Designers / Industry

How I Got Here: Alyona Kiperman on Breaking Up Monotony with Modernity


Alyona Kiperman doesn’t do brands, mottos, or slogans. Instead, the jewelry designer behind the gender-neutral, fully convertible brand Nomis seeks variety—in her gemstones, with her organic shapes, within her inspirations.

Born in Odesa, Ukraine, Kiperman has had to be adaptable both growing up in an athletic, intellectual family and now as her country suffers through a war. As Kiperman shows through her life and her jewelry, Ukrainians are resilient in all things.

“Today my country does not stop fighting for its freedom and development,” Kiperman says. “Every day our people surprise this world on different fronts: On the front lines and in the rear, people give their lives for the truth. We will definitely win.”

Nomis jewelry
Designer Alyona Kiperman says she aims for her jewelry to be unisex because she sees the world shifting away from traditional gender roles and wants her jewelry to allow wearers to express their individual style, as with her Nomis ear pins (prices start at $1,168). 

Kiperman’s life shows resilience and desire for variety, starting from an idyllic childhood spent swimming, climbing, and skiing, through her teen years working as a DJ and art-gallery associate, to her career as a lawyer–turned–jewelry designer. If it sounds like a whirlwind, it was. And Kiperman loved every second of it.

“As long as I can remember, I was a very active child and had many interests,” Kiperman says in an email interview with JCK. “All my childhood memories are about climbing the rocks and swimming in the sea during the summer or skiing in the Carpathian Mountains during the winter.”

That athleticism runs in the family, Kiperman says. Even her grandmother, who is 84, still hikes on a regular basis. On the flip side, she says no one in her family was into fashion or the jewelry industry. Her only exposure to jewelry came with a gold “aleph” letter necklace her father gave her for her bat mitzvah.

Nomis ear cuff ring
Nomis jewelry is convertible or consists of multiple pieces that create something else. For example, this Omotesando ring is a combination of two Nomis ear cuffs along with a lab-grown emerald and sapphire ($5,251). 

As a teen, Kiperman wasn’t sure what to do with her life. “My mom suggested that I become a lawyer,” she says. “So I’m a lawyer now. And that’s become kind of a family joke.”

Like many within the jewelry industry, Kiperman says she looked for pieces she wanted to wear and found nothing to her liking. She started crafting her own jewelry to wear, and friends encouraged her to dive deeper into this hobby. Soon enough, the hobby became much more. By 2020, Kiperman had founded Nomis based on her sketches of fluid, organic shapes as well as her fascination with lab-grown gemstones, which she sees as the future of jewelry.

“Once again, I was convinced that it is important to do what you want and to understand what exactly you crave,” Kiperman says. “I love jewelry and accessories.… Unfortunately, I do not really believe in clothing or jewelry brands that talk about their sacred mission on Earth. I am not a doctor, not an astronaut, and not a scientist. Everything I do is for the sake of creativity and beauty. Can this be considered a mission?”

Misha Nomis
The Misha bracelet unites a Nomis signature shape with lab-grown diamonds to create a piece that seems to flow effortlessly ($26,814).

If Nomis can be defined in any way, it is as a jewelry brand that transforms as much as the wearer does when putting on one of Kiperman’s pieces. Every Nomis ring, bangle, pendant, and necklace is convertible—earrings can become pendants, bracelets can become chokers. When Kiperman wanted to create something unique for her family members who didn’t have pierced ears, she came up with her own solution: cuffs, ear ovals, clips, and ear pins that bring fresh designs to the body.

That individuality and functionality is what Kiperman herself seeks in jewelry.

“My curiosity is to redefine what modern jewelry is and how it fits into our life,” she says.

Top: Ukrainian designer Alyona Kiperman debuted her jewelry brand, Nomis, in 2020 after friends encouraged her to explore her love of fashion and accessories more fully. (Photos courtesy of Nomis)

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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