‘Beads’of Inspiration

I don’t have to point out to you that accessories are the hot category, particularly anything off beat or ethnic inspired – like beads, which are best when not worn timidly, but piled on exuberantly. They are a quick way to add color and punch or spice up the most simple of summer basics and are available at all price points, all over the city at retail, at thrift and vintage shops, and of course, on the street.

One street vendor in particular, Sangoule Diawara, a young man from Mali, West Africa, caught my eye with his arresting selection of beads including my favorite – jumbo versions of the popular ribbon strung slightly irregularly shaped kukua nut beads from Hawaii (which are light as a feather) and which he sells in black, turquoise, brown, and natural for only $15. He also sells sunglasses, wood toned banana leaf beads (available in two lengths at $12 and $15), bracelets, and assorted drop earrings ($6-$8). Best of all, he can be found religiously on the southeast corner of 14th street and 7th avenue from 12 to 8 Monday through Saturday, and on Sundays from 12:30 to 6.

Marilyn Kirschner

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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