ap fashion: meet designer sewra kidane and her waist beads collection

April 21, 2014

Growing up, I always admired the beautiful waist beads clumped together in my mother’s jewelry box. The adornment, from my perspective, seemed to be a symbol of sensuality juxtaposed to the beauty of private intimacy—loving and adorning the self. I loved the way the beads hugged her waist and hips– the colors outlining her beautiful brown skin– and I thought, “I can’t wait to get my own pair of waist beads.”

By Aliyah Blackmore, AFROPUNK Contributor *

My mother told me that I needed to wait until I was about 16 or 17 to purchase my own… she didn’t want me “actin’ too grown.” So, I believe after my junior year of highschool—at 16 years old– I was excited to purchase my first set of waist beads. My first purchase of waist beads was in the moment. I was strolling across 125th street with a friend–we approached a small little table on Lenox Avenue, in front of what used to be Lenox Lounge. The woman selling, beautifully wrapped in oranges and reds, pulled out a string weighed down by waist beads—everything intertwined. I was entranced by the beads– the colors bright as the hot sun beamed down. I was drawn to a lime green beading with a light pink accent “Bag it up,” I said.

I felt that my beads absorbed and transmitted energies – the lime green and pink a reflection of my often calm and effervescent personality. Adorning with waist beads is so beautiful because the colors and patterns of beading have the opportunity to reflect who you are, yet there is such a intimate and bodily quality to them– they adorn your femininity.

Now, my mother has been faithful to Waist Beads by Sewra started by Sewra Kidane. Waist beading, Sewra expresses, is “the lost art of femininity.” The artistry of making waist beads started as a calming hobby for Sewra as she was threading “passions with imagination to create” a unique interpretation of the African tradition of waist beads. Sewra creates an intimate adornment that “taps in to” the “feminine side… wearing a secret that nobody knows or expects.” The beading for Sewra is cherished and absorbs chakras within life, creating a special experience with the use of various materials and colors. Her designs combine the modern and feminine while maintaining the ancient tradition and artistry of waist beading within the African Diaspora. Check out the fabulous waist beads by the young, beautiful and talented Sewra Kidane. They are the great personal touch to any outfit — especially with summer quickly approaching!

Site: – Facebook: Waist Beads by Sewra

Stay fly!

* Aliyah Blackmore on Tumblr: