Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman appears to be wearing a crown on the February cover of Time, for which she was photographed by Awol Erizku and interviewed by the one and only Michelle Obama. But actually, that “crown” is Khiry’s Khartoum Torc Embellished choker necklace, reimagined creatively by stylists Jason Bolden and John Mumblo for the shoot. It was a subtle nod to Maya Angelou portraiture, where the poet inhabits and owns her space. Her golden “crown” might remind you of the bright red Prada headband she wore atop her braids when she recited “The Hill We Climb” on Jan. 20. You wouldn’t be far off.
“I loved her inauguration look and thought the [Time jewelry look] was such a fun and creative evolution of that. I think all who took in Amanda’s work on Inauguration Day were mesmerized by her mastery of poetic form, so this cover was a moment of coronation for an artist on the rise. I think the gold tone was especially fitting for the moment, and the sculptural minimalism of the piece kept the look contemporary and polished,” Khiry creative director Jameel Mohammed told me. The rest of the pieces Mohammed sent to her (the drop earrings, the ring) — not knowing they’d be used for the shoot — are part of the Khiry Fine Collection that will debut on Net-a-Porter, made of 18k gold provided by the Betts Group and white diamonds from Hearts on Fire.
“I started [jewelry brand Khiry] to create and take part in groundbreaking moments for Black people and culture, and this was certainly the epitome of that!”
Tapping two Black-owned fashion brands for the cover, Bolden went to designers Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong of Greta Constantine for the yellow dress, which only accented Gorman’s jewelry even more. When asked how the fashion industry can continue to support Black voices in July, Kirk of Greta Constantine told Fashion Frameworks, “We need to begin by improving representation in boardrooms, on store shelves, in magazines, on runways. It’s our difference that make the difference.” By Gorman wearing these talented designers on a historical cover that stands for optimism and empowerment of the Black community, she is making a difference, speaking for something that is larger than herself — which is exactly what she aims to do through her poetry.
“I think Amanda’s fashion sense is as meticulous as her poetry; her looks are very detail oriented and make such succinct points. I think jewelry is a great go-to to further shape the narrative you want to project through your personal presentation; a great piece can play a really significant part in the final look,” Mohammed told POPSUGAR of Gorman, who just signed with IMG Models to represent her fashion ventures. He went on, “She is a history-making Black artist with a clear sense of integrity and a focus on the future. I started this brand to create and take part in groundbreaking moments for Black people and culture, and this was certainly the epitome of that!”
Keep reading to admire Gorman’s look for the shoot, and get a closer look at the stunning Khiry necklace. For Amanda, it acts as a crown not because she is royalty or because her gowns called for an ornate accessory, but because here we have someone who understands that impactful societal movements are only possible when led by people that stand to speak for everyone — or, as Gorman herself so elegantly put it to Michelle, “reflect humanity in all of its diverse colors and breadth.” Now those words are golden.