“It’s really important for me to maintain the integrity of traditional waist beads while infusing a modern and feminine feel to my designs. I’m not an artist in the traditional sense of drawing and painting, but for me, working with my hands and beading is how I express my femininity and how I express myself artistically``
What began as a therapeutic hobby, has now become a way of life for accomplished jeweler and designer, Sewra G Kidane, who threads passion with imagination to create her unique yet universal form of art known to woman and mankind as waist beads. Born of Black-American and Eritrean decent, the native New Yorker began making waist beads in 1999, in an effort to “pass time and clear her mind”, while she mended a broken heart. Captivated by her best friend, Yes Lioness’ waist beads and wanting a set of her own, Ms. Kidane’s friend suggested she make her own.
Through old pain, new love and passion were birthed. From her humble beginnings selling her creations at street fairs to having her fine works of art featured within the glossy pages of national mainstream publications such as Cosmopolitan, NV and Complex, to hosting her private waist bead trunk shows around the country; the originator of contemporary waist beads and artistry beading continues to set the trend and elevate the tradition celebrating 20 years making and selling waist beads!
But creating stretches farther than beading! With a background in Film and Video Editing, the graduate of Boston’s prestigious school for communications; Emerson College, is also an accomplished Film Editor having cut national and regional television commercials for the past 20+ years. She found that Editing and beading went hand in hand, as one inspired the other to push forward. Waist bead designs, like edit cuts, start off as distinct separate elements, that in the end, come together to form a beautifully strung ensemble.
Transitioning from Film Editing into Directing, Ms. Kidane directed her first fashion film “Proclamation Punctuation”, which has won 12 awards, including “Best Visual Moving Art”, “Best Short Film” and “Best Glam Fashion Film”. It has been featured in various national media outlets and named on Forbes’ list of “The 12 Best Fashion Films”, and is currently streaming on kweliTV. Along with beading, editing and directing fashion films, Ms. Kidane is also an Adjunct Professor for “Film + Fashion” course and “Editing + Post” at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, teaching the next generation about fashion films and creative editing. Her vision combined with her meticulous artistry has allowed her to pave a new style of fashion films like she has for waist beads!