Women Designers Series: Ndeye Gueye, “The Zipper Queen”
Our women designers series is an on-going project to highlight innovative designers across the world that incorporate YKK® products into their unique creations.
Meet Ndeye Gueye AKA The Zipper Queen! Ndeye specializes in crafting jewelry made out of zippers. As a young woman, Ndeye spent most of her time between New Orleans and Senegal and was introduced to the fashion world by her mom, who also made jewelry. She grew up watching vendors at the French Market in New Orleans and realized that in order to stand out, she had to offer creative and innovative designs to ensure clients kept coming back.
After several months of trying to come up with a unique product, she came across zippers and decided to use them in her designs to highlight their beauty. Ndeye’s passion for the arts and fashion finally came together as she started to design an entire line of zipper jewelry.
In order to guarantee the durability of her products, she started using different zipper brands, and she would make bracelets with different zippers and test them to see how long they will last. At one point, she wore 10 different bracelets for 9 months! The only zippers that passed the test were YKK® zippers. “After 9 months YKK® zippers were still shining! So I tell everybody that it is the best zipper to use for anything because they’re very strong and you can find them in many colors.”
She continues to improve her craft and not only uses zippers for jewelry but for other art projects and accessories; however, jewelry is still her favorite. Her advice for young women wanting to pursue a career in fashion is to “Go for it! Just be true to yourself, think outside the box and do the best job that you can possibly do and everything would be great.”