AXEnAYLEE is a swiftly emerging fashion brand founded by solo designer Amber Danté in the San Francisco Bay Area. "My focus is to create accessories that tell a story of beauty and strength from my own purview as a Black woman." All pieces are the convergence of color, culture, and luxury. Comprising semi-precious stones sourced globally, colorful beads, and historically significant textiles from West Africa, AXEnAYLEE accessories also feature female silhouettes' carved metal. With every piece accented with a touch of 18k gold tone, each collection redefines and reclaims the meaning of classic, formal, and high fashion.
AXEnAYLEE's artistry is interwoven with a unique several-step process—from paint stroke and hand-placement of each crystal to wire-stitching. Most of our pieces are hallmarked by a "tree-free" paper base, sealed in epoxy resin. This makes them environmentally friendly and surprisingly lightweight, in contrast to their layered enormity.
Creating glamourous, culturally embedded designs and bolstering the images and contributions of underrepresented women in the fashion world is AXEnAYLEE's touchstone.
"I wanted to create accessories in which my daughter, Aylee, could see her reflection; visually arresting pieces that merged my love of luxury and cultural roots. I have never been impressed by the muted colors and simple stones that constitute fine jewelry, viewed widely as luxurious or formal. Conversely, African, tribal, and urban fashion aesthetics—often larger in size and bolder in pattern and color—have remained ancillary in mainstream fashion, and historically deemed unprofessional, informal, and low brow. These design elements—long favored by African royalty—belong on the red carpet, down the wedding aisle, and yes, even at the boardroom table. If my children cannot see themselves on the TV screen, it is my job to change the channel. AXEnAYLEE—my children's namesake— is my way of changing the channel."—Amber Danté.
AXEnAYLEE was born in a makeshift artist's workspace in 2012, in Marin County, California, to Amber Danté, Founder and Designer in Chief. As an up-and-coming specialty accessories brand, what launched in the summer of 2020 began as an earring-making hobby for Amber. She conceptualizes, handcrafts, and assembles each piece while intentionally seeking partnerships with women artisans and merchants, globally.