Galavant Jewelry: A celebratory explosion of cultural pride Image

by Biko Kennedy

Mirroring the braggadocious persona of Jamaican pop culture while channelling modern elegance, Galavant Jewelry has craved out a niche for themselves amongst the plethora of accessory houses while pushing the boundaries of fashion over style. We recently met with mastermind Anna Ruth Henriques for a brief interview to learn more about the brand and its vision for the future. 

(Photo Cred: IG -@shanabanana876)

JAmusic: The premise of the jewelry line is built upon the ‘fast-paced glamour of New York and the laid-back vibe of Jamaica modern free-spirits’.What gave you the nudge to take that first daring step to create such a line?
GJ: Galavant is the creation of an idea that two Jamaicans living in NYC shared, who wanted to  represent ourselves as Jamaicans and also fit our style as New Yorkers.  We love the obvious Jamaica stuff, the beach, Rasta, and we’re about that plus a lot more that’s also Jamaican, and as New Yorkers we want stuff that works outside of that context.

JAmusic: Galavant Jewelry can be seen as redefining preconceived notions of ‘statement pieces’, how has the vision of Galavant evolved over the years and what is the ultimate aim?
GJ: Ultimately I think our aim is to support and be a part of a strong vibrant independent lifestyle.  It’s about community, not so much what each piece says with words necessarily, but through a theme of form and details.  We hope to contribute to creating community and celebrate differences, and not feel threatened by them.  I believe we’re all one people, hence “One Love.”

JAmusic: There is a sense or ability of Galavant Jewelry to communicate directly and individually with each piece, do you think this helps to propel the ideology of being a ‘proud Jamaican’? If yes, why is this notion important for the company, for you?
GJ: I’m really glad you got that about my jewelry.  I absolutely embrace the notion of individuality and of course jewelry always says something about the wearer, so communicating is central—it’s the number 1 mission of my pieces.

JAmusic: Outside of following the latest fashion trends and Jamaican catchphrases, where do you guys pull inspiration to create pieces?
GJ: My work is in the jewelry world, so of course I stay on top of that.  I want my pieces to be wearable as well as beautiful.  My hope is that our pieces are timeless.  

JAmusic: Simplicity appears to be the focal point of the pieces, is this intentional or more so adapting to modern pop culture?
GJ: I want all of my pieces to be strong, vibrant and well defined.  Sometimes “simple” does that best.

(Photo Cred: IG -@rushcam) 

JAmusic: Can you talk a bit on the difference between accessories versus an experience/lifestyle as it relates to your pieces.
GJ: Of course my jewelry are accessories.   And it’s back to what I said earlier, I hope they communicate and encourage a sense of community and celebrating differences within a global community.

JAmusic: How are you utilising social media and digital influence to market your brand?
GJ: So far we haven’t done a huge amount of marketing, it’s mostly word of mouth.

JAmusic: What do you think of the new era of accessories and ushering a new sense of beauty without boundaries?
GJ: I think of beauty as something that comes in every flavor, so there’s room for all kinds of accessories.  Of course I love mine, but I also love any piece that is strong and can communicate something about the wearer.

JAmusic: How do you view the present state of the fashion industry?
GJ: I think fashion reflects culture, and I want to be a part of a world where that beauty we just talked about is constantly welcomed and sought after in new and interesting flavors.  As long as the fashion industry makes that possible, I want to be a part of it.

JAmusic: Consumers are so smart today and they can easily read through the lines; anything that feels manufactured will easily be transparent. How does Galavant Jewelery maintain that idea of authenticity with each piece created?
GJ: To be honest, we do have a message and strong point of view, the one that I’ve been talking about here, so for us authentic means embracing our values and doing all we can to support and communicate them.  We’re outspoken about who we are.   We’re addressing a niche market that larger brands might be neglecting.  We want to be about the individuality of the designs.

(Photo Cred: IG - @galavantjewelry)

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