In an industry of fast fashion and mass production, it’s always refreshing when you come across a brand that offers beautiful and authentic designs.
Taz Watson, the brainchild and designer behind the KiiRA jewellery brand is a South African, third-generation gemologist who is as passionate about her homeland as she is about gemstones and jewellery.
Watson’s designs are a celebration of Africa’s natural beauty, diversity and the potential that exists within the land and its people.
Not only does she value the importance of providing beautiful, authentic and genuine jewellery, but she deeply cherishes the need for ethical business practices and sustainability.
KiiRA is an authentically African fine jewellery brand inspired by the exquisitely diverse people, colours and vistas of the African continent. Each piece of their jewellery celebrates a unique part of Africa through striking designs that are brought to life by alluring gemstones and diamonds sourced from the continent’s abundant underground treasure chests.
We spoke to Watson to find out more about her passion and vision.
What makes your designs unique?
My designs are inspired by Africa but in subtle ways. I like using colour combinations, patterns and motifs that tell a story about our continent. Most of my designs are centred around unique and striking African gemstones – each one telling its own story.
What are some upcoming trends in the industry?
Statement jewellery is making a come-back. Jewellery has already moved from ‘barely there’ minimalism, to larger and more stand-out styles. The runways hint towards the return of maximalist jewellery and we can expect to be seeing a lot more larger-than-life pieces with heavy embellishment. Because I design in fine-jewellery I follow trends more quietly. I like my pieces to be contemporary and stand-out, but still classic enough that you will be wearing them in 10 years time.
What do you love most about customising jewellery for customers?
I love connecting with clients and really understanding their sense of style and what’s important to them. Creating beautiful custom-designs for someone starts with really knowing your clients wants and needs and translating this into a design that will delight them. My favourite part of a custom design is when I feel like I really succeeded in doing this.
What are the pros and cons of being a jewellery designer in SA?
I think the biggest pro of being a jewellery designer in SA is the amount of culture, diversity and beauty that acts as inspiration. As children of Africa, we are exposed to so much that inspires – whether it’s our exquisite flora and fauna, coastlines, wild animals or different cultures and tribes – there is no shortage of inspiration. The cons are definitely our fluctuating currency and the fact that it is expensive (and often difficult) to ship in and out of the country. This definitely keeps us on our toes!