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A MOTIVATE PUBLICATION

NOVEMBER 2020

UAE DHS25 OMAN RO2.70 BAHRAIN BD2.60 KUWAIT KD2.10 SAUDI ARABIA SR25

emirateswoman.com

THE FINE JEWELLERY ISSUE

Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Al Maktoum

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Obaid Humaid Al Tayer MANAGING PARTNER AND GROUP EDITOR Ian Fairservice EDITOR/ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Amy Sessions amy.sessions@motivate.ae SENIOR EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Cecilia D’Souza SENIOR ART DIRECTOR Olga Petroff DIGITAL STYLE EDITOR Diana Bell-Heather DIGITAL EDITOR Olivia Morris DIGITAL FEATURES WRITER EMIRATES WOMAN ARABIYA Diyana Hakmi WEB DEVELOPER Firoz Kaladi DIGITAL DIRECTOR Sabir Khodabux GROUP MARKETING MANAGER – DIGITAL Anusha Azees GENERAL MANAGER PRODUCTION Sunil Kumar ASSISTANT PRODUCTION MANAGER Binu Purandaran PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR Venita Pinto CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER Anthony Milne GROUP DIRECTOR Andrew Wingrove GROUP SALES MANAGER Bindu Gupta bindu@motivate.ae SENIOR SALES MANAGER Neha Kannoth neha.kannoth@motivate.ae GROUP CREATIVE SOLUTIONS MANAGER Kelli Maddock kelli@motivate.ae CONTRIBUTORS Sarah Joseph, Guido Duken

HEAD OFFICE Media One Tower, Dubai Media City, PO Box 2331, Dubai, UAE, Tel: (+971) 4 4273000, Fax: (+971) 4 4282261, E-mail: motivate@motivate.ae DUBAI MEDIA CITY Office 508, 5th Floor, Building 8, Tel: (+971) 4 3903550 Fax: (+971) 4 3904845 ABU DHABI PO Box 43072, UAE, Tel: (+971) 2 6772005 , Fax: (+971) 2 6770124, E-mail: motivate-adh@motivate.ae LONDON Acre House, 11/15 William Road, London NW1 3ER, UK, E-mail: motivateuk@motivate.ae

Printed by Emirates Printing Press, Dubai

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serpent bohème collection


Editor’s Letter

Welcome to The Fine Jewellery Issue. I would like to including Fabergé in Timeless Reinvention on page 80, thank Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Al Maktoum for Piaget in The Extraordinary on page 114, Chopard on page the honour of allowing us to present her as our cover 126, Van Cleef & Arpels on page 132, Tiffany & Co. on page star for this prestigious edition. Shooting the cover at 148 and Harry Winston on page 134. We champion new sunrise was not only the backdrop for an incredible and emerging brands, as well as the heritage powerhouses shoot on page 18 but allowed us to in this issue with exclusive interviews share time with a high flyer in all from Repossi on page 74, YEPREM senses and an incredibly intelligent, on page 84, Salama Khalfan on page TIMELESSNESS, inspiring individual. 78, Dihn Van on page 50 and Her CRAFTSMANSHIP With special thanks to a dream Highness Sana Al Maktoum on page AND ATTENTION TO team for making this happen. 96 to the new brand which has been DETAIL SERVE AS In terms of beauty and attention flying under the radar Lesora, in SOMETHING WORTH to detail, this issue is outstanding. High Rollers on page 88. We speak For our cover shoot we partnered to experts in the field from Founder INVESTING IN. with Boucheron, a fine jewellery and CEO of Threads on page 30 house known for timeless creations to industry aficionado Amalia and an uncompromising attention to detail. We interview Keramitsis on page 34. In terms of beauty we feature Boucheron’s CEO Hélène Poulit-Duquesne to find out products that harness the power of gold and diamonds, what’s next for the brand in A Fine Future on page 116. from facials to infusions and foil masks. We also have exclusive interviews with our cover star In a year that has us rethinking what is of value, Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Al Maktoum on page 27 timelessness, craftsmanship and attention to detail serve and some of the most prominent fine jewellery houses as something worth investing in.

Amy Sessions EDITOR / ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

T H E H E R O B U YS

Nice Jewellery Case Dhs6,000 Louis Vuitton

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Tank Louis 18-karat gold and alligator watch Dhs45,328 Cartier available at NET-A-PORTER

LOVE ring, 18K yellow gold Dhs6,350 Cartier

Redemption Body Scrub Dhs125 Aesop

Diamond Tennis Bracelet in 14k White Gold (1 ct. tw.) Dhs8,268 Cara

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CONTENTS NOVEMBER 2020

The Gold Rush – Statement pieces in bullion and brushed gold p.40

The Minimalist – Exclusive interview with Dihn Van p.50

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FASHION

The Edit – The Perfect Pairing p.28

THE MONITOR

Monitor News p.12 Social Listings p.14 Cover Shoot with Boucheron p.18 Exclusive Interview – Cover Star Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Al Maktoum p.27

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The Leaders in Luxury –Threads p.30

Beauty Shelf – Salama Khalfan p.62

The Expert Eye – Amalia Keramitsis p.34

The Diamond Facial p.64

The Ultimate Bejewelled Shoe – Exclusive interview with Manolo Bhlanik CEO Kristina Bhlanik p.38 The Hero Buys – Step into the new season with FW20’s key pieces p.42

BEAUTY

Hot New Buys p.54

AM/PM Beauty – Gaia Repossi p.66

The Perfect Canvas – Exclusive interview with 111SKIN p.56

Go for Gold – The best gold-infused beauty products p.68

The Pioneer – Exclusive interview with Dr. Maryam Zamani, founder of MZ Skin p.58

The Finest Fragrance – Exclusive interview with Sheikha Hind Bahwan, founder of OJAR p.70

The Cover

Serpent Bohème jewellery watch in yellow gold with diamonds and onyx dial with 4 diamonds with black Varanus strap

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CONTENTS NOVEMBER 2020

Lead by Example – Chopard p.126

Modern Heirlooms – Jessica McCormack p.130

72 FEATURES

The Family Business – Exclusive interview with Gaia Repossi p.74 The Creative – Exclusive interview with Salama Khalfan p.78 Timeless Reinvention – Fabergé p.80 The Power Ear – Maria Tash p.82 The Rule Breaker – Yeprem p.84 Modern Moves – Fernando Jorge p.144

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The High Rollers – Lesora p.88 The Perfect Balance – Limelite p.90

The Precious – Inspiring women on their sentimental jewellery pieces p.92 The Treasure – Exclusive interview with Her Highness Sana Al Maktoum p.96 The Leaders – Exclusive interview with Hind Seddiqi p.98 The Extraordinary – Piaget p.114 A Fine Future – Interview with Boucheron’s CEO Hélène PoulitDuquesne p.116 The Best of Bespoke – Exclusive interview with Her Highness Sheikha Mariam bint Khalifa bin Saif Al Nahyan, founder of MKS Jewellery p.128

The Icon – Van Cleef & Arpels p.132 Through the Looking Glass – Harry Winston p.134 The High Life – Bvlgari invites you to enjoy life to the full p.136 High Shine & Sustainability – Tiffany & Co. p.148 A Fine Eye for Detail – Interview with the founder and CEO of XO Atelier, Vera Dieckmann p.150 The Solitaire – Nina Runsdorf p.154

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100

THE FOUNDERS

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In the Club

THE HERO BUYS

The Arts Club Dubai is a private members’ club opening in ICD Brookfield Place, a new development in DIFC, in late 2020 The first international outpost of the historic private members’ club, established in 1863 by Charles Dickens, among others, in London, The Arts Club Dubai is set to open in ICD Brookfield Place, a new development in DIFC, in late 2020. Set over

four floors with 65,000 square feet dedicated to the club, it will host three stunning restaurants, a cigar lounge and library as well as meeting rooms and event space for those that prefer work instead of play. Sign us up. www.theartsclub.ae

Everything about this fruity fragrance screams opulence. Reflecting the traditions of the Orient with a bold Haute Couture touch, this heady concoction is a gorgeous and captivating blend of pear, bergamot and amber.

Gold Immortals Dhs1,337 for 100ml ExNihilo

ESCAPE THE ORDINARY WITH SECOND SUMMER’S NEW COLLECTION

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CC Chain Belt Dhs6,360 Chanel Vintage available at Ounass

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Tuxedo Collar Blazer Dhs369 Zara

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CC Clip Earrings Dhs4,665 Chanel Vintage available at Ounass

IMAGES: SUPPLIED

THREE

THE MONITOR – NEWS

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LE CUBE DIAMANT COLLECTION - DINHVAN.COM

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Social Listings

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@boucheron

@bulgari

@cartier

@gaiarepossi

With its nature-inspired motifs and floral designs, the French fine jewellery brand has carved out a special niche of devotees globally.

This famous Italian brand is known for its timeless creations and exquisite craftsmanship of everything from watches and fine jewellery to fragrance.

The dream. Founded by Louis-Franรงois Cartier, French luxury jewellery brand Cartier carefully combines heriage with a modern touch.

Edgy yet refined, Repossi delivers beautiful pieces inspired by the Minimalist and Bauhaus movements.

@mariatash

@marli

@mks.jewellery

@mzskinofficial

Body jeweller Maria Tash is the go-to for many celebrities and now happily has a store here in the Middle East. We love her carefully curated ear adornments.

Founded by Maral Artinian, the New York-based fine jewellery brand focuses on bringing out your individuality with its minimalist, everyday luxury pieces.

Designed by HRH Sheikha Mariam bint Khalifa bin Saif al Nahyan, these pieces combine sophisticated yet modern designs.

This brand believes that the answer to getting a perfect complexion is consistent skincare using the best ingredients.

@ojarofficial

@tiffanyandco

@salamakhalfan

@officialfaberge

A combination of fragrances from the East and the West with a modern and traditional twist, OJAR offers a range of lavish scents.

Founded in New York in 1837, this brand is synonymous with superlative diamonds and expert craftsmanship.

A brand that will turn your head. Salama Khalfan Jewellery offers the coolest pieces whether you prefer them to stand-alone or to stack them together.

