The Line

Mother of Men Jewelry is created using the finest materials and craftmanship. Each piece is comprised of a variety of unique vintage and new materials including: silver, brass, plated items, vintage findings, leather, wood, plastics, lucite, glass, and Swarovski crystals. Any color variations or slight deficiencies are due to the handmade nature of these designs.

The Spring/Summer 2012 collection is largely color and materials driven. The inspiration board consisted of pastel colored ice cream cones, tropical scenery, and the brightest fashion images. The base of every design in the collection uses an assortment of rare 1960's era lucite tube beads. Almost every item is limited edition.

The Designer

Mother of Men is a contemporary fashion jewelry brand founded in 2012 by Nyakinyua Gill. The name Mother of Men comes from the literal meaning of Nya's name (As her friends call her) in Swahili. The Brooklyn raised DC transplant found her way to the district after attending University of Maryland where she studied Government and Politics. Although being conveniently located in the nation's capital after graduating with a degree in politics in 2006, Nya felt herself better suited for more creative pursuits:

"I thought I was going to be a lawyer like my Dad, but something inside of me told me that wasn't it. I had been a creative person all along. I was always making something."

Having attended Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn Heights from grades K-8 where she took classes like Sculpture, Puppetry, Costume Making, Poetry and African Dance, her interest in the Arts was cultivated at a very young age:

"Saint Ann's was an environment that really nurtured creativity and just being yourself."

Growing up in NYC also played a roll. She reflects fondly on her trips to the East Village with her father on weekends:

"We always ended up on St. Marks Place. There were so many things going on in this one little street. Punk kids, and record shops and the smell of food in the air. The wood crafts store was definitely a favorite. I made a car out of a shoe box and it had big wooden wheels. My sister used to ride her barbies around in it!"

A trip to Martha's Vineyard when she was 11 was when she finally found her way to jewelry making:

"My mother, sister and I found this really beautiful bead store in Vineyard Haven called Beadniks. My Mom was really the captain of that adventure. She bought all of the tools and showed us what to do. Every summer, a visit to Beadniks became ritual."

The summer before leaving to study abroad at the University of Canterbury, UK in 2004 she made a collection of jewelry to sell to the students at school. The collection of colorful beaded earrings was so well received by her dorm mates that it sold out in just a few weeks:

"That was the first time I realized that what I could do with my hands had retail potential."

She has taken classes at Creative Metalworks in Kensington, and spent two years at Nanette Lepore in Chevy Chase:

"I learned a lot at Nanette Lepore. it was a very inspiring environment. There was a lot of beauty and color."

Her jewelry has been featured in Arise magazine for her runway collaboration with her best friend and designer behind the Paris based label Aschobi and has been sold at Muleh and Saks Jandel in Washington, DC.