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How Rihanna is Reinventing the Ancient Craft of Cameo Jewelry

Cameo jewelry is undoubtedly all the rage again as some of the industry’s biggest celebrities have been spotted wearing antique-inspired pieces on red-carpets. Now, singer-turned-designer Rihanna has reimagined the ancient craft of cameo jewelry in a three-piece collection by her eponymous fashion label, Fenty.

Though the collection aims to immortalize the African woman’s beauty, it is not solely a celebration of a singular definition of beauty. The black woman’s profile featured on the jewelry symbolizes the beauty of difference. The collection features a ring, a pair of earrings, and a pendant that doubles up as a brooch.

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Each piece is crafted with black resin and glass and serves as an individual miniature work of art. Sculpted from relief and embellished with tiny pearls and glass beads, the pieces are ready to adorn the body and, eventually be passed down through future generations as an emblem of elevation, creativity, and joy.

Fenty continued its tradition of working with black photographers and enlisted the help of Nigerian photographer Ruth Ossai to create a stunning campaign focusing on the silhouettes and sculptural beauty hairstyles by Issac Poleon. As hair has always been an integral part of cameo jewelry, the campaign also highlights the endless artistic possibilities of afro-hair culture in the sculpture.

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