Published in Plaid Magazine Online, June 2011
Photo by Soren Heil
Add some flair to your outfits and accessorize with the one-of-a-kind designs of Ziba Khatibi Raw Jewelry. Founded in 2010, the line is inspired by contemporary art, abstract sculptures, and nature, resulting in jewellery that is more than adornment, but a distinctive and innovative art form.
Having always been captivated by the arts, Khatibi grew up in a creative family and would dress up in mounds of jewellery as a child. She first began designing clothes, winning first place in a design competition for retailer Charlotte Russe, and later studied fashion design at Fashion Careers College in San Diego. From there, using her fashion experience as a guide, Khatibi decided to transition into jewellery design, learning the process along the way.
Khatibi explains her change of heart. “It is quite funny to me that I naturally didn’t fall into designing jewellery, I started designing clothing first. I really never enjoyed it to be honest, and I slowly started to make my own jewellery because as my style developed I could not find what I was looking for in stores. And slowly ‘Ziba Khatibi Raw Jewelry’ was born.”
Experimenting with materials such as sterling silver, fabric, and raw stones, the S/S11 collection introduces a new medium – metal. It features a group of sculptural rings inspired by nature; “Whether it be a coral reef or a tree, [nature] completely moves me,” Khatbi says of the designs.
The ‘Mini Ring’ collection showcases Khatibi’s innovative aesthetic that is based on a nature-abstract combination. Special pieces include the sterling silver ‘Wander’ ring, which flourishes over most of your fingers when worn, and the ‘Floral’ and ‘Branch’ rings, which resemble their namesake but retain an element of the otherworldly. Each ring is hand-finished and thus, unique.
After careful consideration and perfecting her designs, Khatibi ensures that each piece is representative of her own style and individuality. “I like to wear all the pieces I create for weeks to really feel its energy, and to also see if it has grown to be a piece that I would introduce to the public…The design process is very personal to me and I really try my best to only put out pieces that have 100% of me in them.”
Khatibi disregards trends, instead designing with the aim of her pieces to “never go out of style”. As for her own personal aesthetic, she loves anything hard, dark and edgy, and is inspired by androgyny. She will accessorize herself with jewellery from head to toe whenever she leaves the house because she “would never feel complete without it.”
“I strongly believe to wear what makes you feel beautiful,” Khatibi says. “Don’t try to always copy trends, make your own trend…Be comfortable in your skin and rock what you feel is most you, whether that is wearing no jewellery at all or adorning yourself in it.”