Welcome to the "Meet the Designers" page!

We are thrilled to introduce you to the two women who founded our jewelry brand - Nicole Bevando and Shohreh Khalilova. Their story is one of resilience, creativity, and cultural richness that has inspired the unique designs you see in our collections.

Nicole and Shohreh are from Central Asia, Tajikistan (former USSR), and their upbringing is deeply rooted in the country's political history. Nicole's father, Shohreh's grandfather, served as Prime Minister of Tajikistan. Abdumalik Abdoulladjanov was the first democratically elected president of Tajikistan. He had a vision to transform the country into the "second Singapore and Switzerland." His aim was to create a prosperous and democratic country, where people could live freely and peacefully. He believed in democracy and worked towards promoting human rights, social justice, and economic development. Abdumalik's dream was shattered when his close allies betrayed him, and Tajikistan fell to a dictatorship, forcing him to flee his country in exile.

Nicole's journey to the United States was a long and difficult one. She had to flee her country and re-establish herself in a new place while raising her three children all by herself. Before moving to the US, Nicole studied business in Switzerland, but her true passion was always fashion. She started working in a high-end boutique and worked her way up to a management position, which fueled her drive for success.

Shohreh, on the other hand, was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, but spent most of her childhood traveling back and forth between her hometown in Russia and the US. She moved to Los Angeles when she was twelve years old and experienced a great culture shock. She found it challenging to fit in and struggled to make friends. Shohreh felt like an outsider, and her attempts to blend in were met with disappointment. Despite life's struggles, she found inspiration in her grandmother's collection of handcrafted jewelry, which had gems and designs from around the world. The unique pieces were not just beautiful but also rich with history and culture. Each piece had a story to tell, and Shohreh found solace in their individuality. As she began to embrace her true sources of inspiration, including history, art, design, and her grandmother's jewelry, she discovered her own identity.

Today, as the founders of i-DENTITY.L.A., Shohreh and Nicole draw inspiration from their cultural heritage, infusing traditional motifs and designs into their work. Nicole and Shohreh are proud of their Tajik roots and their ability to share their cultural heritage with the world through their designs.

Nicole had always played a very significant role in Shohreh's childhood. Throughout the years, Nicole was not only Shohreh's aunt but quickly became her most trusted best-friend. Bonded by kin, they each were able to share their love for fashion and jewelry. They decided to start their own jewelry brand, which would reflect their cultural heritage and unique styles. Their brand is a fusion of traditional and modern designs, with a focus on using high-quality materials and craftsmanship. Nicole and Shohreh are both dedicated to creating beautiful pieces that tell a story and evoke emotions.

At i-DENTITY L.A., we believe in giving a voice through fashion. We do this by designing pieces, growing our community, giving back, and making decisions in inclusive and customer-devoted ways. Self expression is an art, as well as an incredible conduit for connection.

Character is a craft, not an item.

    With love,