Russian fine jewellery brand is famous for its incredibly intricate designs. Famed for their precious eggs, there fine jewellery pieces are no less special.

emirateswoman.com

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COMPILED: DIYANA HAKMI

A curated list of who to #follow this month

THE MONITOR

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WO R D S & C R E AT I V E D I R E CT I O N : A M Y S E S S I O N S P H OTO G R A P H Y: Ž I G A M I H E LC I C

THE HIGHEST FLYER

Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Al Maktoum has risen to great heights in the aviation industry. We ask what it takes to lead and inspire the new generation of incredible women 18

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COVER STORY

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Previous page: Serpent Bohème jewellery watch in yellow gold with diamonds and onyx dial with 4 diamonds with black Varanus strap; This page: Serpent Bohème S motifs ring set with malachite, in yellow gold; Serpent Bohème S motifs ring set with lapis lazuli, in yellow gold; Right page: Serpent Bohème L motifs ring paved with diamonds, in yellow gold; All available at BOUCHERON

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COVER STORY

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This page: Serpent Bohème jewellery watch in yellow gold with diamonds and onyx dial with 4 diamonds with black Varanus strap; Right page: Serpent Bohème S motifs bracelet paved with diamonds, in yellow gold; Serpent Bohème S motifs bracelet paved with diamonds, in white gold; Serpent Bohème two motifs ring paved with diamonds, in yellow gold; All available at BOUCHERON

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COVER STORY

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Left page: Serpent Bohème pompon bracelet set with mother-of-pearl and paved with diamonds, in yellow gold; This page: Quatre Radiant Edition Openwork L ring set with diamonds, in yellow gold; All available at BOUCHERON

COVER STORY

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PRODUCTION: KELLI MADDOCK; VIDEOGRAPHER: STEVE ERANA; FASHION ASSISTANT: SARAH JOSEPH; MAKEUP: ANIA PONIATOWSKA AT MMG ARTISTS WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO CAPTAIN SAIF KHARBASH, FIRST LIEUTENANT FARAJ ALKTEBI, MARYAM ALI SAIF, ALIA ALSUWAIDI, HESSA QUTAMI ALSUWAIDI AND AHMED EMAD AL SHABRAWY

Left page: Serpent Bohème two motifs ring paved with diamonds, in yellow gold; Serpent Bohème three motifs turquoise ring set with round diamonds and turquoise, in yellow gold; All available at BOUCHERON

What do your first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine? I am a very active person by nature and while I would not claim to be part of the 5am club, I do wake up early and I like to have time to gather my thoughts for the day ahead, as work can be very demanding. If I can, I try to spend some time with the horses, riding before work or doing a quick workout, all with a generous amount of coffee. You have achieved so much – what are you most proud of? I’m most proud of becoming the first Emirati woman to join Dubai Police as a helicopter pilot. Serving my country by doing what I love doing most is simply the best feeling, and I am deeply grateful for it. Describe the feeling of piloting your own aircraft in 3 words? Freedom, adrenaline and peace of mind. What has been the biggest hurdle you have come up against and how do you approach overcoming such challenges? The biggest hurdle for me has been starting to pursue my dream at such a young age. It meant being surrounded constantly by people with more experience and more confidence than me and always being under constant pressure to not only measure up to them but also exceed and be the best I could be, consistently. I tackled it then Alia bint Khalifa AlMaktoum was supporting with all her heart from the way I approach everything: Head on and with home. I can only hope to be as good as them with my own children full force. The only way out is through, and that’s one day, but until then I give back through my commitment to Shehow you build resilience. hana, the organisation I established to open the doors of aviation to women from any background and profession. I hope to ignite for them Do you have any mentors or guides and how does this the same passion that has led me to my achievements and to create a help navigate the right path? When you are a pioneer fairer participation of women in an industry that has so much to offer. in something, you are literally carving the path for someone else so I could not have had better inspiWhich Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration? @hhshkration and mentorship than following the guidance mohd and @faz3 that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Do you have any evening rituals that help you maintain a sense of balMaktoum has provided for all of us Emiratis. He is ance? There is nothing I love more after a stressful, busy work day, constantly carving new paths for us. I am also deeply then to ground myself (literally) by reconnecting with nature. I try grateful to the support that His Highness Sheikh to spend as much time as possible with my horses, riding at sunset Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum or just relaxing in their presence. They are such majestic, sensitive has given me, opening doors and endorsing my creatures and are able to infuse a sense of calm just by proximity. choices to be a pilot with his blessing. They provided Otherwise I’m out at sea, as water is just as peaceful and calming. me with all the confidence I needed to succeed. Nothing brings more balance than the natural elements and I love spending as much time as possible in nature. We believe when women support other women, What advice would you give to your younger self? Keep doing what you magic happens. Have you been on the receiving end are doing little girl, and one day you will be flying up in the sky. of such support and how do you hope to further share If you had not followed a career in aviation, which other role would you this? I don’t need to look far away to tell you this: my mother and my grandmother have been the most choose career-wise? Aviation has been a true calling for me, so I supportive women around me from the start. I was have not entertained any other possibility yet. lucky because my strongest role models come from Who have been the most powerful female role models in your life and my family. I remember on my very first flight when my why do you admire them? Aside from my mother and grandmother, mum was one of the passengers cheering me togethwhose unconditional love has been a guiding compass and support in my journey, I am incredibly grateful for women such as Her Highness er with her friends while my grandmother, Shiekha Sheikha Fatma Bint Moubarak and Her Highness Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum for their role in shaping and supporting women empowerment in our country and to Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed for giving me the opportunity to share my story and my achievements on the stage of the Dubai Women’s Forum this past February. I had not appreciated the power of storytelling until I saw the reaction of the public when I walked on the stage in my uniform full of pride for my country. This is The Fine Jewellery issue. Which piece of jewellery that you own is most special to you and why? It is actually not just one but a series of pendants that over the years my grandmother has customised especially for me. They are constant reminders of the generational love that links us together.

“The only way out is through, and that’s how you build resilience.”

COVER STORY

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THIS PAGE AND OPPOSITE: REPOSSI

THE PERFECT PAIRING

Nantucket 18-karat rose gold, alligator and motherof-pearl watch Dhs27,504 Hermès Timepieces

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Cutout ribbed wool sweater Dhs1,694 Proenza Schouler White Label

Belen belted faux fur & leather coat Dhs9,586 Stella McCartney available at NET-A-PORTER

Zipped 1 leather ankle boots Dhs4,950 The Row available at MYTHERESA

FAS H I O N

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WORDS & STYLING: AMY SESSIONS

Dress your diamonds for day to night

Iris acrylic and texturedleather clutch Dhs1,006 Cult Gaia available at NET-A-PORTER

Silk-satin shirt Dhs1,604 Orseund Iris

Faux patent-leather leggings Dhs398 Commando available at NET-A-PORTER

FAS H I O N

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So Kate Booty 100 patentleather ankle boots Dhs2,868 Christian Louboutin

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The Leaders in Luxury

Threads Styling is building the leading luxury shopping experience for it’s global clients. We spoke to Founder & CEO Sophie Hill and Alys McMahon, Associate Director – Private Client about investing in fine jewellery, economic trends and what luxury is in today’s market

What do your first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine? SH: My aim is always to wake up before my daughter who is now 10 months old and rises between 6-7am. In those moments of solitude, I enjoy a hot water & lemon while reading the news, catching up on e-mails, and scrolling through social media before she wakes up. AM: I wake up at around 7am and go out with my Doberman Obi for his morning walk usually for about an hour. Working from home recently has also given me the added benefit of being able to enjoy a coffee whilst I catch up on social media and emails and before I start my day. How did you know it was the right time to launch your own brand and what were the stepping-stones to that point? SH: Before Threads was born, I had built experience in the luxury space and had an initial understanding of the luxury consumer, which is what ultimately propelled me to launch Threads, as I saw a gap in the market for both style inspiration and service. The initial mission before developing a roster of brand partners was just to acquire and deliver in the luxury fashion market. Suddenly, social media channels provided a better medium to connect with people worldwide and allowed me to present luxury fashion in a way that brands and retailers hadn’t tapped into yet. I founded Threads Styling in 2009, since then we have been able to accomplish something truly unique in luxury fashion;

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inspiring and influencing a highly-engaged global audience of high-net worth millennials through innovative social media editorial content. We engage a next-generation client via chat-messaging platforms, and provide a bespoke, personal and high-touch styling service, taking orders directly through mobile chat, akin to an experience you would receive in a luxury fashion retailer. Do you feel more drawn to the creative or the business side of the brand and how have you grown the team to support this? SH: I feel drawn to both the creative side and the business side; oftentimes our team finds that the business gives us trend insight on sales that helps us drive the creative content. It’s important for us to analyse what our client wants, where the demand is, in order to create inspirational content with similar products that seamlessly integrates into their lifestyle. Our relationships with brands and clients are key; we are continuously listening in order to deliver on all client requests. Based off this ongoing feedback we receive, we are able to pivot content, connect with new brands, etc. to match the buying trends we are noting. We’ve built an incredibly agile creative team that produces all our content in-house; they are integral to our company and have the business-mindsets to creatively meet our sales goals. What has been the biggest hurdle for you so far and how did you overcome it? SH: One of my biggest hurdles has been understand-

WORDS: AMY SESSIONS

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Sophie Hill

FAS H I O N

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Alys McMahon

in the ways of establishing the strong sales and commercial connection needed to ensure we are always curating content that our clients love and garners the interest of new audiences. Since the beginning, we have been committed to evolving and growing alongside our clients and audiences. Do you have any mentors or guides and how does this help navigate the right path? SH: I have many mentors! The key is to find experts and people you really trust and value. People who have expertise on a particular subject. I find you should always be open to listening and taking on advice. Listening & learning can really help you build your business. AM: I take guides from a lot of like-minded people and friends within the industry. Sophie Hill has always been one of my closest mentors. At Threads, our clients are vital to our business model so I have been able to learn and work with Sophie, developing ways to best serve them and evolve in our strategies in order to ensure Threads’ longterm success. What is your approach to scaling a business and client retention? SH: A strong foundation is essential to growing and scaling a business. Our Personal Shopping team has grown from 5 employees to 50 that span from New York to APAC (Asia Pacific). We have built a team that deeply understands our company mission and our core values. Scaling internally has not been easy but we have cultivated a strong audience base of Millennials and Gen-Z clients who have been with us since day one as a result of our dedication to service. We keep our customers and service at the forefront of everything we do. We are listening constantly to identify areas of potential improvement. We continue to revitalise the way we connect with our clients as it’s important to respond to the changing demands of the industry. We recently underwent a company rebrand and debuted our new look via our social media channels to our clients. That said, having our community involved at every step of the way has shaped who we are as a company. How do clients prefer to communicate now – through which platforms and how do you cater to this? AM: Our business is characterised by our high level of customer service, which means our clients can dictate what they need from us, and how they prefer to communicate it. In recent times, our clients have expressed preference to talk to us via WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, WeChat, and iMessage; each client is different and we give them the option to choose. The most important thing is that if someone wants to speak to us about any product, they have a direct line to a Shopper who will be able to chat and seamlessly deliver on their purchasing requests. You have clients the globe over – do you see any buying patterns based on regions or countries and have you seen any changes this year as a result of COVID-19? SH: Everyone has been aware of the crisis and it has affected people regardless of geography and buying power. Some luxury clients were definitely adapting spending habits to be considerate of events. We kept very close communication with our audience during these times, asking them how they were doing, what they were spending their time doing, what they were wearing and what they

ing the level of resilience needed to achieve an ambitious goal. The commitment is not something that can be done part time – it takes over your entire life. It becomes your life. The second biggest challenge has been funding. Only 2% of funding goes to females, it is still a very male ecosystem. Tell us about why you joined Threads and how your role has evolved? AM: I always believed in the luxury service model and the idea that you could develop a chat-based service that utilises digital chat to deliver luxury content that in turn inspires purchases. This evolving retail movement is one I couldn’t resist being a part of; when I first joined in 2015, there were only 13 of us, 5 of which were part of our Personal Shopping team. The standards of high-level service existed even then, so my role has always been to bridge the gap between clients and exclusive product by connecting our clients to our Shoppers who deliver on each request. I have been involved

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IMAGES: SUPPLIED

“My advice would be to find learning opportunities during the challenging times.” – Alys McMahon

