The shades of Sasha V
Cover Image © Sasha V/Adore Adorn

Black Perspectives #25: Sasha V (Artist & Jewelry Designer)

The Big Questions

SSD: There are two big questions that I’m asking every interview subject to answer.

First: What does it mean to you to “Be Black” in 2022?

SV: I mean, I’ve been Black for almost 35 years. Being in my skin is not something I typically measure. I am blessed to be from a #VeryBlack family, with #VeryBlack friends. We honor ourselves by not policing what it means to be Black. We show up as we are.

As that relates to work, [though] – it begins to get more complex. My business is centered in an industry where it’s likely only about 1% Black. The fashion + jewelry industry gathers inspiration from Black culture constantly, but we are consistently left out of the conversation.

In the jewelry industry, African miners are the cornerstone of manufacturing luxury goods, yet when I look in rooms it does not include people of color. I did not choose to be in these spaces so that I can open up doors for other Black people, but where we are today, it is insisted.


In 2020, during the height of the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests, I began speaking out as an individual and a brand. I put a stake in the ground and decided that to choose no side at all is to choose the oppressive side. I wasn’t raised that way. I was raised to speak up and speak out– thus, becoming a voice as a Black designer in my intersectional creative industries.

Still, I just show up as myself. I do my thing and I do no jigs or dances for “likes” or “looks”. I remain true to myself and my craft and my brand story expands as I do so.

That authenticity has been recognized by the press and media as I remain unapologetic, yet “good at what I do.” I don’t believe I’d be getting very far if I wasn’t truly producing a good product, building a community of supporters of all races, and continuing to push myself to get better.

So, to “Be Black” to me in 2022 means not getting side-tracked by shiny things. Remaining truly me– rinse and repeat!

I’ve jumped on video calls and have been greeted by shock and surprise by how I look.

Sasha V

SSD: Ok, moving on to Numero Dos: As a Black Person in America, what’s one thing that you wish other people knew about your daily experiences?

SV: That systemic racism and biases are real. We are not just imagining them but we live every day in these experiences.

I oftentimes feel I would be much further along if I was not a designer of color. If I had chosen to not be the face, a #VeryBlack face of my brand. I’ve jumped on video calls and been greeted by shock and surprise by how I look. When I show up for myself and walk around in this world, my background is discounted because I’m a Black woman.

I have had many doors closed on me, where people have said “let’s see where you are in 2-3 years” because they don’t think I will be able to sustain my brand, financially, for very long. So, years later, I’ve gone back to the same people, and the energy didn’t really change. I’ve had to go through a lot of back doors. I’ve sold my jewelry on consignment, or let it be borrowed by retailers, or did 50-50 splits to just get a foot in the door.

Today, I’m happy to only have 100% fully-paid vendors, but I’ve heard “no” about 99% of the time. I can’t completely attribute that to being Black, but it’s my experience, so I do think it plays a role.


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Created by Alex Volkov