When US First Lady Michelle Obama stepped out at the 2013 Commander-In-Chief inaugural ball, it wasn’t just her gorgeous red Jason Wu gown that caught people’s attention. All eyes were also on her choice of accessories: Elegant diamond earrings, and a cluster of diamond-studded bracelets, which she had layered on her wrist. These beautiful pieces were the craftsmanship of cult jewellery label Kimberly McDonald, which launched in 2007 but had stayed under the radar until then.
That inaugural ball catapulted the fine jewellery brand to instant fame, and its website even crashed right after the event due to its sudden surge in visitor traffic. Today, Kimberly McDonald boasts a rolodex of prominent clients the likes of Taraji P Henson, Carrie Underwood and Lupita Nyong’O.
And it’s not the only little-known label to gain a devout following amongst Tinseltown’s brightest stars. Other notable cult jewellery designers include K Kane — which created a customised necklace for Taylor Swift in 2015 — and Los Angeles-based Hoorsenbuhs, which had its rings worn by Rihanna in her 2007 Hate That I Love You music video.
Here are 5 of such jewellery brands to watch. They aren’t exactly household names yet, but with their strong celebrity backing and red carpet appearances, may well be on their way.