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signers all over the globe. Shay, the mother-daughter duo was one of our very first fine jewellery brands that we have worked with since 2016 and have continuously produced pieces that our clients love! For watches, we have seen consistent sales in higher value styles, that consumers consider longer term investments that retain their value. Timeless brands we all know and love are always prominent and make a great addition to a wrist stack! Overall, there’s an aspect of jewellery that is a more personal, emotional purchase. A lot of Threads clients are interested in adding personalised or bespoke pieces to their collection, which our team helps facilitate. Whether its a new Foundrae pendant for an existing chain, an extra bangle to pair back to an existing stack from Anita Ko, Cartier or Nikos Koulis, Threads finds ways for each purchase in this category to feel more personalised and special. Do you see an interest in vintage pieces? AM: A couple of years ago we noted an increased interest in vintage pieces that was set off by a quilted belt bag that gained popularity. The interest in vintage pieces is attributed to more clients leaning into sustainable and circular fashion. Threads, and the fashion industry as a whole continues to find inspiration in timeless vintage pieces so we have utilised content to inspire new purchases. Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration? SH: Collectively that’s almost an impossible question to answer because this constantly changes. It’s the diversity in our community that really inspires us. AM: We find inspiration from so many different people and perspectives; we could never identify just a few accounts. Do you have any pre-bedtime rituals? SH: I put my phone down for 2hrs before I sleep! It took years for me to be this disciplined but it is a game changer not just for quality of sleep but productivity the next day! AM: I switch on a diffuser an hour before bed with lavender oil as that always helps me to relax. I use aromatherapy oils for nearly everything I do as I find it really helps me to find balance and at the end of special to you and why? SH: Every season I the day so that I can get a restful night sleep. buy a special piece from one of our partners that I then connect as a memory to that parWhat advice would you give to your younger ticular time. This season I have my eye on a self starting out? SH: Don’t worry about designer I really admire, Lauren Rubinski. things that haven’t happened. Her chunky gold chains are dreamy. AM: My advice would be to find learning opportunities during the challenging times. AM: I love jewellery but I fidget a lot, so I With the demands of the fashion industry, it really only wear my wedding rings and a is often stressful to do so but it is important watch. My favourite piece has to be my to absorb the takeaways from the negative Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch that my in order to move forward into a more suchusband bought for me as a wedding gift. cessful future. I would also advise on taking What tips would you give anyone wanting to a moment to honour all that you have been invest in a fine piece of jewellery or watch? able to achieve. Life is much about moving SH: Jewellery transcends seasons so it alquickly and looking forward but it is just as ways feels like a worthwhile investment for important to live in the moment. Enjoy the many clients however; we always emphasize meaningful moments that are fleeting! the importance of truly connecting to it and loving the piece. Our shoppers like to ensure If you had not launched your own brand, which that each customer has a thorough underother role would you choose career-wise? SH: standing of how it can be styled for years to I have a real passion for beauty and in particcome. Thus, instilling the confidence of the ular Korean beauty brands and the incredible purchase and its longevity. products I have discovered. If I hadn’t started Threads I would have imported some of these Which brands remain key sales drivers seaamazing brands into Europe. son after season in terms of fine jewellery AM: If I didn’t work at Threads, I would and watches? SH: There’s a lot of continulikely be in something else creative, I enjoy ous innovation constantly happening with building and creative projects, so something jewellery, which drives sales season after that encompasses these! season. We work with some incredible de-

“Don’t worry about things that haven’t happened.”– Sophie Hill wanted to see from us. We were able to find that most people needed a distraction, and we wanted to be that source of positivity and inspiration. Our clients were obviously spending their time at home and with family, so we found an opportunity to create content around loungewear and homeware items. Our at-home content inspired our audience because it was relatable, it showed that we were all in the same position and all living in sweats at some point! We helped them find ways to style their new at-home uniform by adding small sparks of joy. How are you able to ensure you respond to all clients across such a wide variety of time zones? SH: Having an international presence means that it is imperative to have an international team. We have team members in Europe, US and APAC who allow us to service our clients worldwide. Each has worldly knowledge on how various cultures function and are able to contribute to our content to ensure it represents a truly diverse approach. Similarly, we approach our customer service etiquette with the same insights. How has social media affected the fine jewellery business and which platform has been most useful? AM: Instagram has revolutionised the way we shop by making everything accessible regardless of where you are. It’s made fashion fun and interactive by viewing style through your friends’ or an influencers’ point of view, like Threads. The purchase process for fine jewellery can be complex. Five years ago, fine jewellery would never have been thought of as something to purchase online. Our chat commerce model helps facilitate this dialogue, as our clients are asking shoppers questions about scale, fit and even styling advice. We’ve also been fortunate to be able to partner with some of the best brands globally to create directional content that shows how wearable pieces really are. It’s an interactive experience. Beyond that, we illustrate the multiple ways of styling items, which includes contemporary and designer RTW and even super relaxed loungewear. Social media has allowed us to bring items to life, while incorporating a sense of risk-taking and discovery. Customers can see how an item that was never on their radar can easily translate to your own wardrobe. Which piece of jewellery that you own is most

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WORDS: AMY SESSIONS

The Expert Eye

Formerly the Fine Jewellery Editor at Vogue US and Director of Jewellery at Moda Operandi, Amalia Keramitsis set up her own consultancy in 2016 to help build the success of new and emerging brands as well as to work alongside some of the best in the business 34 emirateswoman.com

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What do your first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine? I wake up very early around 6am most days and do a quick yoga or Pilates session. Since COVID-19 there are so many online options to choose from! I shower, have breakfast and coffee and then read through my emails. I’ll also check WhatsApp and Instagram. Since my clients are on so many different time zones I am constantly ‘on’! How did you know it was the right time to launch your own company and what were the stepping-stones to that point? I knew it was the right time because everything was syncing together. I had turned 40 years old and knew I wanted to make a lifestyle change. I had just returned from The Couture Show in Vegas (the jewellery industry’s largest jewellery trade show) and had a call with my very dear friend who said; ‘listen you could either do it now or we can keep talking about it in 2 years…’ Simultaneously, my assistant Luisa kept saying to me you keep helping brands in so many ways and it’s the part you really love, you need to start Amalia Keramitsis Consulting. Those combined voices were the final push I needed to just go for it and I feel every point in my career has led to this. The week after setting up my company, I already had 3 client meetings lined up and the rest just came together. You’re New York based, how has that helped or hindered in growing your own brand as well as connecting with others? My location has been perfectly suited to all my clients as I’m at the centre of everything. For my European clients, I am up early for them and it works also for my West Coast clients as I work and am awake late. Do you feel more drawn to the creative or the business side of the brand and how have you grown the team to support this? I am drawn to both the creative and business side. I am lucky in that I’m able to draw on both in order to better support my clients. What has been the biggest hurdle since starting your own brand and how did you overcome it? Hurdles are always part of life and business, they are learning experiences and ways of growing and bettering oneself. My biggest hurdle has been balancing work and personal time. I love helping people and seeing their dreams come true so it’s very hard for me to disconnect as I never want to miss any opportunities for my clients. Do you have any mentors or guides and how does this help navigate the right path? My mother, father and uncle have always guided and supported me throughout my career. My former boss at Vogue, Fashion & Accessories Director Virginia Smith was also one of my biggest mentors and she gave me the best advice while working with her which has stuck with me to this day; to be mindful and respectful in every call, email and interaction

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or countries and have you seen any changes this year as a result of COVID-19? I have seen huge growth in online shopping as well as direct to consumer as a result of COVID. How has social media affected the fine jewellery business and which platform has been most useful? Tell us about the brands you’re working with and why they are special. I think social media has greatly helped all fine jewellery brands tremendously, specifically Instagram. Brands are seeing an increase in direct sales as well as brand awareness and engagement. Which piece of jewellery that you own is most special to you and why? I have a few, each has a special meaning and purpose. A lot of the pieces I own have a story behind them, which I find is what is so special about jewellery. I have a gold and sapphire Greek Orthodox baptism cross, a gold link bracelet from KATEY WALKER Wempe my father gave @kateywalkerjewelry me, a Yves Spinelli ring, a Katey hand makes everything CVC stones necklace, and herself in her studio in Essex a Swarovski blue crystal

THE HERO BRANDS

with everyone, especially under extremely stressful moments because these would be relationships I would have for the rest of my career. She was right and many have become long-term friendships I have maintained for years. Also my friend Joaquin has been an incredible sounding board for me, his logical sound advice has greatly helped throughout the years and he reminds me often when I get excited and want to move fast on something that its sometimes better to evaluate and think before acting in haste. What is your approach to scaling a business and what do you look for in terms of potential when consulting for brands? My approach to scaling a brand is to be mindful of growing slowly and in a considered way. It’s important to acknowledge how much one can handle oneself and also on not relying on any one thing. All the wheels need to be moving at once, so growth needs to rely on a mix of retail, online sales, trunkshows and more. I look for talent and longevity as well as drive and enthusiasm in a brand and after so many years in the industry it’s now something I can immediately identify. You have clients the globe over – do you see any buying patterns based on regions

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bracelet a very dear friend gave me for Christmas which I feel is lucky What tips would you give to anyone wanting to invest in a fine piece of jewellery or a watch, either new or vintage? One should be making the decision with a few factors in mind. I would advise anyone to think about the price point you are comfortable with, whether you’ll wear it day and night, the brand’s longevity and of course the overall look and feel of the piece. Men tend to look at things in terms of functionality, investment and exclusivity, whereas women focus more on aesthetics and brand awareness. Rolex is one example of a brand, which can be passed down through generations. They not only hold their value but increase over time. Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration? I look constantly and broadly, as you can never tell where inspiration will come from. Do you have any pre-bedtime rituals? I usually take a bath to relax, do a few Yoga stretch poses and change into my favourite luxury brand, Layneau, for an evening at home. I’ll re-check emails in case any of my West Coast clients have any urgent needs and then I practice saying what I am grateful for before I go to sleep. What do you carry with you always when traveling? Well that’s now going to have to be hand sanizter masks and gloves! What advice would you give to your younger self starting out? To trust the process of life. Not be so anxious along the way and know that somehow everything will lead itself to the right outcome and work out, as it should. If you had not launched your company, which other role would you choose career-wise? Probably one that would have taken me into a new challenge.

