“Rebel Nell” is a Detroit based jewellery company, making it’s items from the flaking and crumbling graffiti layered building facades around the city.

There’s an interesting narrative inherent in the social context and process of the undertaking, and also in the materiality transposition.

  • Disrepair, both in urbanisation and layered commentary on society which rests over it.
  • The scraps are collected, transformed in service to an entrepreneurial enterprise.
  • The enterprise serves to empower members of an inequality encumbered community.
  • Commodification of fragmented relics of urban ruins serving a “greater” cause. The rationale is empowerment of disenfranchised, education and the means to rise above inequalities of class, race and gender within the community.
  • The graffiti markings are a ‘branding’, the urban issues which cultivated them and which they exude/symbolise is an emblem of ‘credibility’, authenticity or uniqueness. This drives their desirability and value in the various dialogues related to and resulting from their commodification.


Rebel Nell – Graffiti Jewelry that Empowers Women in Detroit



Lora Nikolaeva Nikolova