Niku Singh, a Kenyan designer, has sold his jewellery in the USA, Singapore and London, but his humble and soft-spoken nature can easily disguise his wealth of experience.
His bold and unique jewellery made from brass and aluminium has won him a spot in the Kenya Fashion Awards and he is currently creating a collection that will be showcased at the event that is considered one of the biggest in the fashion calendar.
His new collection has many different unique elements than his previous work.
“The collection will include a lot of beadwork, aluminium, brass and detailed with precious stones,’’ Niku says.
He says he has decided to incorporate beadwork into his designs to give it the African touch, since most of his jewellery have in the past been misconstrued to not being from Africa.
The ever-growing appeal for his jewellery is the matte finishing.
He points out that most jewellery pieces in the market are mostly chrome and not many people like shiny.
Inside his studio in Nairobi, an elaborate half-length neck-piece chocker made out of brass and small precious stones going all the way to a person’s waist sits immaculately on a mannequin in its beautiful splendour. And the unique aspect of his big jewellery they are not as heavy as they may look.
“I just finished making that, it took me close to a month just creating it. I haven’t figured out how I would price it though,” he says.
Most of his pieces range from Sh3,000 to Sh250,000 depending on the design, work involved and the material and this include earrings, bracelets and neck-pieces.
Although Niku’s jewellery is mostly bold, he also has other collections for the conservative souls. These include the Chic collection which are simpler, Sensational collection, Elite and the bold Collection.
He says most of his best pieces were a mistake at first because he does not have a mantra that he follows to get inspiration.
“Some of my best pieces started out as a mistake. I make the mistake looks good and I continue making the mistake. I don’t work on inspiration, what I usually do is place the material I am going to work with in front of me and then start making, whatever I end up with will be a creation. No sketch, no plan just create,” he says.
The jewellery pieces, he says, already have a personality and a person has to bring in the character to match it. And the perfect wearer is a powerful woman who knows that she in control.