JOLLY BIJOU @jolly_bijou Started by Caroline Denis, her pieces reflect themes in architecture LAYNEAU @layneau A favourite of Dita Von Teese, its founder began designing at age 16 and her pieces are exquisite ELIZABETH MOORE @elizabethmoorenyc Sustainable New York made fine jewellery, her pieces have meaning and symbolism SOPHIE D’AGON @sophiedagon_paris Paris-based band with the most exquisite colours and designs FUTURE FORTUNE FINE JEWELRY @futurefortunejewelry After designing for other brands for 15 years, founder Jessica launched this impressive brand ANOMY BY KATERINA MARMAGIOLI @anomy_by_katerina_marmagioli Greek designer Katerina Marmagioli designs in the most creative way ARION 1725 @arion1725 Glassware with Swarovski crystals

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IMAGES: SUPPLIED; ALL ELIZABETH MOORE

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WORDS: OLIVIA MORRIS

IMAGES: SUPPLIED

Manolo Blahnik is as close as you’ll get to fine jewellery for feet. We talk with Manolo’s CEO Kristina Blahnik – the niece of the founder Manolo Blahnik – about what defines the iconic brand, how she ensures its legacy lives on and driving the brand forward The legacy of Manolo Blahnik is incredible, how do you continue to retain this? By staying true to our original values, to family, to creativity and to craftsmanship. At our core is soul and sincerity. What are the defining moments of the last 50 years for Manolo Blahnik? There have been so many! The first was designing shoes for the Ossie Clark runway show in 1971, our Liberty partnership which began in 2009, our Rihanna collaborations, The Art of Shoes touring exhibition, the film; Manolo Blahnik The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards, and An Enquiring Mind at the Wallace Collection. I think that was 6! Can you talk us through what a classic Manolo Blahnik shoe embodies? A classic pair of Manolos is a timeless investment. Can you talk us through your career? I attended Cambridge University, then the AA (Architect Association) and from there started my own architecture practice DNA (Data Nature Associates). It wasn’t until 2009 when I joined the family business. By then I had been an architect for 17 years and felt I needed a change and I had supported the family business for many years and immediately thought this was my time. What has it been like bringing the brand into the modern era? Communication is changing at the speed of light and there is always a different trend from one day to the next. I think the digital world is just as fashiondriven as the physical fashion world, you know? For us, it’s not about riding through rough waters, but navigating constantly changing weather fronts with solid consistency. Our overriding mission is to make people smile in everything we do. In the present, we’re learning new ways of connect-

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ing and communicating every day – we’ve all had to adapt and fast! I believe there will be a very different future for the world. What goes into the design of a single pair of Manolo shoes? Prior to COVID-19, Manolo would always visit the factories every season to work on the collections; from carving out new lasts, to selecting new fabrications; bringing his sketches to life. In your own words, what does the brand represent? What does it aim to do for women? It represents heritage and history – we are not driven by fashion but creativity and innovation, we want to push boundaries whilst still having the core values at heart. We want to make both women and men, smile – in every aspect of our work, whether that be purchasing a pair of Manolos or even seeing an image on Instagram. What advice do you wish you had received on the beginning of your journey to success? Stay curious, read, listen to, and observe everything. Throughout your career, what have been your top milestones? The past five years have been incredibly busy as we’ve launched our own e-commerce platform, opened a new men’s boutique, acquired our very own atelier in Italy, one whom we’ve worked with for over 30 years and we’ve also regained control of Manolo Blahnik Americas! And finally, what are your future plans for Manolo Blahnik? Any exciting things you can reveal? We have worked so hard over the past five years, now we need to consolidate everything – although we are continuing to grow in certain areas, the Middle East and of course Americas. I am delighted to say that we will now have a new women’s and men’s flagship on Madison Avenue.

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PROENZA SCHOULER

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BOTTEGA VENETA

Set of five gold-plated rings Dhs3,656 Bottega Veneta

The Infernal Stone gold-plated ring Dhs872 Alighieri

Embossed ring Dhs79 Mango

Luna set of four 18-karat yellow and rose gold and diamond rings Dhs27,610 Spinelli Kilcollin available at NET-A-PORTER

The Wasteland goldplated ring Dhs1,237 Alighieri available at NET-A-PORTER

THE

GOLD RUSH Bold statement pieces in bullion and brushed gold WORDS & STYLING: AMY SESSIONS

Chain Necklace Dhs99 Zara

Gold-tone choker Dhs4,867 AlexanderMcQueen

Gold-tone chain necklace Dhs2,650 ChloĂŠ

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Pack of Chain Necklaces Dhs69 Zara

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THE

Step into the new season with FW20’s key pieces WORDS & STYLING: AMY SESSIONS

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VALENTINO

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Embracing FW20 The Galleria Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi launched their ‘Step into Style’ campaign from October 10 to November 9. With any spend of Dhs500 or more, shoppers will take home a very exclusive gift which has a personalised touch. Visit the ‘Step into Style’ stand located in the North Atrium on ground level with your receipts to choose which one of the five premium gift options you would like to have personalised: a luxury silk mask, a scented candle, a leather bracelet or a leather bag tag.

VALENTINO

AirPods Pro Case Dhs3,990 Chanel

FENDI

LEATHER

Nappa Leather Trench Coat Dhs7,630 MaxMara; Dress Dhs18,100 Bottega Veneta; High Boots Dhs7,350 Chanel

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CHLOÉ

VALENTINO

WINTER SHADE

Elliot Square Sunglasses Dhs1,580 Tom Ford; Decode sunglasses Dhs1,460 Prada; Aviator metal sunglasses Dhs1,940 Gucci

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BURBERRY

Alpaca Belt Bag Dhs2,220 MaxMara

BOTTEGA VENETA

SOFT TOUCH

Teddy Bear Icon Coat Dhs10,850 MaxMara; Coat Dhs33,250 Bottega Veneta; Brown sheepskin Baguette bag Dhs12,590.00 Fendi

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MAXMARA

Octo Finissimo Watch Dhs56,000 Bvlgari

CHANEL

CLEAN SLATE

Coat Dhs14,000 Bottega Veneta; Chanel 19 Flap Bag Dhs17,780 Chanel; Grey Peekaboo mini bag Dhs12,950 Fendi

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VALENTINO

THE GENERAL

Campsite Combat Boot Dhs5,190 Valentino; Tractor 20mm Lace-up Boot Dhs4,650 Balenciaga; 20 chain-embellished leather ankle boots Dhs5,603 Christian Louboutin; BV Lug Boots Dhs4,100 Bottega Veneta; Ankle Boots Dhs5,880 Chanel

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BOTTEGA VENETA

FENDI

Clutch with Chain Dhs6,680 Chanel; Fabric Mesh Bag Dhs3,750 Prada; Cloud XS Clutch With Strap Dhs2,990 Balenciaga

CLUTCH CONTROL FAS H I O N

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WO R D S: D I YA N A H A K M I

The Minimalist Mr Thierry Vasseur, GM of Dinh Van, discusses the art of the understated and staying connected to clients FAS H I O N

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Tell us about your new Dinh Van flagship store in Dubai Mall. The store opened last December in Fashion Avenue and we are very proud of it, as it is the largest one in our international network. It allows us to display all our emblematic collections and to welcome our dear customers in the perfect way. Do you have plans for an exclusive Middle Eastern collection? It’s only been one year since we arrived in the region. We are still positioning the brand, building our customer base and deepening those relationships. Each region has its particular taste and favourite collection. In Dubai, our clients love the Pulse Dinh Van collection, particularly the rose gold pieces and paved with diamonds, as well as the exclusive pieces from our main collections. Which is a signature piece for you? The Dinh Van Menottes collection. One of Dinh Van’s sources of inspiration is the everyday object, which led to the Menottes clasp’s concept in 1976. After studying his apartment key, founder Jean Dinh Van came up with the idea of taking a second key and fitting the two heads together to produce a keyring based on the principle of the quick separation of

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“The most important for us is to stay faithful to what we are.”

two keys. However, a key head initially inspired the shape of the collection and this then became known as the Menottes Dinh Van collection. The designer then turned this beautiful discovery into a spectacular success by making the clasp a jewellery piece of its own. By giving the clasp pride of place on a pearl necklace, he overturned one of the main jewellery design principles by showing what is usually hidden – the clasp. It was then enhanced with diamonds. How do you stay relevant globally as a brand? In the fine jewellery industry, in particular, we do not develop our jewels to appeal to all clients. Creating a piece of jewellery isn’t about responding to a need, more of a desire. From the beginning we create jewels that correspond to the will of the founder: a free spirit that wanted to revolutionize the conventional jewellery world and bring it to the streets – offering a new way of wearing jewellery not limited to special occasions. Dinh Van has been a pioneer in bringing a contemporary feel to the fine jewellery market. The most important for us is to stay faithful to what we are. How do you approach scaling the business? Our flagship in the Dubai Mall is only our first step in the region! How has Dinh Van evolved since it was founded and how do you retain such a loyal following? On the contrary, we are the same since the beginning! For more than 50 years, we have been faithful to the founding principle of our company. We focus on creating minimalist-inspired fine jewellery pieces, which can accompany customers throughout every moment of their life. Remaining sincere and faithful to what we were and what we will be in future is the key to the House’s success.

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Hot New Buys Our best edit of the latest luxe beauty

Diamond Extreme This oil is enriched with powerful biomimetic skin oils and nourishing ingredients to give your skin a hydrating boost. Dhs537 Natura BissĂŠ

GOLDEN GLOW The Huile Prodigieuse Golden Shimmer Multi-Purpose Dry Oil is a luxurious, non-greasy oilbased treatment that nourishes, repairs, softens and illuminates the skin and hair. Specially formulated with a cocktail of vitamin E and seven precious plant oils it leaves skin sumptuously soft and hair ultra-glossy. Perfect for using after sun exposure. Dhs173 Nuxe

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Platinum Finish Miriam Quevedo’s Platinum & Diamond shampoo is formulated with organic argan oil and multi-vitamin complex, leaving hair feeling silky soft. Dhs220 Miriam Quevedo available at Ounass

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Black Diamond Infused with Black Diamond, the natural collagen is fortified resulting in skin that looks and feels radiant and clear, inside and out. Dhs1,994 Estée Lauder available at Sephora.ae

THE POWER PLAYER This potent mask contains retinol to promote cell regeneration, hyaluronic acid to retain moisture and diamond particles that penetrate deep into skin for a radiant glow. Dhs314 III Skin available at NET-A-PORTER

24 Carat Gold Infused with 24 carat gold, silk extracts and peptides, this luxurious gold recovery mask works to tone, firm, strengthen and lift skin leaving it feeling smooth and radiant. Apply a generous layer two to three times a week on clean skin for 10-15 minutes or leave on overnight to wake up to a fabulous complexion. Dhs1,175 Chantecaille

IMAGES: SUPPLIED

Real Magic

Diamond Finish Charlotte Tilbury’s extension of the Pillow Talk range is infused with oil to nourish your lips. This will be the perfect wingman this party season. Dhs105 Charlotte Tilbury

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Rodial’s retinol-infused Pink Diamond Magic Gel Night treatment is enriched with vitamin C and diamond powder, which works on your skin while you sleep to erase fine lines. Dhs360 Rodial available at Harvey Nichols

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Eva Alexandridis

The Perfect Canvas

If you want to offset your fine jewellery pieces to perfection you’ll need flawless skin. 111Skin is the surgically inspired, scientifically led brand that delivers superior results What do your first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine? My mornings are the best part of my day, especially when it comes to spending quality time with my family and so, as soon as I’m up in the morning, I’ll get my sons up and ready for school. When it comes to my routine; I always start my day with a grapefruit juice and coffee, this is the time that I treasure where myself, Yannis and the boys can spend some time together

