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Nicki Minaj Just Put this Middle Eastern Jeweler in the Spotlight

Her label is beloved by Angelina Jolie, Madonna, and Gwyneth Paltrow (to name just a few), and now Karma El Khalil can add Nicki Minaj to her legion of A-list fans. The Trinidadian-born American rapper rocked two pieces by the New York-based jeweler in a video uploaded to her Instagram account this week, which she teamed with a cobalt-blue ensemble.

Multiple Billboard Music Award-winner Minaj, who is set to release her fourth studio album, Queen, in August, appeared in the clip with fellow songstress Ariana Grande. In the video shared with her 87.4 million followers, the 35-year-old wore the Hexagon Choker and Avalanche Necklace from El Khalil’s eponymous brand, the designer revealed on her own Instagram page.

The delicate yet graphic choker is crafted in 18kt yellow gold and encrusted with diamonds, while the angular necklace is made up of three 18kt gold strands. The pieces are indicative of El Khalil’s aesthetic, which fuses geometric shapes and architectural structures. Inspired by her international upbringing, having lived and studied in Nigeria, France, Italy, and New York, the fine jeweler and gemologist combines strong angles with soft and fluid elements to create abstract baubles.

“Drawing has always been a gateway to discovering, capturing and describing my world; a means of concretizing my interpretation of beauty,” the designer says on her website. “When you are open to seeing beauty, it just comes to you. Inspiration demands no effort; it is something one finds when we love, dream, and allow ourselves to wander.”

El Khalil, who studied at Tufts University in Boston and New York’s Gemological Institute of America before launching her brand in 2007, was inspired to create jewelry after showing her sketches to a family friend in Beirut. “He said he could sell them in his [jewelry] store if I manufactured the pieces, so my parents invested US$10,000 to have 15 pieces made. Our friend threw a party at this store, and we sold out of the jewelry. But clients kept coming in and asking for more,” she told JCK magazine in 2012. The rest, as they say, is history.

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