High Fancy Jewelry Art Made of African Heritage
Could you introduce yourself?
I am a senegalese jewelry designer and I have lived and worked in Paris for more than 20 years.
I discovered my passion for jewelry quite late and I was not from a family of artisans. But art has always run in my family’s veins.
After an initiation to the profession with the craftsmen paruriers of haute couture in Paris, I followed my training at the Nicolas Flamel jewelry school to obtain my diploma of art of the jewel and gems.
Subsequently, I collaborated with fashion designer Christian Lacroix for his shows.
How was your brand born?
Ngone Paris is born from the passion for the finery, but also the encouter between different worlds, the fusion between the cultures that I translated through the mixture of materials and colors. It’s an alchemy.
I chose my name which is of Bantu origin, because it refers to the symbolism of the sacred feminine (“that of the evening”, the moon, the young woman, the beauty); an African matriarchal concept represented by the goddesses Isis, Nephtys, Hathor, Maat of pharaonic Egypt. Am I not at the service of the beauty of women?
Can you tell me about your achievements?
During my career, my collections were exhibited in Paris, Dakar, London, Dublin. The Ngone Paris brand took part in the Biennale of Contemporary African art DAK’ART and Gorée Regards on course 2019 in Senegal, the international jewelry show BijorhcaI Paris and several exhibitions in art galleries and fashion show. It is a great privilege to be able to work in such a fascinating trade.
Where does your inspiration come from?
The base of my creation is authentically African, in its forms and colors, but also in its symbolism. Living in Paris for many years, haute couture has not left me insensitive. It is at the crossroads of a universal culture that I draw my creativity. It becomes rich and the whole world can identify with it. I feel very free in my creation.
How do you work?
Creation is a complex process. Beyond the artistic side, my job requires a lot of personal skills and good technical knowledge. First you have to imagine the piece. But then you have to be able to design it, make it known and market it. Thanks to my professional training combined with my creativity, I am fortunate to be able to achieve all this at a time.
Besides, I like to share my world with the craftsmen of the profession who support my production. Concerned with top-of-the-range quality, I collaborate with French and Senegalese artisans, thus associating French know-how with Made in Africa in an ethical spirit.
As an artist of the African diaspora, I have a particular interest in getting involved in the development of employment in my country, Senegal, and in the promotion of the know-how of craftsmen, in a solidarity and equitable perspective.
It is in this same spirit that I wanted to integrate into the manufacturing process of my creations, the women of the humanitarian association “la Maison Rose”, based in Guédiawaye, in the suburbs of Dakar. Participating in the social reintegration of women victims of violence in my country gives a lot of meaning to my work.
Which stage do you prefer in the realization?
The creation is a huge pleasure for me. I love drawing jewelry when ideas take shape. That pushes me to go further to concretize the project until the meeting with the public. I really like doing custom creation, mainly in jewelry.
What is your particularity, your singularity?
Because it symbolises both femininity and good fortune, the cowrie is really the emblem of my brand. Washed, dried, polished, set, glazed, I have always included it in my creations and in a very subtle way.
My collection of enameled Kori cufflinks is truly unique. Victim of its success, I am working on a next reissue.
I also like to propose strong and singular pieces, like the palm hand bracelet, and the earrings. These are filigree creations in real silver. It was also necessary to make my modest contribution to safeguarding an endangered ancestral technique in Senegal. We must take charge of safeguarding our cultural heritage on the African continent.
Where to get your creations?
Find all my creations on my website, the delivery is possible worldwhile.
In August and September, I will integrate the IWIT Concept Store in Montmartre, an opportunity to share my world with the public. I invite you to find me there.