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over a healthy breakfast before we all depart for the day. In regard to my skincare routine I will double cleanse with the Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser, apply my Cryo ATP Sports Booster and get ready for a workout which usually is a run in the park with my dog, Sparky, and husband. How did you know it was the right time to launch your own brand and what were the stepping-stones to that point? Initially we

worked quietly on our capsule product collection which was strictly designed for our clients within the Clinic and little did we know at the time, Doctor brands were quickly becoming the new beauty authority. Yannis’s expertise, knowledge and constant contact with his clients gave us the inspiration behind each of our products. The real revelation was the unexpected reception received from the first product – the Y Theorem Serum. It was a complimentary treatment given to his patient’s post-surgery and the demand from them as well as from the retail outlets such as Harrods (at the time) was incredible. The result achieved wasn’t just about post-treatment recovery; it was focused on the daily healing of the skin. You’re London based, how has that helped or hindered in growing your own brand globally? Being based in London has had a phenomenal impact on the brand nationally and globally. When you are based in London you are surrounded by such incredible people, energy and expertise. London attracts so many young and talented individuals and it has become a base that so many people from all over the world can call home and I am so fortunate that 111Skin employees span across at least 40 different nationalities. I grew up in a very uniform environment where different nationalities and cultures were slim to none and it’s one of the things that I treasure most about London, its diversity which breeds innovation – it’s inspiring for any brand. Do you feel more drawn to the creative or the business side of the brand and how have you grown the team to support this? Definitely the creative! It is important to note that creativity doesn’t spark from one person and it takes different backgrounds, experiences and expertise to blend together in order for the brand to keep growing creatively. I treasure my finance team because the business side of the brand isn’t my strong point and I have to rely on these experts as the company closes in on £20 million in sales – it’s important to invest in a team of people that support your weaker areas of expertise. Creativity is my passion, but it is very much a collaborative process. What has been the biggest hurdle since starting your own brand and how did you overcome it? I would say once you own a business, you work non-stop but to help overcome the hurdle I have been lucky enough to employ a bigger team and delegate efficiently. This was not so easy in the beginning as I couldn’t afford to hire anyone and was relying on myself but now that the brand has momentum, we can hire experts in the industry to support the growth of the brand. Do you have any mentors or guides and how does this help navigate the right path? My

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WORDS: AMY SESSIONS

mentors are those that are close to me such as my mother and my husband. Yannis still inspires me to this day from his discipline to study and continued practice of medicine over the last 35 years – and for him to still take pride in what he does every day is incredibly inspiring. I also look up to my mother but for very different reasons, she was so independent whilst living under the communist regime and was able to continue to work, explore and maintain such an exciting worldly view which she has also instilled within me. What is your approach to scaling a business and client retention? It is important to push and navigate a moderate growth over a short and quick succession. We have been very fortunate to grow quickly with the opportunities that have graced our path, but we purposely slowed the growth to a moderate pace for sustainability, accountability and precision. When we look into growth, we look after, prioritize and nurture each account with our utmost attention. Each new territory requires our focus and we have learnt to pace ourselves and say no to big opportunities if they put unnecessary pressure on our key divisions. In regard to our client retention we are not just selling skincare, we are an experiential brand and our hope is that our clients will purchase our products and have the ability to experience and fall in love with our 111 Harley Street Clinic, our biohacking Cryo/Heat Therapy treatments, our global Five Star Spas and take us with them on their life journey. You have clients the globe over – do you see any buying patterns based on regions or countries and have you seen any changes this year as a result of COVID-19? I would say in the beginning we were the first brand to harness and introduce advanced masking technology that consisted of either Bio Cellulose or Hydrogel formulas. With the demand starting in Asia, we were then able to influence this technology in Europe and America and it soon became our bestselling category across all of our markets. In the US specifically, clients are driven by and attracted to key ingredients and as a clinically inspired brand, we invest in unique formulations with high efficacy to optimise results – this in-depth research is then what the US market looks for in regard to their products. Yet, if we compare to the Middle Eastern market, we have had a strong demand from our spa locations such as Jumeirah and the Mandarin Oriental as the clients like to experience the products through pampering wellness and facial treatments. In regard to changes as a result of COVID, acne, pollution and anti-blemish skincare regimes have fast become global trends

“I can’t imagine that I would be doing anything else other than working in beauty.” and the awareness around it has catapulted immensely. It has especially brought more demand around clinical skincare, ingredient efficiency, immunity, anti-bacterial and a heavier emphasis on doctor derived brands. How has social media affected the beauty business and which platform has been most useful? Social media has impacted the beauty business immensely, it has opened the conversation between the customers and the brands creating such a positive synergy which does in fact influence product selection, launches and strategy. With our own personal social media growth, it has its own unexpected success story where our customers really embrace sharing the love for the brand, their routine and their normal day-to-day occasions. The content has been unsolicited (we do not pay for any endorsements) with a huge exposure that has not only generated an organic reach, but we also get to witness how the everyday consumer uses our products and that feedback is priceless. Our biggest platform with the most growth has been Instagram, from backstage at fashion shows to the models and clients wearing and sharing our masks on flights, at home, events and in their downtime, it has generated such an exciting buzz. Which product would you recommend for any skin type and which is the best for anti-aging? For any skin type I would recommend the Y Theorem Repair Serum for its healing and

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soothing properties. Our skin is exposed to so many external environmental factors and in the process our skin’s cells become not only damaged but decrease over time. The Y Theorem Serum is the perfect addition to support the daily healing of the skin and helps to support cells in creating the perfect equilibrium. In regard to anti-ageing, I do have to admit, I dislike the word for the negative stigma it portrays as ageing is a blessed and beautiful process but if I had to highlight a collection it would be the Intensive range. It is our most opulent yet potent collection that incorporates the most concentrated ingredients to treat visible fine lines and wrinkles and lax skin. Inspired by clinical treatments to stimulate the skin, the collection invites a healthy and vibrant appearance. Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration? There are so many inspiring accounts that I look too, and I constantly discover new accounts from those that tag us in their routines over on Instagram. I enjoy scrolling through Revolve’s Instagram account and vigorously read the Business of Fashion. I also love the accounts of designers such as Laura Kim from Oscar De La Renta, Brandon Maxwell and impartial beauty accounts such as Violet Grey. Do you have any pre-bedtime rituals? I do and my rituals are encased in my skincare routines because I love to indulge in a treatment mask. It brings me such joy and a huge sense of calm with my current favourites being between the Celestial Black Diamond Lifting and Firming Mask and the Y Theorem Bio Cellulose Mask. I always start by double cleansing and then applying the Celestial Black Diamond Retinol Oil followed by the Celestial Black Diamond Cream. I also love to put my youngest son to bed and honestly, I do hope it lasts a few more years because I treasure these moments – my teenage son refuses me to tuck him into bed now. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out? I would have to say to dream big, have no fear and don’t worry about people judging you. If you had not launched your own brand, which other role would you choose careerwise? I can’t imagine that I would be doing anything else other than working in beauty; but one thing is for sure I would have still found a way to be my own boss regardless of the industry. Which piece of fine jewellery is your most precious and why? My engagement ring that was given to me by my husband 18 years ago. Over the years he has asked me on a number of occasions to replace it, but my answer will always be no – it holds huge sentimental value to me. My most treasured possession has to be my David Morris Ring and my Lorraine Schwartz Evil Eye Bracelet.

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WO R D S : D I A N A B E L L- H E AT H E R

The Pioneer

MZ Skin is part of a new wave of clinically proven products formulated to reveal, enhance and protect your skin Oculoplastic Surgeon and founder of MZ Skin Dr Maryam Zamani believes that “a beautiful complexion starts with a consistent, daily skincare routine – less is more”. Inspired by the women she advises, these clinically proven products are formulated to reveal, enhance and protect your skin with pioneering, anti-aging ingredients. MZ Skin, founded by Dr Maryam Zamani at her clinic in Chelsea, London is a brand that has seen only growth since its launch. Dr Maryam Zamani, a leading oculoplastic surgeon is an in-demand aesthetic doctor. “My journey began when my mother introduced me to skincare when I was about 14-years-old. She gave me a tinted moisturiser from Lancôme and it was the perfect shade of tan and I wore it religiously,” Dr Zamani reflects. After medical school she moved to London and became involved in research using hyaluronic acid fillers and developed an interest in non-surgical treatments, leading her to do a Dermatology Certificate with Cardiff University. At this point she decided to take a break from her usual routine of using brands like Shiseido and La Prairie in favour of doctor skincare brands, however, she wasn’t immediately taken with what was available.

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“The formulations felt too medicinal and lacked the luxury sensory component that I loved so much, so I went back to Natura Bissé and Shiseido but added some pharmacy grade products I had formulated with the pharmacist and shared with a few close friends. Having a simple, manageable sk-

with a luxury feminine angle. A simple goal, with a less simple path. The creation of MZ Skin has been an enjoyable, frustrating, nerveracking, beautiful journey and a true labour of love.” Dr Zamani’s less is more approach is more relevant today than ever as we strive to simplify and get more from doing the absolute minimum. “An effective skincare routine should be easy to use without too many steps. We do not need lots of different layers of skincare. We need skincare that works effectively and synergistically together. This is the philosophy with which I’ve created MZ Skin using actives to promote even, hydrated, glowing skin.” Below, we ask Dr Zamani to share her skincare rules and reveal what we can do to look after our complexion in the most effective and efficient way possible. RULE 1: COMMIT The best routine is the one that you can keep. The principles are simple. Reveal, enhance and protect the skin. We need to reveal our skin with gentle but effective cleansing and exfoliating to make the skin receptive to other ingredients used. Then we need to enhance our skin with intelligent formulations of potent and active ingredients to bolster collagen production, reduce pigmentation and treat the skin. Finally, we need to protect our skin from harmful environmental factors. RULE 2: REMEMBER THE ESSENTIALS As a previous sun worshipper in my misguided youth, I battle with pigmentation issues. For me, beautiful skin is clear, hydrated, and healthy. Blemished skin can make me feel and look dirty and unrefined. MZ Skin was born out of a need for clear, beautiful skin. Ingredients targeting pigmentation are always high on the radar and I think Retinols and antioxidants such as Vitamin C should be in almost everyone’s regimen as powerhouse ingredients. Hydrators are also excellent to plump and moisten skin for a natural glow-think hyaluronic acid. Stem cells whether plant or animal can also help boost collagen and elastin production while improving skin hydration. RULE 3: FACE YOUR CONCERNS Younger girls want flawless skin without any blemishes or discolouration. In the social media era, girls want their skin looking like it does when it has a filter on it. On the other hand, more mature women look to reduce pigmenincare regimen that works, is essential for tation caused by photo ageing and a clear palproducing excellent results. This is why ette. Another common concern is tired-lookI embarked on creating a scientifically ing eyes. The eyes often show the first signs of backed, and clinically tested skincare line ageing. Dark circles, puffy lower eyelids, and made by a woman for women. The idea was dehydrated skin are common issues I see. simple, to provide high-grade cosmeceutiRULE 4: KNOW YOUR PRODUCTS Our Cleanse & Clarify cleanser is very popular. cal skincare in synergistic combinations

MZ Skin’s ‘Light-Therapy’ mask provides the same rejuvenating results as one of Dr Maryam Zamani’s in-office LED treatments. This device has five coloured light settings that each promote different benefits for an overall radiant complexion. Adjust the comfortable strap to hold it securely in place, leaving your hands free to send out a few early morning emails. Light-Therapy Golden Facial Treatment Device Dhs 1,719 MZ Skin available at NET-A-PORTER

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soothes the skin from sensitivity and redness and lastly, white repairs, soothes and calms the skin for complete skin rejuvenation. RULE 7: THE DON’TS Never workout with makeup and never sleep without washing your face. Be gentle with your skin and let your skincare work for you. I find that sometimes people can over-do exfoliation, which only results in more inflammation rather than healthy radiant skin. When using active ingredients, it’s not necessary to add more into your routine to make it effective. You need to pick and choose ingredients that specifically target your skin issues. RULE 8: THINK BEYOND SKINCARE Our skin reflects our physical and emotional health and is greatly influenced by lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, stress management and sleep. Sleep helps with everything. I think that wellness is now a lifestyle. Live well, feel well, look well. This means sleeping more, spending more time with family and friends and less on electronics. Mental wellness should always be a priority. Exercising regularly works wonders not only for your physical wellbeing but also for your mental wellbeing.

