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Jewelry Designer, Tamar Telahun tells Africa’s story through her decadent Azaem Collection


“How can one not be influenced by everything about Africa? My story starts and ends with Africa,” confidently states Tamar Telahun.  The stunning and statuesque former runway model turned Jewelry Designer embodies every element of the word beautiful not just externally but in both her work and her internal mission and passion to authentically tell the stories of Africa.  While some creatives may opt to share their message and thoughts through writing, activism, visual art or dance, the designer who was born in Ethiopia to Eritrean parents is captivating the fashion world and  is utilizing the natural elements of shells, horns, bones, semi-precious stones and beads to present her poignant story of Africa and all of its richness, beauty and history.

azaemgroup Tamar presented the layers of her  story through a decadent captivating runway show that featured her one of a kind tribal handcrafted exotic pieces that could simply be classified as wearable sculptures, that’s how artistic, intricate and unique her jewelry collection is.  “No two pieces are alike and every piece has a meaning. My collection is mostly connected  to Africa and tribalism. Honoring my heritage by including vintage pieces from different tribes makes each individual necklace  have a story of its own,” she shared.  Tamar represented the diversity of Africa and its varied features, tribes, shades and genetic make-up.  Making it a point to embrace the fact that Africa’s strength is its variation.  Africa is Ethiopia, Sudan, Zambia, South Africa, Congo, Algeria, Nigeria, Eritrea, Ghana, Egypt  and this kaleidoscope of beautiful variations is uniquely represented through the Azaem collection.

“We are fortunate enough to have been born  from the continent that holds Rich rituals, tribalism and ancient history. It’s a lot of story that’s hidden underneath the surface. Everything about the old Africa and the new Africa inspires me. Every tribe, every ethnic group has their own unique individualism that carries me to want to know more and more everyday. Africa to me is always inspiring and its  home. No matter how rich or poor home is always home. It’s the beginning of all things.”  Tamar’s affinity fo Africa is as strong as her love for her family and the importance of strong women who influence her collection.


“My inspiration is my mother, the name Azaem came from her as well. Her name is Meaza, so Azaem is her name backwards.  She is my inspiration of Womanhood and the citizen of the world.  If I could be one tenth of a woman by the time I’m her age I will be satisfied with that.


Being an African woman means a lot. African women are resilient. There are Fighters. They are homemakers. They carry the weight of the world on their shoulders and they don’t complain much  that it’s heavy they just do what they need to do and they move on every day holding the family together . An African woman is the glue to her family. ”  Tamar celebrates this strength and it translates through her collection. “My designs are bold but truly wearable.  Like the women who are drawn to them, they are both strong and refined. This is the type of woman that i create for.  When I am asked who would I  love to work with or wear my line, I think about this type of woman.  Because the easiest answer would be to name a few celebrities but the truth of the matter is although I can name a few of the celebrities I would like to work with for my own selfish business-minded side but  I would say the woman I would like to work with or would like to see wearing my jewelry is the independent woman that travels. She  creates her own path and follows her dream, she  doesn’t hold back.  She is extremely intelligent and one who is proud to be the focal point when she walks in the door.  But if I  must name celebrities I would have to say Oprah, Beyonce, Lupita, Jill Scott, and Erykah Badu.  When asked what she wants people to  take away from her line, Tamar simply says, “the beauty Africa holds. How unique and different each country is on the continent but there’s something very special that binds all of us together.” You can check out Azaem Design Studios and Tamar’s magnificent collection here .

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