Zuvaa Pop-Up Shop Tour: The Forefront of African Inspired Fashion
During the weekend of April 16th and 17th, the city of Chicago was granted a shopping experience quite unlike anything we, the local consumers, were accustomed to. We were fortunate enough to be one of the tour stops for the eloquent and diverse Zuvaa pop-up shop. This culturally infused shopping experience showcased top quality, custom clothing and accessories from a range of designers. You enter the shop, temporarily hosted by Chicago's Iridium on Milwaukee Ave., and are immediately greeted by designers and their assisting staff. But what captivated most were the beautiful formal gowns, the jazzy pant suit sets, and the gleaming custom jewelry perfectly displayed to entice you as you walk further into the shop.
Amidst being awe stricken, Black Girl Fly Magazine was able to directly interview one of the designers, the founder of 84Gem Jewelry (@84Gem), Kimone Young, who shared information about her brand, her inspiration, and her experience of being on a pop-up shop tour. 84Gem is a Brooklyn, NY based jewelry brand that consists of all handmade pieces featuring gem stones, metals, beads, and crystals.
BGF: How did you become involved in the Zuvaa Pop-up Shop experience?
Kimone: I met the founder, Kelechi, I think it was on Instagram; she'd reached out to me, to have my designs on her website. So, we finally met and it's been friendship since then!
BGF: How many places have you guys traveled to, thus far on the tour?
Kimone: I have done just a few stops on the tour; two New York locations and this one here in Chicago. We are also traveling to Atlanta next. Kelechi and Zuvaa have reached places like Philly and D.C.; much of the metro area.
BGF: Can you tell us more about your beautiful collection, 84Gem?
Kimone: I'm inspired by the style of traditional African jewelry, but I wanted it to be a little bit more modern and contemporary, so that it's more fun and hip. That's really what it's about: more fun, wearable everyday designs. There are some statement pieces, as well.
BGF: What makes you a Fly, Black Girl?
Kimone: I'm an entrepreneur! And I love that. Black Girls Rock; we are doing it big in business. I would say to any other rising Fly, Black Girl continue pursuing your dreams. If anyone is leading you in another direction, saying it is not for you, don't listen to them; listen to your heart. Keep doing it, keep pushing through, and surround yourself with people that are supportive.
We are so grateful for the insight shared with us by this talented designer who is unapologetic about her pride in African culture and her love for creating unique, versatile jewelry for our enjoyment. Be sure to shop with Kimone Young at www.84gem.com (shipping is worldwide)!
Hey yawl I’m Tyler Marie, or Ty as I’ve come to be called. I am a (West-Side) Chicagoan ‘til Chicago ends. I attended Whitney M. Young Magnet High School here in the city and went on to attend the first Private HBCU, Wilberforce University (OH) where I obtained my B.A. Sociology in 2012. It’s probably pretty clear now that writing is kind of ‘my thing’ but I’m more than okay with that. Other hobbies include eating, playing basketball, modeling and singing. Basically, I spend all my time trying to be as fly of a Black Girl as I can be. Connect with me via: Twitter/Instagram- @_Mighty5| Tumblr- iamjusttyler.tumblr.com