IMAGES: SUPPLIED

“LED uses photobiomodulation to stimulate collagen synthesis, growth factors and extracellular matrix production to reduce visible signs of ageing.” It has AHAs in it which help with decongesting the skin, reducing pigmentation and other irregularities in skin tone and helps prevent premature ageing. One of our best sellers is Brighten & Perfect, our Vitamin C corrective serum. Vitamin C is great for hyperpigmentation and evening out skin tones. We’re also widely known for our eye products, whether it be our eye masks or eye creams – Soothe & Smooth for dark circles and Depuff & Define for reducing puffiness. Masks are always a quick fix that gives a boost of hydration while soothing the skin. The MZ Skin Hydra-lift Golden Facial and Eye Treatment Masks are great for a quick pre-event fix to brighten the eye area, and give the skin a healthy glow. If you’re looking for some exfoliation to help smoothen the skin before an event, I would recommend the MZ Skin Radiance & Renewal mask, followed by our Glow Boost Ampules to achieve a radiant complexion. RULE 5: SHIELD FROM THE SUN Everyone should be wearing a broad-spectrum UVA and UVB sunscreen. I recommend a daily SPF of 30 or higher. For moisturisers, I would recommend MZ Skin’s Hydrate & Nourish – a daytime moisturiser that contains Retinol and SPF 30 to simultaneously refine the complexion and protect the skin. We also launched the MZ Skin Tint & Protect, which is a skin perfecting tinted moisturiser with SPF 30. The SPF helps protect the skin from photo ageing while the tint corrects skin imperfections and finishes the skin with a youthful complexion. For anyone who wears makeup, Tint & Protect works great as an everyday skin base and feels much lighter on the skin than foundation. RULE 6: USE TECHNOLOGY I strongly believe that clients want to be able to treat and help their skin at home. LED stands for light emitting diodes, which are in different colour wavelengths that are then absorbed by the skin. LED uses photobiomodulation to stimulate collagen synthesis, growth fac-

MY SKINCARE ROUTINE tors and extracellular matrix production to reduce visible signs of ageing. MZ Skin’s LED can efficiently provide a red, yellow, blue and green light for multifunctionality. It can be used as a stand-alone treatment as well as an adjunct to other aesthetic procedures and because it is non-ablative and non-thermal, there is no damage to the overlying skin epidermis or dermis. LED is an excellent at-home treatment regime you can use on cleansed skin. I recommend cleansing the skin and either using the LED directly or with a hydrating serum. I would stay away from certain actives (Vitamin C or Retinol) but rather use more hydrating ingredients. You can use the mask up to three times a week for 1020 minutes depending on the light and the intensity. I would recommend using it at a lower intensity at first and slowly increasing it if needed. It can work on normal skin but it is efficacious in helping heal skin after in-office procedures (such as peels, lasers, micro-needling) as well as post facial surgery. The red light strengthens and firms the skin to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. Blue light helps decongest and clarify skin while green reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation. The yellow light

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MORNING I wash my face with MZ Skin Cleanse & Clarify while I am in the shower. Afterwards, I also use MZ Skin Brighten & Perfect 10 % vitamin c serum to combat oxidative damage and promote collagen production while decreasing the appearance of pigmentation, a condition I suffer from. And my last step is MZ Skin Tint & Protect or MZ Skin Hydrate and Nourish to help hydrate and maintain hydration on my skin while also protecting it with SPF. EVENING Just like in the daytime, I wash my face with MZ Skin Cleanse & Clarify. Twice a week I use this or my MZ Skin Radiance & Renewal mask for deeper exfoliation while I am in the bath. I then use my soothe and smooth eye cream followed by MZ Skin Replenish & Restore mask and finally the MZ Skin 2% Retinol Skin Booster. The last steps of my nighttime skincare routine are for the lips and I am ready for bed.

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The Beauty Shelf

Salama Khalfan’s approach to beauty is pure precision C O M P I L E D B Y: D I A N A B E L L- H E AT H E R

Liquid Highlighter Dhs30 Makeup Revolution

I like liquid highlighters that deliver a dewy glow, but don’t leave a metallic finish.

It’s one of the best quality hyaluronic products I have used and I am a big fan of Dr Barbara Sturm facial and all of her products. Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Wash Dhs162 ELEMIS

I love the smell and texture of this wash as it’s not too oily and it removes everything. I always feel fresh after using it. Ecological Compound Dhs860 Sisley Paris

This superlight moisturiser always makes my skin feel hydrated without creating a thick layer or greasy texture.

Airbrush Flawless foundation Dhs210 Charlotte Tilbury

This is my dream foundation. I use number 7, which for me is the perfect shade. The texture is light with medium coverage which I can always make light by adding a drop or two of my primer. Rosehip Seed Lip Cream Dhs55 Aesop

I carry this in my bag everywhere. It’s great for cold weather and it is wonderful for bedtime and first thing in the morning, plus I love the smell. Signature Shampoo Dhs205 and Conditioner Dhs167 Oribe

Priming Moisturizer, buildable hydrating crème Dhs85 Glossier

I love this brand because it always makes my hair super easy to style with minimal effort.

I love primers that are light and breathable but still deliver a great base for the foundation.

Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter Dhs195 Becca Cosmetics

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This is a powdered highlighter that I carry in my dressing room and also have it in a travel size for when I go to the gym or travel. Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil for Dehydrated Skin Dhs167 Clarins

I love facial oils and although I have tried a wide variety, I keep coming back to this one. I use it before bed and I wake up hydrated. It also doesn’t make my skin break out.

IMAGES: SUPPLIED

Hyaluronic Serum Dhs1,118 Dr Barbara Sturm

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PROMOTION

Regenerating Duo Dhs374 izil

Real Radiance

T H E R E ’S N O B E T T E R WAY TO G E T A N AT U R A L , P U R E A N D YO U T H F U L G LOW T H A N U S I N G T H E F I N E ST N AT U R A L I N G R E D I E N T S

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n beauty, there’s nothing more sought after than a natural radiance and youthful glow to the skin. However, with busy schedules, stress and often a lack of sleep – keeping that natural glow and reducing the look of fine lines can prove to be difficult at times. Not only that, environmental factors and natural ageing can also affect the natural radiance of the skin. What most seem to forget is that the skin is the largest organ in the body. So, just as we eat well to ensure our bodies are healthy, we need to feed our skin with natural, pure and healthy ingredients. Dubai-based beauty brand izil has been specialising in pure, natural ingredients in its products for the last eight years which help to effectively enable a healthy ageing

process that will delay the natural inevitability of fine lines and wrinkles. Established in the UAE in 2012 by Mouna Abassy, who is originally from Morroco, the brand focuses on the pure and rich beauty rituals which derive from the rich heritage of the country, which have been developed and passed down through generations. There is no better way to achieve a radiant and youthful glow than with natural and pure ingredients. One hero product is izil’s new Regenerating Serum, made from 98.6 per cent natural ingredients, this serum is set to infuse your skin with natural antioxidants to help prevent signs of ageing by boosting collagen and encouraging cellular renewal. Combining hydrolysed wheat protein, grape seed oil, prickly

pear seed oil, coenzyme Q10 and hyaluronic acid, the Regenerating Serum is the ultimate amalgamation of ingredients to encourage a natural skin radiance. For the ultimate results, incorporate the izil Regenerating Serum with the izil Regenerating Cream into your skincare routine. The Regenerating Cream contains 93.1 per cent naturally-derived ingredients including red algae, aloe vera, argan oil, vitamin E, rosehip oil, hyaluronic acid and more. Together, this powerful Regenerating Duo will moisturise and nourish the skin leaving it plump and healthy, giving that coveted natural and pure radiance we all crave. All products available online at izilbeauty. com and at the flagship store at Dubai Mall, which also offers spa services.

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WORDS: OLIVIA MORRIS

diamonds as part of a beauty regimen dates back to the Roman era. The ancient civilisation considered diamonds to be the gemstone of Venus, the goddess of beauty and love. They used diamond dust for the same reasons we do today: to brighten the skin, promote radiance of spirit, and to preserve youth. Today, diamonds are used for their brightening, exfoliating and hydrating properties. Many luxury skincare lines incorporated diamond powder in the products ranging from collagen masks and serums to makeup and body creams. What is the Biolite Silk Peel Dermalinfusion? Prior to starting any medical procedure and skin treatment, the therapists always perform a thorough consultation with the client to fully ascertain their concerns and expectations. We begin all facial treatments with a thorough cleanse. For this particular treatment, we begin with our Seaweed Enzyme Peel and steam. This step is important as every treatment needs a clean canvas to begin with. The steam opens up the pores and gets rid of any impurities, while gently lifting off the dead skin. The Silk Peel is a three-in-one treatment that combines exfoliation, extraction and infusion. It is considered to be the most dynamic, high-performance skincare system available. The Silk Peel uses a diamond-infused tip, which is known as diamond tip exfoliation. The diamonds are ground into fine microparticles which helps to remove dead skin cells. What is the procedure and what are the results? The Silk Peel Dermalinfusion procedure is safe, painless and can be performed almost twice as frequently as other exfoliation facials without the risk of aggravating sensitive skin. Our aesthetician will select a gentler or coarser exfoliating tip, depending on your skin’s sensitivity, and you’ll decide which condition-specific matology, anti-ageing skin treatments and serum you want them to apply. This facial cosmetic gynaecology, specialising in surgicombines exfoliation, extraction, and infucal and non-surgical aesthetic procedures.” sion. Key facial steps included are buffing One of the latest additions to their roster away old dead skin cells, removing dirt and of treatments is the Silk Peel, which uses a oil from pores, and applying a potent serum diamond-infused tip as part of its three-inthat can now more easily penetrate. It helps one treatment which combines exfoliation, with the following concerns: fine lines; enextraction and infusion. Dr Mirza talks larged pores; uneven skin tone; dehydration; to Emirates Woman about the benefits of hyperpigmentation; acne and oily prone diamonds in treatments, the new Skin Peel skin; and sun and environmental damage. treatment and exactly how it works. What make this treatment superlative? Though this treatment is often compared to our Dermasweep Facial, the Silk Peel uses Tell us about the Silk Peel? The Silk Peel is diamond-tip exfoliation which is a brandone of our latest treatments at Biolite Aesnew method of rejuvenation. It is fully custhetic Clinic. After seeing excellent results with the Dermasweep, a rejuvenation treattomisable and is based on each client’s skin ment exclusive to our clinic, I decided it was type and concerns. Whether you have acnetime to invest in a newer and more advanced prone skin, dehydrated skin or an overall treatment of the same calibre. The key difdull complexion, the Silk Peel is a bespoke ference between the Dermasweep and Silk treatment that targets specific concerns, Peel is the exfoliation method. While the leaving you with a radiant, bright and hyDermasweep also uses three-in-one techdrated complexion. nology, it uses bristle-tip exfoliation. The Who does it suit & how often should you have Silk Peel uses diamond-tip exfoliation, it done? It is suitable for all skin types and which I was drawn to. tones because it’s fully customisable. This pain-free skin-resurfacing treatment takes What benefits do diamonds bring to skin? only about 30 minutes and has no downDiamonds make excellent exfoliators as they are the hardest of all gems. When ground time. All of our new clients will have to go into fine microparticles, as they are in the through a mandatory consultation with our Silk Peel, diamonds help to remove dead therapist to review medical history, conskin cells which not only helps to brighten cerns, goals and skin type. Based on your the skin, but also to stimulate collagen proconsultation, our therapist will recommend you a programme to achieve desired results. duction, reduce the appearance of sun damThe most common recommendation is every age and provide deep hydration. three weeks to keep your skin looking and How long have diamonds been used by cosfeeling fresh, radiant and hydrated. metic surgeons and dermatologists? Using

