else knows.
To ease your search, Vogue has curated a list of six new jewellery brands with Australians at their helm that you might not have heard of, but definitely should.
Hand-crafting pieces for her own personal wear, word of mouth and custom requests led Sydney-based jewellery designer Nikki Ehrlich to found Enesea in 2019. Designed in Tamarama, Ehrlich draws inspiration from the nearby elements, subverting classic materials and revising these in contemporary styles. Gold hardware, shells, beads and semi-precious stones decorate the world of Enesea, which, in six short months, has garnered a loyal following of fans integrating Ehrlich’s distinct visual vocabulary into their own.
Image credit: instagram.com/eneseajewellery
Atelier Romy (@atelierromy)
Australian export Hermione Underwood and German born Sabine Römer make up Atelier Romy, a London-born, direct-to-consumer jewellery brand based in Notting Hill. Gold and silver bangles, rings and charms lend themselves to easy layering while being able to stand alone. And, should you be inclined to keep your jewellery monochromatic, most styles are available in several precious metals, making these pieces perfect gifts as well.
Image credit: instagram.com/atelierromy
An interest in culture, spirituality and heritage informs Sydney-based Tiffany Stoliar’s Gypseye, a semi-fine jewellery label founded in 2018. A play on words, the label’s key identifier is the evil eye. Known to ward off evil spirits and bad energies, the protective symbol adorns earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings, rendered in different stones and materials that lend themselves to holiday and year-round wear.
Image credit: instagram.com/gypseye_jewellery
Translating to ‘treasure’ in Hungarian, Kincs is the heirloom-inspired jewellery line founded by Australian designer Doone Roisin. Pearl earrings, gold hoops and necklaces reminiscent of vintage pieces bind the brand in an old world meets new world feeling. For the consumer dipping their toes into jewellery, consider Kincs an affordable yet stylish first foray.
Image credit: instagram.com/thisiskincs
Arms of Eve (@armsofeve)
Crystals, pearls, shells—all are the domain of Arms of Eve. Founded in Sydney, this jewellery brand is focused on ethical craftsmanship and a love of travel. Dainty gold necklaces, sterling silver rings and asymmetrical earrings beg wearers to layer these pieces, returning the fun of playing with jewellery to front of mind.
Image credit: instagram.com/armsofeve
Launched in Melbourne, Lupo gives a good lesson in the art of incorporating jewellery, unconventionally. Hair accessories accented with delicate pearls revise 90s hairpins, modernising the yesteryear trend making its way back into fashion in a sophisticated way. For the jewellery-averse, or those without their ears pierced, hair jewellery is a fuss-free, low commitment alternative. Try these on for size.
Image credit: instagram.com/lupo.studio