Deafmetal, which launched in the U.S. earlier in the week, began with an innovation by Finnish fashion designer Jenni Ahtiainen. After losing her hearing in 2018, Ahtiainen was challenged with finding a way to make the hearing aids she now requires more true to her personal style, particularly after noticing that hearing loss was a topic seldom represented in fashion magazines. Leaning on her design background, she created a holster which attached to her hearing aids, from which she hung leather strips in an effort to give them an edgy update.
"Suddenly, the hearing aids felt more like me," the hard-of-hearing designer says in a press statement. "They looked like me and I looked like me. "
Those holsters are now the basis of the Deafmetal's new jewelry line, which was created in collaboration with American audiologist Jen Aslin. Designed to help the wearer "express individuality and embrace their hearing loss with personal style," the first collection, dubbed "the Hope collection," features more than 40 designs priced from $20 to $45. Each piece of jewelry is sold individually rather than in pairs, which, as Aslin notes to Yahoo Life, accommodates those who wear only one hearing aid.
Aslin and Ahtiainen also tapped models who themselves have hearing loss to wear their designs, which range from a simple cubic zirconia stud (connected to the holster and device via a chain) to various charms, crosses and pearls. The collection also includes cuffs and clip-on styles for unpierced ears, plus printed leather coil hats that attach to cochlear implants with velcro.
Aslin tells Yahoo Life that she hopes the jewelry brings "joy" to those who wear them — and has already had rave reviews from customers and parents of kids with hearing loss.
"It's such a cool thing that I am honored to be a part of," she says.
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