The Diamond Facial Normally reserved for fine jewellery, the use of diamonds by dermatologists for facials and peels has become increasingly popular. However, the use of diamonds in treatments dates back to the Roman era, according to Dr Mona Mirza, CEO and founder of top Dubai-based skin clinic Biolite. “The ancient civilization considered diamonds to be the gemstone of Venus, the goddess of beauty and love,” Dr Mirza tells Emirates Woman. “They used diamond dust for the same reasons we do today: to brighten the skin, promote radiance of spirit, and to preserve a youthful glow.” Just as thousands of years ago they were used to encourage skin rejuvenation, today diamonds are used for their brightening, exfoliating and hydrating properties. “Many luxury skincare lines incorporated diamond powder in the products ranging from collagen masks and serums to makeup and body creams,” Dr Mirza adds. With over 30 years of experience in the aesthetics industry, Dr Mirza founded Biolite Aesthetic Clinic in the UK back in 2001. She eventually relocated the business to Dubai in 2007. Throughout the constant changes in the beauty and aesthetics industry over the years, Dr Mirza has continually ensured Biolite continues to adapt and progress with the times. “We house the latest in advanced aesthetic technology from lasers, ultrasounds and radio frequency-based devices,” she explains. “At Biolite, we are driven by results. We offer a broad range of services, which include plastic surgery, der-

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IMAGE: GETTY

Transform your skin with superlative ingredients

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C O M P I L E D B Y: D I A N A B E L L- H E AT H E R

AM TO PM BEAUTY

Gaia Repossi, the Creative Director of contemporary jewellery brand Repossi, shares her daily beauty and wellness rituals What does your morning routine look like? I wake up and do a traditional ASHTANGA yoga practice called Mysore. I then have a matcha latte and a bite to eat before running to the creative studio. Usually, I design or sketch in the mornings and then I have meetings in the afternoon. Talk us through your favourite skincare products. I don’t have a wide list of skincare products as I like a simple, natural look. I’m also paying attention to the number of skincare products that I have and try to keep it to a minimum. I mainly use 80 per cent organic products for hair, body and face. My favourite products are organic rose water and a shampoo bar from Odacité. For makeup I use only Gucci Westman’s products from her brand Westman Atelier, I love the Vital Skin Foundation sticks in shade III and her

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Baby Cheeks blush stick in Minette (bright orange). I also wear very few lipsticks but there is one that I’ve discovered and love, it’s the Gucci lipstick by Thomas de Kluyver. I have it in Agathe Orange and Carol beige. Do you have any evening rituals? When I come back home, I meditate or lie down to relax for a while. I like to play music and read too. Before bed, I always clean my face with Green Ceremony cleanser from Odacité so I have a fresh complexion in the morning. How do you approach makeup? I’m lucky to have easy skin and no acne, so I don’t use a lot of makeup and tend to keep my look very natural. I use concealer and sometimes if needed, I use foundation to smooth out the complexion. If I want to create more of an evening look I would add a piece of jewellery, a diamond earring, for example, to bring light

to the face before applying some lipstick. Talk us through your hair routine. I’m trying to reduce the number of products I’m using so I stick to the shampoo bar from Odacite. It works well on my hair and it’s easy to take when I travel. I also regularly apply jojoba oil mixed with ylangylang that I find in organic stores. The same person in Paris, Remy Faure, has maintained my hair colour for the past 14 years and I only need to see him four times a year. What do you use to unwind? I use yoga. I also like to be out in wilderness or remote places to detach from it all. I need this type of solitude. Do you vary your practice throughout the week? Yes, I adapt my practice depending on the moment of the day and the day of the week. I also pay attention when there is a full moon or new moon. Traditionally, the practice is a sequence

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IMAGES: DAVID SIMS AND SUPPLIED

Clockwise from left: Rouge à Lèvres Mat Lipstick in Agatha Orange 302 Dhs165 Gucci Beauty; Soap Free Shampoo Bar Dhs107 Odacité; Chai candle Dhs284 Byredo; Baby Cheeks Blush Stick in Minette Dhs220 Westman Atelier; Ylang Ylang, Vetivert & Tonka Bean Natural Wellbeing Fragrance Dhs192 NEOM Organics; Green Ceremony Cleanser Dhs291 Odacité at Apotheca Beauty

cut to your level and I’m alternating between half primary and half secondary all week. The first half focuses on the hips and the second half on backbends. On Friday the tradition is to practice the entire first series and then I have one day off. I also don’t practice yoga on the full moon and new moon days. What type of practice do you turn to calm your mind? Meditation, but yoga is a moving meditation if you connect the breath to the movements. When did you journey with yoga begin and how has it benefited your lifestyle? I started Hatha yoga at 14, so it has been a while now. I was 21 when I began a serious ASHTANGA practice with my teacher Eddie Stern whom I met in New York. I still follow his classes online. What is your go-to daytime fragrance? I use mainly essential oils, I love ylang-ylang scents.

Are you a fan of candles, and if so which are your favourites? I have a candle called Chai from Byredo that I love. I also have an organic candle from Mahala London called Warming. Describe your bathroom design and inspiration. My house is being re-done at the moment and should be ready for the end of the year. I’m looking forward to discovering my new bathroom but as far as I can say is that the inspiration comes from Japanese essentialism, very pure and simple lines. Let’s talk diet, when did you switch to a vegan lifestyle and what impact has it had on your overall wellbeing? About 10 years ago I discovered a new world that went beyond my convictions. The first reason why I became vegan is for animal and environmentalist values. It then affected everything afterwards including my skin, my digestive sys-

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tem, my immunity, mood and much more. Your go-to vegan dish? While I lived parttime in the US, especially between LA and New York, I discovered Matthew Kenney’s restaurant in LA. I liked it so much that I then took his online courses. I learned different recipes and now I know how to make quinoa and beetroots burgers patties. I love cucumber and avocado tartare. What other wellbeing elements do you implement in your lifestyle? I love reiki sessions to connect energy balances in the body. It’s very subtle but I love this Tibetan tradition. I have been seeing a couple of masters for the past 10 years. It feels good and helps me to reconnect to myself. I also enjoy Tibetan massages with this therapist in Paris called Tsering. When are you at your happiest? Away, in the peace and calm.

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WORDS: OLIVIA

MORRIS

Go for Gold

The best gold-infused products that will deliver a luminous glow

From moisturisers to masks, oils and serums, if you truly want to elevate your skincare, add a touch of gold. La Prairie Cellular Radiance Perfecting Fluide Pure Gold

For a luminous glowing face, bathe your skin in La Prairie Cellular Radiance Perfecting Fluide which is infused with pure gold. You’ll see an improved texture in the skin and a luminous glow after applying.

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Dhs2,422 bloomingdales.ae MZ Skin HydraLift Golden Facial Treatment Mask

Transform dull skin with this set of five gold masks from MZ Skin. Not only is it infused with gold, it also features key ingredients including niacinamide, vitamin C and collagen, which together will revitalise your complexion. Dhs595 bloomingdales.ae

NuFACE Gel Primer 24K Gold Complex

The ultimate mixture of 24 karat gold, hyaluronic acid, peptides and algae extracts, this primer will brighten and firm the skin leaving long-lasting results. Dhs160 lookfantastic.ae Chantecaille Gold Recovery Mask

Using high concentrations of natural botanicals mixed with 24 karat gold and antioxidantrich silk extracts, this mask from Chantecaille gets deep into the skin to firm and lift. It will also reduce the appearance of redness and puffiness. Dhs1,175 lookfantastic.ae Omorovicza Gold Shimmer Oil

gold particles will leave the skin feeling hydrated whilst also leaving a subtle iridescent shimmer. Dhs270 lookfantastic.ae 111 Skin Rose Gold Facial Mask

Brighten and firm the skin with this hydrogel mask infused with 24 karat gold. The formula also offers protection against environmental damage, whilst also giving a youthful and radiant appearance. Dhs450 bloomingdales.ae Pixi 24K Eye Elixir

Give your eyes some tender loving care with 24 karat gold. This elixir from Pixi depuffs, reduces the looks of fine lines and repairs the delicate skin around the eye. Dhs77 lookfantastic.ae

To give the skin on your whole body an instant lift, apply this shimmering oil treatment from Omorovicza. The nutrients and vitamins combined with colloidal

Omorovicza Gold Rescue Cream

This anti-ageing face cream infused with colloidal gold will

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transform dry and sensitive skin. The formulation features a range of peptides which are meant to visibly reduce fine lines leaving a smooth and rejuvenated appearance of the skin. Dhs1,000 lookfantastic.ae Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Mask

Lift, tighten and firm your skin with this 24 karat gold mask from Peter Thomas Roth. Not only is it infused with 24 karat gold, you get a double dose as it’s also infused with colloidal gold, which is also known as ‘activated gold’. Dhs340 lookfantastic.ae Farsali Rose Gold Elixir

Combining 24 karat gold, rosehip seed oil and pure botanicals, this elixir is suitable for all skin types and will give the skin a natural glow we all want. Dhs120 sephora.ae

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WORDS: OLIVIA MORRIS

Making waves in the perfumery space, Sheikha Hind Bahwan’s new perfume brand OJAR uses only the finest ingredients

In the south of Oman amongst the Dhofar Mountains, you’ll find the world’s finest quality of Frankincense in the world – also known as ‘Hojari’. Epitomising this finery, directly named after Hojari is Sheikha Hind Bahwan’s new perfume brand OJAR.

