Inner sanctum: 5 cult jewellery brands to watch

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.

(Main photo credit: Hoorsenbuhs; Featured photo credit: Sydney Evan)

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Sydney Evan

Founded in 2001, this Los Angeles brand specialises in fine jewellery crafted in 14k gold and adorned with various precious and semi-precious stones. Its designs span minimalist bangles, rings embellished with “love” logos, and quirky necklaces with motifs of teddy bears, hearts and eyes. Sydney Evan’s famous clients include Lea Michelle, Jessica Alba, Megan Fox and Emma Stone.



Based in Los Angeles, Hoorsenbuhs is known for its bold, sculptural jewellery, which include curvilinear rings festooned with diamonds, and industrial-chic chain bracelets. It has also collaborated with big names the likes of music mogul Jay-Z and Damien Hirst on past collections. One example is its Hirst-designed Cathedral ring, which features 18k yellow, rose and white gold “pills” studded with rubies and white and black diamonds.


Kimberly McDonald

This New York-based brand prides itself on creating sustainable products fashioned with reclaimed gold, recycled diamonds, and natural materials such as opal and agate. Its designs have been spotted on US First Lady Michelle Obama and actresses Cameron Diaz, Amy Adams and Priyanka Chopra. Apart from jewellery, Kimberly McDonald also has furniture and home accessories.


Jennifer Meyer

Launched in Los Angeles in 2005, Jennifer Meyer boasts a wide variety of clean, elegant designs. Its signature items include necklaces with wishbone and leaf pendants, stick earrings and stackable rings. The label boasts a roster of celebrity clients such as Jennifer Aniston, Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick.


K Kane

For those seeking personalised, one-of-a-kind jewellery, K Kane has the answer. The New York jeweller offers rings and bracelets that can be engraved with one’s own handwriting, along with necklaces that can be customised with beads of its wearer’s choice. Its most noteworthy product is undoubtedly its Graffiti bar necklace, which was seen on pop singer Taylor Swift in 2015. The necklace was inscribed with Swift’s initials and “1989” — a reference to her album of the same name.

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