For jewelry designers Paula Mendoza and Ariela Suster, referencing Latin America for inspiration has meant tapping into their own roots. The jewelry designers each have a distinct aesthetics and are true to their roots, by sourcing materials and even producing pieces in their home countries. Get to know more about the two Latinas below.
Mendoza is a Colombian
designer who launched her line of high-end jewelry after being inspired by the
work of local artisans in Peru and her native Colombia. Although Mendoza's collection has
been around for ten years it wasn’t until Beyoncé wore one of the brand's signature serpentine bracelets in the video for “XO”
that American retailers began to take note. Since then, the brand has been
picked up by retailers such as Fivestory, Net-A-Porter, and Intermix. The brand
maintains a factory in Colombia, where all the pieces are made.
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After gracing the mastheads of Harper’s Bazaar, Lucky and InStyle, as a fashion editor, Ariela Suster decided to launch her line of accessories called Sequence Collection. The colorful hand-woven and beaded bracelets that make up the collection are manufactured in Tepocoy, El Salvador, a neighborhood near Ariela’s hometown. The fabric for each piece is hand-woven on giant looms then passed on to dyers who use natural materials — such as mango leaves, coffee beans and coconut shells — to create the bright bold colors. The pieces are then carefully put together by hand in a small family-owned workshop. Shop for some of our favorite pieces in the slideshow below.