Anwar Hadid and Yoni Laham Talk Unisex Line

Anwar Hadid and Yoni Laham Talk Unisex Line

L.A. pals-turned-entrepreneurs launched hardware-for-all brand Martyre.

L.A. pals-turned-entrepreneurs launched hardware-for-all brand Martyre.

Text: SAMUEL ANDERSON

Descending from the tony hills of Los Angeles, Anwar Hadid and Yoni Laham share ties to a close-knit circle of pedigreed supermodels: Anwar, the youngest of the power-modeling Hadid clan, and Laham, a Beverly Hills-born musician, were introduced by mutual friends. Two and a half years later, they are the co-owners of the newly minded jewelry brand Martyre, which offers a rugged spin on L.A. sheen.

Designed as a fully unisex line, in partnership with creative director Ryan Benson, Martyre reflects a spectrum of embellishment, offering everything from hoop earrings to simple chains. Paralleling the macro-expansion of less tailored, gender-agnostic fashion, Martyre brings a by-young-people, for-young-people spirit to the jewelry market. But Hadid’s interest in the medium predates the trend: “I was raised by my mom and I have four sisters, so I [always] saw [jewelry] from a different perspective,” he says. “My mom would give me her really fancy necklaces and stuff to wear and I would be like, ‘This is so fire. I’m be stunting on all [the guys],’ even if I got made fun of or whatever. I had the cool, fancy necklace, you know?”

Laham traces the line even farther back in time: “In ancient times they would wear jewelry [as a sign of influence], too; It truly is a unisex [thing].” Not just a fashion statement, the line’s baroque iconography (see the cherub studs) relates more to a personal philosophy than a religious one. “There have been artistic martyrs, too—people who have fought for what they’re passionate about,” says Laham. “That’s what we’re speaking to, more than anything: fighting for what you believe in and dreaming big.”

While their personal favorites hew toward simple (Hadid wears the Caleb chain necklace daily, and Laham the  Sinner cuff), for an added dose of expressionism, both recommend the Abbey hoops—inspired by an R&B aesthetic but intended for fly-girls and fly-boys of all sorts. “I wear things that I want to wear, regardless of whether the person who makes it tells me it’s for a man or a woman,” says Hadid. “So who are we to tell someone if they can like a big hoop or not?”

Anwar Hadid for Martyre (courtesy Martyre)

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