Mozambican painter Cassi Namoda was dreaming up a jewellery assortment lengthy earlier than she met Leigh Plessner and Rony Vardi, the cofounders of Brooklyn label Catbird. Namoda’s vibrant work (which you would possibly acknowledge from Vogue Italia—she was one in every of eight artists chosen to color the January 2020 cover) facilities on post-colonial Mozambique, exploring the quiet moments of every day life in addition to broader topics of race, tradition, and historical past. Jewellery is commonly depicted in Namoda’s portraits, and earlier this yr, she’d been eager about how she would possibly create an “ode to Mozambique” via the medium.
Reduce to April, and a serendipitous name with Plessner and Vardi put the concept in movement. The designers had despatched Namoda jewellery from Catbird’s collaboration with The Met Museum, and Namoda floated the concept of working collectively on a capsule. As followers of Namoda’s work and the wealthy story behind her imaginative and prescient, Plessner and Vardi didn’t assume twice about it: “She despatched us tons and tons of references about Mozambique, plus photographs of Princess Elizabeth of Toro,” Plessner says. “She wore jewellery higher than anybody!” Namoda provides, pointing to her delicate collar of tiny aquamarine beads, impressed by the royal’s signature pearls.
Final evening, the trio debuted the complete assortment at an intimate dinner in Namoda’s ethereal new studio on Mercer Avenue. Buddies gathered round a desk of delicate garnet earrings, aquamarine bracelets, tiny arrow studs, and engraved charms whereas the scent of clover, musk, and seafoam floated via the air (courtesy of Namoda’s signature candle). One necklace learn “radiant being worthy of affection,” cribbed from the title of a favourite portray by Namoda, and Plessner described the gold “painter’s ring” as resembling thick drips of paint.
Most items have been influenced by a very enchanting Mozambique custom: Day-after-day, locals comb the seashore searching for gems, amber, and gold which have washed up from centuries-old shipwrecks alongside the ocean flooring. In different phrases: actual buried treasure. Many properties have their very own “treasure chests,” and Namoda returned to New York with a small assortment of amber, Italian glass beads, and Ming Dynasty porcelain. “There’s this obsession with discovering [things], and I used to be so in love with the essence of it. I actually needed to recreate it in a roundabout way,” she defined. “The thought of one thing so valuable being [passed] down via historical past… That’s one thing that influences me on daily basis. In my apply, I’m typically attempting to dovetail these completely different narratives and tales.”
The actual deal with was seeing Namoda put on the jewellery in her personal area, which was full of huge unfinished canvases and her crew of fashionable buddies: producer and mannequin Sage Elsesser, artists Ludovic Knoth and Ekene Ijeoma, and Sincerely Tommy’s Kai Avent-DeLeon and her husband, Nate Thellen. As Laila Gohar set out plates of summer season greens and rosemary cocktails, an air of pleasure and ease radiated via the room. This was how we’d all imagined our re-emerging: joyful, colourful, relaxed.
To additional mark the event, Catbird made $5,000 donations to 2 organizations in Mozambique: Save the Children and Kurandza, a social enterprise investing in the way forward for ladies and ladies within the nation. You may store the gathering at Catbird’s retailer and online beginning right this moment.
https://www.vogue.com/slideshow/catbird-cassi-namoda-jewelry-collaboration-party | To Rejoice Her Collaboration With Catbird, Cassi Namoda Hosted a Supper in Her SoHo Studio