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Watches & Jewellery

This Jewellery Brand Is Bringing Back Early Hip Hop’s Heavy Chains

Edgy yet elevated industrial style pieces.

Don’t scoff now but chunky wallet chains and ID bracelets are what the cool kids are wearing, again.  If you’re one who fancies silver hardware or industrial jewelry, look for eponymous label Martine Ali that has been making a splash in both the fashion and music scenes. Based in New York, the Chicago-born designer’s portfolio includes lustrous handmade pieces from chokers to bracelets and chain belts to keychains that have been donned by some of the biggest names in music such as Kendrick Lamar, Lady Gaga, Kesha and Rihanna.

Image: Instagram (@martineali)

She got her start as an intern at DKNY, whereby the jewellery she was wearing (and had
created as a hobby) was noticed by a higher-up while she was in an elevator (crazy, right?). Ali
was then commissioned to design and create pieces for an upcoming collection for the brand and
runway, its success saw her moving to start her own jewellery label.

Image: Instagram (@martineali)

Success didn’t follow automatically, as she struggled for a couple of years before seeing her pieces eventually gain traction. She credits her big break rapper Kendrick Lamar, who made her work
famous when he wore her pieces during his DAMN. album tour, music videos and even while filming multiple commercials. But really, considering her “visual sensibility” and top-grade artistry, we think the brand would have been a hit all on its own eventually. See for yourself in the gallery above.

Sterling silver Trek choker, $275 (S$374), via
Sterling silver Boxer wrap choker, $200 (S$272), via
Sterling silver Pin earring, $60 (S$82), via
Metal Sora utility keychain, $75 (S$102), via
Sterling silver XL flat cuban bracelet, $795 (S$1,080), via

Sterling silver Pin-gunnar chain, $200 (S$272), via