An essay about Disruption & Gender equality
Words by Henriette Noermark
Photography by Ruby Woodhouse
Creative Kevin Pfaff
In recent years interrelations between fashion, power and gender has reached a high and strong voice from both within and outside of the fashion industry. They are challenging the outdated heteronormative standards. Rather than seeing gender as two separate poles, a fluid experimental way of dressing bending the gender lines is at stake. The in-between is much more interesting than either-or. With effortlessly chic androgynous forms and expressions, Maria Black’s newly introduced collection, Disruption, places itself in the debate, and the trending gray area of unisex, gender-neutral jewellery.
“I don’t care if my jewellery is masculine or feminine. It can be worn by whoever likes the design - don’t let people tell you what you can wear or do. Make up your own mind, and try to challenge yourself a little. That’s what Disruption is about. Trying new things instead of assuming it can’t be done, because no one has done it yet”.
Being rock’n’roll and having that masculine touch has evolved into a philosophy for Maria Black, and for years she has been a frontrunner in challenging the conventional framework of what jewellery can be. Without compromising, Maria Black designs with the Swedish gender-neutral personal pronoun, hen, in mind, acknowledging that our neighbors in Sweden are light years ahead of us, when it comes to open mindedness in that area. For decades the genders have been given roles that are no longer relevant or meaningful, and Maria Black opposes to the stereotypical prejudice that men can’t wear feminine clothing or women can’t get dirt under their nails. Gender neutrality is not a fashion phenomenon or a strategy for the brand, but a natural development that began as early as 2010, with the first collections.
“Boys have always bought our jewellery, many of my designs appeal to men as well, and even my boyfriend wears them. It is not overtor pretentious, it’s just who we are. We do not want to put people in a box, but rather open up opportunities for them - then they decide if they want to be part of it”.
To Maria Black, the line of jewellery forms a community rather than a brand, and you are invited to take part in creating your personal expression through a curated mix of bespoke pieces. Diversity, individuality and empowerment are keywords describing Maria Black jewellery, and since the launch of the brand, they have been at the forefront of the multiple piercing look. By selling earrings individually, the brand ethos is to play, mix and mismatch earrings to customize the ultimate personal look.
For Disruption she takes it a step further, comprising the collection of earrings, cuffs, rings, bracelets and necklaces in silver, gold and rose gold all appealing to strong individuals, regardless of gender. Her own personal favourite from the new collection is the Disrupted hoop earring.
“It gave me the same feel- ing as when I finished the now iconic Monocle earring in 2010. To me this is a stable piece. You will never get tired of it, and it shines bright in all its simplicity”.
Maria Black designs minimalistic, polished and intelligent, yet never boring, jewellery that celebrates the ones who dare, and encourage individuals to stand out in the crowd and be noticed. No more blending in. No more not taking a stand.
No more just being. Disruption emphasizes the revolutionizing idea of making jewellery different, bold and significant that goes beyond the insignia of feminine servitude. It’s a matter of confidence, quality and taste.