On the Fringe

Lei ChicThe cowboy jacket you grabbed for a horseback ride had you blazing in the saddle. The leather pants picked up for an 80s party left you sweating to the oldies. And those rocker shorts you wore to that beach house cookout – you were clam baking in them.

You’ve tried every way you can to look cool in leather. But in the islands that sizzling style is literally just too hot.

Fortunately, a local jewelry designer has found a way to make leather more earable.

Sonya Monique started making her tribal-inspired pieces a year ago when she needed something to conceal the mark a health problem left on her neck. The Kalihi Valley woman mainly used dark woods, African beads, and tumbled stones for her striking collection until a few weeks ago when she started dabbling in leather.

 Monique hand cuts slivers from remnants and old jackets then strings them together with beads and a sterling silver hook. The effect is an almost feather-like waterfall of leather that brushes just past your shoulders for a sultry evening effect. Or undo the clasp and remove a segment for a more subtle day look.

Necklaces and lighter-color leather earrings are up next. Monique only makes 10 of each design and a portion of proceeds goes toward wildlife conservation.

Now that’s leather and grace.

Sonya Monique’s leather designs are sold exclusively in Fighting Eel. Her stone and wood pieces are available in FE and Monique’s Etsy shop .