With the coming of COVID and the world's recent reckoning with race, shopping from small and culturally diverse labels is more important than ever. And considering Sept. 15 kicked off Latinx Heritage Month, now is prime time to brush up on your knowledge of Latinx-owned fashion brands, particularly those in jewelry space.
As it happens, the Latinx small business market is a robust one. According to a Mar. 2020 survey conducted by the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, Latinos are starting businesses at a faster rate than all other demographic groups, with the number of Latino business owners growing by 34% over the past 10 years compared to 1% for all other business owners. That said, the same survey also found that Latinx business owners are feeling the negative effects of the recent pandemic, with 65% reporting they will not be able to continue operating beyond six months if current conditions continue.
Supporting these businesses is of utmost importance, and you can start with your jewelry. There's a number of fresh Latinx designers and brands creating stunning accessories — you just need to know where to find them. To help you get started, ahead, six Latinx-founded fine jewelry brands to get familiar with now.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Latinx-Owned Jewelry Brands: Jennifer Zeuner
Originally from Puerto Rico but currently based in Florida, Jennifer Zeuner and her unique bohemian designs are favorites among celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Kerry Washington, and Rita Ora. Initially, Zeuner began making jewelry as a hobby at home, but as demand grew, it quickly became her full-time job. "When women tell me that their necklace is their favorite gift, I know I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing," said the designer to TZR in an email. Zeuner credits her Latin heritage for her strong manufacturer and customer connections, saying she will always prioritize hiring Latinx individuals as employees and models.
Latinx-Owned Jewelry Brands: Paola Vilas
Founded and hand-made in Rio de Janiero, Paola Vilas launched her eponymous line in 2016 as a vehicle to express her beliefs on social justice issues. The Brazilian-born designer just launched her latest collection, Sonho (which translates to 'The Dream') an ode to the complexities of femininity, as seen through imagery pendants, geometric links, and heavenly female sculptures.
Latinx-Owned Jewelry Brands: Larissa Moraes
With a background in law, Larissa Moraes made the switch to full-time jewelry designer at the end of 2018. Quickly, her designs were recognized and invited to be shown at Brazil Jewelry Week just months into her new venture. The Brazilian artist uses fine gems and geometric metals to create fine high-end pieces, with each one designed with intent. "I believe it’s essentials that Latin women are reflected in my pieces," she says in an email to TZR. "The joy represented in the colors of the precious stones and the courage reflected in the bold designs have been beautiful connections to my roots."
Latinx-Owned Jewelry Brands: Tuza
Handmade in Mexico City by local artisans, Tuza was founded by Suzzan Atala and quickly became revered for its whimsical and responsibly made jewelry. The label's accessories come embellished with rainbow pearls, crystal stones, and playful motifs like playing card suits (not to mention a bold girl power pendant that also comes 'vajazzled').
Latinx-Owned Jewelry Brands: Luiny
Founded in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Luiny Rivera began her namesake label in 2003. Upon moving to New York, her jewelry quickly caught the eye of the fashion world, and was even featured on Mara Hoffman's NYFW runway in 2014. The brand's designs have seen many evolutions over the years, but its latest hit is its collection of colorful stone rings. Offered in a range of sizes, colors, shapes, and bands, the affordable pieces are all handmade in New York using recycled materials.
Latinx-Owned Jewelry Brands: Rockii Studios
Based in Los Angeles, Raquel Navarro's label has quickly become an ethereal and timeless favorite amongst West Coast fashion girls. Recently, the brand just launched its Summer In Tulum Collection, a playful curation featuring the DIY beading trend that's been everywhere this summer. Cheeky acrylic beads shaped as smiley flowers, fruits, and yin yangs mixed with pearls are made to order by the designer and offered in bracelets, anklets, and necklaces.