Haute Jewelry: Anita Quansah

 
 

Designer: Anita Quansah

The fabulous West African jewelry designer extraordinaire, Anita Quansah is in a lane of her own when it comes to making some of the most exquisite and sophisticated fine jewelry out right now. After graduating from  Chelsea College of Art and Design, Anita worked with some big names like  - Christian Lacroix, DKNY, Diane Von Furstenberg, Ischiko and Victoria’s Secret . In 2006 she opened her own shop in London, specializing in high-end sophisticated jewelry inspired by her Nigerian roots.

“A woman should dress to suit their personality.  For them, each piece draped around their neck reflected each of their personalities, which are very vibrant like me.”

Jewelry design started as a way for the designer to use her creative skills fused with her passion for various cultures and African artisanship  to create distinct works of conversational art that maintains the true value of craftsmanship.

Each piece within the collection is a creation of varying mix of unexpected elements fused with reclaimed parts of vintage jewellery, semi precious stones mixed materials, rare African beads and textiles. All masterfully pieced together to create expressive, unusual, handmade, one-off strong statements which have strong stories weaved into them.

Anita Quansah London pieces of jewelry are not only a celebration of creativity and art but each one is created with love and passion – a signature of the brand. British Vogue recognised Anita Quansah London as one of the “Best Buys” featured in their magazine, and in October 2011 Anita Quansah London was nominated for Best Accessories Designer Award at the AFI (Africa Fashion International) awards in South Africa.

Her jewelry recently appeared in the VIBE Magazine spread featuring Alicia Keys. For her latest collection, Quansah drew inspiration from works by Portuguese designer Valentim Quaresma, an artist known for his use of industrial materials.

Anita Quansah said of the collection, “I wanted to create a collection that has an earthy feel to it, but looks industrial at the same time. Hence the use of semi precious stones and beads fused with hardware such as bolts, nuts, and safety Pins and washers, things used every day by human but used in an unconventional way to create show stopping statement pieces. Like the film Avatar focusing on the close relationship or interaction between culture and civilization, I touched on this but focusing primarily on the recycled components making them edgier yet feminine at the same time, fusing them with bright hues.”

What is always certain though, no matter her inspiration for a new collection Anita draws on her heritage as a Nigerian first:

“My cultural heritage has had a huge impact on my work.  Coming from a mixed African background – half Ghanaian and half Nigerian – has exposed me to a lot of rich African traditions and cultures with rich materials and textiles.  The bold and vibrant colours in Africa are phenomenal.  I try to inject these into my work a lot.”