Have you ever thought about the stories behind the jewelry pieces you wear every day? Do you know who designed and created that ring you’ve been wearing every day for years? Well, for Neumi Anekhe, founder of the brand Oma The Label, the stories behind each piece are as important as the community they represent.
Born in Norway to Nigerian parents, Neumi Anekhe created jewelry brand Oma The Label in 2018 after realizing the significant lack of representation of people of color within the fashion industry. Neumi sought to create a brand that would provide high-quality fashion pieces and further diversify the imagery and representation that has dominated modern fashion.
“I’ve always been into fashion. I’m actually a stylist, but in my work, I never felt represented,” Neumi explained in an interview with Happily Grey. “I could never identify myself in anything. So, I thought, ‘I have to start something. I have to do something about it.'”
“I wanted to show black beauty. We don’t see that often in its pure form,” she added. “It’s always in a way that’s pleasing to other people. Black women need to be properly represented — not altered to or morphed into something more ‘acceptable.'”
Born in Norway to Nigerian parents, Neumi approaches the creation of her garments in the same way she approaches the construction of her own identity: with a unique blend of Scandinavian and African influences.
Oma The Label is characterized by bold colors and minimalist designs, transforming her pieces into accessories for special occasions, casual days, and stylish office ensembles. Her particular selection of jewelry and swimwear approaches style with intentionality and attention. As her website explains, each piece is designed “for the woman who wants fashion that makes her feel empowered, confident, and radiant.”
Initially, Oma The Label started with elevated basics, but just before the COVID pandemic, the brand pivoted towards basic and gold accessory pieces that have made it famous.
As Neumi explained to ELLE UK, surviving the 2020 pandemic was one of the biggest challenges for Oma The Label, especially when clothing sales dropped a staggering 25%. Just about to launch its new collection, the forecast was catastrophic for Neumi, but the decision to focus on basic accessories proved to be the million-dollar idea.
“We decided to rush production on our jewelry line, pushing forward the autumn launch,” the stylist told ELLE UK.
One year on, jewelry accounts for 90% of Oma The Label’s sales, now distributed by giants such as Macy’s, Selfridges, and Free People, and has been worn by the likes of former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and actress Phoebe Tonkin.