Tribal inspired jewelry is still a huge trend.  It's not hard to understand why because these designs are distinctly bold and colorful. Perfect for adding a visually stunning focal element for plain outfits.

One such outstanding artisan is Nicole Akong whose colorful and eye-catching designs are amazing. Her Conquistadora collection was inspired by the textile crafts of mountain tribes. Her innovative use of ribbon, woolen, tassel and faux fur trims combined chain and Swarovski crystals in her designs have inspired many others.

Nicole Akong was born and raised in the West Indies. After graduating from the University of Miami with a Fine Arts degree, she eventually settled in London, UK. Her creative journey began young - she was already sewing Barbie doll clothes by the time she was 10 and even wrote a novel in her teens.

She took her first jewelry making course back in 2008.  It was just a one-day introduction to the craft but that was enough to get her hooked. Nicole said,  "That day was the start of what quickly developed into an all-consuming passion, and soon all I was doing in my spare time was making jewelry. It became my ambition from then to start my own jewelry label."

After garnering a lot of attention with her distinctive designs, she eventually took a leap of faith and launched her first collection  in the beginning of 2010.  Her aim was to create a " go-to brand for stand-out, statement jewellery with serious high-fashion appeal." And she has. Her pieces are now sold through Anthropologie and boutiques around the world. Nicole also says she could see herself launching a clothing label in the future. 
You can tell that Nicole was destined to be a designer of note right from the beginning because her earliest designs were already so different and gorgeous. Shown below are a couple of her feathered jewelry designs from her Luxe Be a Lady 2010 collection.

Nicole's favorite materials to use are obviously trims - feathers, fringes ribbons....and anything that comes in a reel! She was also experimenting with chain back in 2010 for her All Chained Up collection.  Again, coming up with refreshingly new ideas but still with a distinct modernized ethnic look about her creations.  Her Pearl Swirl bracelet below is a composite of many chains.  Her foot jewelry is so beautiful you'd want to go barefoot. And that body jewelry - a gold leaf chain vest? Astounding!

Nicole explained how she goes about designing awesome jewelry,  " I find it useful to use myself as a test! Usually when I am designing a new collection, I like to make pieces that I would personally love to wear. I would describe my personal style as understatedly feminine – I prefer my clothes to be luxe but basic and use my jewelry to make the most of the fashion statement."

She definitely recommends statement necklaces for every woman. Taking notes, anyone?

Before You Go:
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips