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The Clever Resourcefulness of Designers at Unique LA 2010

The selection of interesting and beautiful accessories and jewelry at the show this season was overwhelming. Plus so much of it was responsibly made, it was really hard to choose my favorites. These selections reflect my personal tastes and my interests, but there was so much more at the show it was hard to narrow it down. I could’ve written a book! All 300 participants are listed here.


Project Okurase really excited me because they not only manufacture in Ghana, they also train at-risk women, giving them valuable job skills. They design and export products the women make. They work only with African-made materials, which keeps African textile manufacturers in business as well.

Another wonderful organization in the field of employing female artisans in developing countries is Raven + Lily. Their jewelry is gorgeous but they also have beautiful home décor, accessories, and home products.

In bags, I saw everything from extremely cool fanny packs made from scrap leather by Fahmina (as modeled by Stella Neptune designer Eva in yesterday’s post) to washable organic cotton sandwich baggies from Graze Organic. I fell in love Fahmina’s “fanny clutch” because it’s not only chic & slim but you can easily unsnap the strap and just carry it if you want.


NenaSoulFly (left) not only makes gorgeous accessories out of traditional African batiks, she also makes lovely hoop earrings by artfully wrapping the fabrics. Her spokesmodel and exceptional saleslady (photographed) sold me a pair to go with my African-inspired dress.

I loved the intricacy of Dust Jewelry’s pieces (right), they were all very ornate and yet very delicate. Designer Amy Reed creates pieces with an exceptional rhythm and poetry, all from found objects. I’m sure she’d have a field day at the Marché St. Ouen flea market in Paris, as her jewelry was totally evocative of it.

Rounding out my personal top three in the bling category is Robin Charlotte. She resins found objects, including adorable fishies that died of natural causes at local pet stores and they make the most charming and provocative pieces! I loved her tagline- “We Recycle Fish!”

If you don’t have the good fortune to live in Los Angeles, you can also attend Unique ATL or Unique NYC this year! Get on their email list to find out when, or to apply to be a vendor. More information here.

Written by Susanna Schick

Susanna is passionate about anything fast and electric. As long as it's only got two wheels. She covers electric motorcycle racing events, test rides electric motorcycles, and interviews industry leaders. Occasionally she deigns to cover automobile events in Los Angeles for us as well. However, she dreams of a day when Los Angeles' streets resemble the two-wheeled paradise she discovered living in Barcelona and will not rest until she's converted the masses to two-wheeled bliss.

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