Brand History

The Brand & The Maker

Madewear was founded in 1997 by Olalere Fagbulu, a Nigerian-born Jeweller with a passion for creating unique commemorative pieces and heirlooms in the form of signet rings, graduation rings, sports jewellery and bespoke designs. Olalere studied jewellery making at the British Academy of Jewellery, Central Saint Martins and city literary institute.  As a first generation jeweller, working solely with Platinum, Gold and sterling silver, Madewear designs aim to encourage the celebration of key life moments, preserve precious memories and honour cultural storytelling.

What We Do

The Madewear production process combines traditional and contemporary jewellery making techniques and our jewellery is hand-finished. Whether you are a small group of pilots or a graduating class of 5,000 students, our collection of class & graduation rings, sports tournament rings, signet rings, awards and recognition rings are statement pieces to honour your milestones.  

Culture

I come from a background of jewellery aficionados and as an African, jewellery has always been a form of identity, communication, and expression in my family. In most African cultures as it is with some other parts of the world, possession of gold jewellery is largely viewed as a symbol of wealth and power, an asset used to trade and transfer wealth from generation to generation. African jewellery tends to be bold with key statement pieces because those pieces carry treasured stories such as praise poetry, heraldry, significant images of warriors, sacred gods and members of royalty.


At Madewear, we are influenced and inspired by symbolism and the desire to help capture and tell stories that matter to you; and with modern technology, we can now capture and preserve our stories in much more detail than previously achieved by ancient jewellers.

The True Value

My creative interests were initially focused on urban streetwear design, even though I was intrigued by the art of jewellery making as early as the late 1990s.


In 2002, a close friend of mine was riding a bus back to university after spending the evening with friends when he was tragically killed by the unintentional discharge of a police firearm. His class ring was something he truly treasured and wore devoutly.


At the funeral, my friend's only younger brother removed the class ring from his finger and slid it on to his own. "This ring will serve as a reminder of our brotherly memories and accomplishments," he told me.

The significance of this ring, which is still worn religiously to date, cannot be overstated. It is a highly treasured memento that is complemented by the precious metal it is crafted from, and to the wearer, the true value of the jewellery lies in its history.


This realisation represented a turning point in my personal life and professional career, as it led to my commitment to focus on preserving memories and commemorating achievements through jewellery that has significance and can be passed down through generations.