Here in Denver, 4/20 weekend caused quite the buzz and with hundreds of happenings around town – it was honestly all quite a blur. While it was the biggest celebration in the state to date, I didn’t even attempt to cover festival fashion at a mile high (i.e. a standard “stoner style” slideshow). As promised when I started this column in January, I’m here to share the latest on who is making marijuana look good, and Los Angeles born, bred and currently based jewelry designer Jacquie Aiche is a prime example.
Since officially launching her line in 2005, the pot leaf has always been a staple for Aiche and has seen a spike in popularity over the past few years with the growth of medical and recreational marijuana. The fact that Rihanna, Diane Kruger, Kelly Oxford, Kate Mara, Alessandra Ambrosio and Miley Cryrus are just a few of the celebrity clients who drape themselves in her jewels doesn’t hurt either.
“What’s happening with the marijuana movement — it really is the green rush. I’ve been around pot culture my entire life and am an avid supporter of legalization,” says Aiche, 38. “I’m a product of L.A. in the ’80s – I was constantly surrounded by it with my parents and their friends.”
Growing up in the foothills in a multi-cultural home (her parents are Egyptian and American Indian) just above the infamous West Hollywood Chateau Marmont was also where Aiche discovered her passion for the natural stones she uses in many of her designs.
“We couldn’t really ride our bikes around our neighborhood, so a lot of my days were spent playing in the mountains digging to discover stones and fool’s gold. I’ve been collecting rocks since I was a kid,” says Aiche.
Rare gemstones, minerals and spiritually powerful symbols are the focus of the distinctive Jacquie Aiche brand, but in her Sweet Leaf collection the beauty is in the botany. Pot leaves are handmade with 18- and 14-karat yellow and rose gold punctuated with pave diamonds, and wearing the delicate pieces makes Aiche and her loyal cult of fans (a.k.a. the #JATribe) smile.
“Look, there’s a lot of jewelry out there with a pot leaf charm, but I always strive to make pieces that are truly special,” says Aiche. “The symbol obviously makes a lot of people happy — and so do gold and diamonds.”
Aiche also looks beyond nature and to her clients for inspiration. She created a custom denim shirt emblazoned with a giant black pot leaf for High Times West Coast correspondent and full-time activist Bianca Barnhill for her trip to Denver last weekend. Not available to the public (yet), ladies can look for a similar design in the sleek snakeskin clutches available through the showroom only — likely the most luxurious pot pouch out there.
“There is a negative stereotype associated with the culture. But it’s exciting to see marijuana become more and more accepted and I’m proud to be a part of that,” says Aiche. “Especially among us hardworking women who also happen to enjoy it. It’s a whole different scene now.”
Next up for this true California girl? A trip to Colorado, of course.