There’s an overwhelming number of brands making jewelry right now. That’s just a fact. We’ve already narrowed down the best of the best, from statement jewelry to delicate, everyday options. But under-the-radar-designers are catching our attention every day — thanks in no small part to Instagram — and we think they deserve a little time in the spotlight, too.
Here, we’ve rounded up seven of our favorite, lesser-known lines. Each one brings something exciting and unique to the table, whether it’s the shapes they create, materials they use, or perspective they share. Since they’re all relatively new lines (the oldest one was founded in 2015), there’s a very good chance you’ll be the first person in your circle to snag a piece.
Whether you’re looking for timeless studs and dainty rings or stand-out drop earrings and chokers, we’re sure you’ll find a thing (or two or three) you’ll want to throw in rotation.
If Zenon and a random girl from Instagram (who doesn’t technically call herself an influencer but has, like, 20,000 followers) collaborated on a jewelry line, I imagine it would look something like this. Each piece is hand-made in New Zealand with colorful glitter and gold leaf, then set in resin for a really dope lava-lamp effect. Earrings come in a bunch of different shapes, like these lunar double-drop earrings ($90), squiggle hoops ($109), and these heartbreak hoops ($90) that I’m personally obsessed with. Oh, and Solange is a fan, so what else is there to know?
As its name suggests, the Last Line aims to be, well, the last collection of jewelry you’ll ever need from now until forever. The Los Angeles-based brand makes everything from ying-yang hoops and custom initial earrings to fancy ear jackets and colorful fringe drop earrings, ranging in price from around $84 to well over $2,000. Just about every piece warrants a “Where did you get those?!” response, taking the stuffiness out of fine jewelry and making it really fun.
Earrings are the brand’s main thing for the moment (you’ll often see models on the site with two, three, four, or even five pieces in their ears at a time). But landing pages for the neck, hands, and arms are teased on the Last Line website right now, so definitely stay tuned.
This Atlanta-based jewelry line is truly a breath of fresh air, making everything from studs and hoops of every style and shape to chic hair ties and circle hair clips in fun pastels and neutrals. Designed by Jennifer J. Machete, the pieces are not only wildly affordable — like, $9-to-$48 affordable — but they’re also super lightweight, making them easy to wear all day long. They’re all made with high-grade, Italian-imported materials, including hypoallergenic stainless steel and the acetate you’ll find in its standout tortoiseshell collection, all natural and renewable.
This brand is full of the quintessential art teacher in Brooklyn earrings (you know those quirky, bold, sculptural pieces every creative type seems to have in bulk). Each piece is designed and hand-made in Los Angeles, inspired by art and architecture.
For instance, these new-to-shop asymmetrical mobile earrings ($240) were inspired by Alexander Calder's mobiles and Henri Matisse’s cut-outs. More involved items (like those earrings) fall to the higher end of Wkndla’s price point, but a majority of what you’ll find is under $100. Highlights include this collar necklace ($50) made with Japanese braided rope and gold-plated brass tubing, plus these really playful, albeit subtle, squiggle earrings ($50).
If you’re in the market for simple, timeless, and sturdy fine jewelry without the wild price tag, look no further. This New York-based line, launched just this past May, has an impressive lineup of classic silver, gold, and rose gold pieces made for 24/7 wear. (Meaning you don’t have to worry about taking them off when you go to spin class or hop in a pool. Nice, right?)
The pieces are made using recycled materials and conflict-free stones, and its signature cuff bracelets, rings, studs, an nameplate necklaces are priced anywhere between $40 and $1,650. It’s an ideal collection for both people looking to ween off a fast-fashion jewelry habit and those who have long treated jewelry as an investment. Regardless of where you fall, you’ll have these pieces forever.
It’s fair to assume that when you hear the name Assoulin, you probably envision the chic, New York-based fashion designer and her whimsical, ruffle-filled collection — but Rosie Assoulin’s mother-in-law has been in the game for way longer. After stepping away from the namesake jewelry line she started in the ’80s (designing for the likes of Oscar de la Renta and Marc Jacobs), Roxanne Assoulin returned to her collection in 2015 and launched an e-commerce site.
Often out-of-stock pieces, like the best-selling Rainbow Brite Bracelet ($75), the Speedway Zig Zag Choker ($130), or the Hip Hop But Not Earrings ($120), are quick to bring back memories of friendship bracelets at camp or digging through really good costume jewelry at a vintage store. It’s fun without being fussy, or, as the brand puts it, “an uncomplicated indulgence”. TL;DR, if Leandra Medine of Man Repeller is one of your fashion icons, you’ll want to get yourself some Roxanne Assoulin.
Chances are your favorite Instagram follows have already put you on to Mejuri, the young direct-to-consumer line churning out minimal, everyday pieces that don’t make you pick between high quality and an accessible price point. From dainty chokers and mini hoops to ear cuffs and stackable rings, Mejuri offers just about every style you’d want in consistent rotation, ranging in price from $49 for teeny midi hoops to $325 for more involved pieces like this 14k gold evil eye necklace with mother of pearl and resin details.
You’ll notice the brand frequently comes out with fun new capsules as well, like its latest Zodiac Collection, made up of gold vermeil necklaces for each sign and set with white sapphires for $79 each. (Christmas presents for all of my dramatic friends, done and done.)