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With a background in technology, being the Omani founder of global technology firms Bahwan CyberTek and dt360, as well as being a recipient of France’s Legion of Honour, stepping into the perfumery space may seem like an out of the blue move for Sheikha

THE STORY BEHIND OJAR To create OJAR I surrounded myself with professionals and industry leaders notably Givaudan, the world’s leading fragrance company who developed the various scents, creative directors, designers, engineers, manufacturers, filmmakers and music composers. They all played important roles in translating my vision for OJAR into a reality. The creation of OJAR has been a complex and thoroughly enjoyable experience and I am learning all the time which I find incredibly rewarding. I am very excited about the next phase of the OJAR journey. HOW OJAR HAS EVOLVED I launched OJAR at the beginning of October this year and I couldn’t be more pleased with the feedback from the market. The fragrance market is very competitive. Delivering points of difference to the market is essential for our evolution as a brand. At OJAR we continuously engage with consumers to understand their needs and we look at ways to incorporate these needs into our products, for example, the creative and engineering teams designed an elegant perfume oil bottle with a double cap usage which is the first of its kind in the industry. It is our authenticity, attentiveness, creativity and quality that will make OJAR stand out as the brand continues to evolve. WHAT OJAR REPRESENTS We developed OJAR with a universal appeal in mind. If I were to describe OJAR I would say the

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The Finest Fragrance

Hind. However, with perfumery entrenched in Omani culture, particularly in Sheikha Hind’s hometown of Sur, located in the east of Oman, and her own longstanding passion for fragrance, launching her own perfume brand was, in fact, a natural step for her. “My mother nurtured my passion for fragrances from my early childhood and I have fond memories of these very special moments spent mixing and creating perfumes with her at home,” she tells Emirates Woman. “Experimenting with perfumes has become part of my lifestyle and two years ago, I made the decision to create a perfume brand that is authentic yet modern; a brand that is inspired by my heritage, and yet, has a contemporary appeal that combines the perfect fusion between East and West.” Taking inspiration from her home city which is famous for shipbuilding and trading in frankincense, oud and wood, these three ingredients alongside rose, honey and musk make up the core for her debut fragrance collection. Discussing the story behind OJAR, Sheikha Hind reveals to Emirates Woman what inspired the new brand, the creation process of her scents, how her career path led her to this point and how her parents have been a source of inspiration for her.

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brand represents heritage, culture, quality, authenticity, a bridge between tradition and modernity, a contemporary lifestyle, creativity and an enduring elegance. THE CREATION PROCESS When I first met with the perfumers from Givaudan, I brought some of my personal creations and shared my inspiration behind each scent. We began a captivating journey brainstorming around the collection, gathering around smelling sessions. As a perfume lover I couldn’t wish for more, the process of fine fragrance creation is literally fascinating. We have created 18 unique fragrances, basically three variations around each of six main ingredients: rose, oud, sandalwood, honey, musk and frankincense. With three variants, each of these main ingredients is revealed in a very different identity. The collection has a very eclectic olfactive profile that will appeal to a broad audience. The collection has been specially created to encourage experimentation and layering, OJAR gives a multitude of possibilities for customers to create their unique signature. SHEIKHA HIND’S CAREER I started my first company, Bahwan CyberTek, which has established itself as a leader in the technology, supply chain, education, businessprocess-outsourcing and security system verticals, at the age of 23. My group has

“The collection has a very eclectic olfactive profile that will appeal to a broad audience.” evolved from a two-member organisation to a group that includes a global technology company that has also featured as case studies delivered by the Stanford Graduate School of Business, three joint ventures, a renewable energy business, a commodity trading business, a workforce of 3,000 employees and now a lifestyle business. THE INSPIRATION My parents are my enduring motivation. I was very fortunate to inherit my father’s – Sheikh Suhail Bahwan – entrepreneurial DNA which has given me a mindset and vision that focuses on solving problems, presenting solutions and identifying opportunities. I get tremendous satisfaction when I launch and build a suc-

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cessful business. It is a lifestyle that I enjoy. I don’t see it as work. ON OVERCOMING HURDLES There have been a myriad of events and developments that have occurred over the last two decades that have impacted my businesses, be they; the dotcom bubble of the early 2000s, the global financial crisis of 2009, the various oil price crashes, the evolution of smartphones, e-commerce and social media, the renewable energy revolution and of course the very difficult pandemic that we are experiencing at the moment. I have tried to use each one of these events as an inflection point where I can recalibrate, adjust and adapt my businesses to meet the new requirements, and hopefully, with my businesses emerging stronger as a result of these events. THE MILESTONES That is a difficult question but I would have to say; developing Bahwan CyberTek into a global technology business with a customer portfolio that includes some the world’s leading companies gives me tremendous satisfaction. I am very grateful for the network of customers, business partners, colleagues and friends that I have been able to form over the last two decades. And, of course, launching OJAR is a very exciting and new direction for me and I hope that the brand will be a positive ambassador for Oman and the Middle East.

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WORDS: AMY SESSIONS

THE FAMILY BUSINESS Creative Director of Repossi, Gaia Repossi stands at the helm of the three generations of heritage and craftsmanship the brand stands for. Famed for its modern approach to fine jewellery, many of the pieces are still created in the same workshops her great-grandfather used nearly 90 years ago 74

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outside the creative that needs to be handled especially in times like these. Also, for me the best way to navigate it is to surprise people whether they are ready or not. Do you have any mentors or guides and how does this help navigate the right path? The first person that told me to go for it and never look back because I had the skills and background was Karl Lagerfeld. He told me this immediately after seeing my first collection and years later I’m still very grateful to his words and support. His way of handling luxury and projecting his persona is for me always a reference. He was undeniably the designer of our time and he will be terribly missed. Rei Kawakubo and Raf Simons work and vision are also a reference for me. What is your approach to scaling a business and client retention? I like imagery to create desire, I like working with photography and strong imagery. Repossi was Turin-founded, and is Parisbased – how has this supported the brand in a positive way? My grandfather established Repossi in 1957 in Turin, there was also the 80’s and 90’s Monte Carlo period with Grace Kelly and Lady Diana as clients and ambassadors of their time, and what I call the Monte Carlo Helmut Newton years when he lived there. This era reflected very much my father’s aesthetic at the time. With these very strong elegant women and glamour jewellery pieces. In 1986 my father opened the bou-

tique on the 6 Place Vendôme Paris. It was important to position Repossi with origins of jewellery at our core, as our pieces require mastery and technical ability to create. Our roots are Italian yes, in the making and in the DNA, but the French base adds the sophistication and the fashion and dynamism that you cannot ignore in Paris. You have clients the globe over – do you see any buying patterns based on regions or countries and have you seen any changes this year as a result of COVID-19? Every country’s taste differs per region, but globally generations new and old buy a brand, and with that a certain identity that they love. This year has been a time for reflection, a time that forces brands to redefine and react fast. It brings a strong reality check and forces us to do less but to do it better and to align with the environment or humanitarian engagements worldwide. Less but better luckily suits very well our jewellery dynamic which is based on qualitative craftsmanship and the size of a brand like ours. How has social media affected the fine jewellery business and which platform has been most useful? I find it very interesting personally; it took me some time to understand the potential of social media and its power. For me Instagram for example is an incredible tool to share my artistic universe and the brand aesthetics. It allows a lot of creativity in terms of content and it is interesting to be

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What do your first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine? I jump straight into my yoga practice. It’s been more than 15 years that I practice yoga and I always start my day with a session. How did you know it was the right time to take the helm at Repossi in 2007 and what were the stepping-stones to that point? It was progressive and very organic. My father slowly gave me a lot of space and we worked wonderfully together. He gave me a chance to express myself, with trust and intuition. It was never planned it just happened. I was studying and I was planning on pursuing a painting career. I did not expect that I was going to follow in my father’s footsteps; it was a very pleasant surprise. Do you feel more drawn to the creative or the business side of the brand and how have you grown the team to support this? As a Creative Director I only relate to the creative, as did my father. Of course, when the burden of an entire company lies on your shoulders there are instincts of business that just apply and require a lot of intuition and trust in one’s vision. A good manager’s skill in my opinion is immediately seeing the potential of every person in every team and to trust them. That is how you can grow a team that leads in the same vision. What has been the biggest hurdle since taking on this role and how did you navigate it? I would say in every business there is a lot

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able to access this new expression of media. Which piece of jewellery that you own is most special to you and why? My 12-row Antifer ring in black gold fully paved. I wear it every day! We’ve just launched our new collection Serti Inversé in September and I do have a crush on the High Jewellery choker in pink gold and diamonds. What tips would you give anyone wanting to invest in a fine piece of jewellery? In my opinion a piece of jewellery should live with the wearer. I design jewellery to be worn as a second skin. My advice would be to invest in a piece that you can wear every day, what is most important is that this piece of jewellery you choose, is like an extension of one’s true self. This is my vision of jewellery and at Repossi we offer pieces that are timeless but with an audacious avant-garde design. Your pieces are so well researched. Tell us about this intelligent approach to the creative process. I have a very clear vision of what I want to offer and from my point of view interesting design should be timeless and unobtrusive. I work with patterns of repetitions and what we call systems. I also like to abstract some more literal shapes into a design. I use what I call “ready mades”, shapes that I see around me and research that we then have to redesign. Certain collections that become pillars or icons generally allow infinite possibilities of variations and adaptations. They can also evolve and grow

into high jewellery collections that I call our couture pieces or disruptive pieces. My inspirations take reference from modern and contemporary visual arts, architecture and sculpture. As references I would say that the artists that I admire the most and that inspire me are Alexander Calder, Tadao Ando, Richard Serra and of course Donald Judd. You studied painting at the Beaux Arts of Paris and have a master’s degree in archeology. How have you applied these strengths to your role? My archeological and anthropology studies were a deep insight into ancient and tribal jewellery. It was an incredible time for me to see these objects and study how they related to each other. This path that I’ve studied and also all the artistic references that I have gained, have allowed me to have a “Tabula rasa” once I became Creative Director in 2007. It nourishes my creative process every day and it is then translated into our own jewellery pieces. How do you source your stones? I like to find stones that are not by the book. My favourite diamond cut is a pear shape cut. We have a very particular and strict policy in the sourcing and also in the selection of the diamonds and we respect a certain balance in the width and size. Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration? I like Ai Wei Wei’s, Wolfgang Tillman’s, Sterling Ruby’s and his brand’s (SR Studio CA), Olafur Eliasson and the

Serpentine Gallery’s accounts for their environmental takes, Eddie Stern’s and Ty Landrum’s for yoga. Do you have any pre-bedtime rituals? I meditate and love to read. Watch movies with my partner who has an incredible knowledge of conceptual cinematography. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out? Never doubt your designs and don’t be afraid of failure. That is how I started. If you had not become Creative Director for Repossi, which other role would you choose careerwise? I like images a lot, that is why I like to work with very skilled photographers to define the brand’s image. I think I would have been an artist. Currently, I express myself enough with Repossi but maybe one day I will pursue it. We love your style, what approach do you have to dressing? My mother is the person behind my taste, she taught me that less was better, that simplicity was elegance. I also like a note of eccentricity and menswear tailoring lines. At the moment I’m fascinated by the new generation of young designers. Which piece of Repossi would you suggest for a first-time buy that suits everyone? I think the Berbere 3 row ring in plain pink gold; it is an iconic ring of ours and one of my first pieces for Repossi. The Serti sur Vide ring is also one of the most iconic pieces from our collection and the perfect illustration of the idea of the floating diamonds.

that less was better, simplicity was elegance.” F E AT U R E

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The Creative

What do your first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine? Typically what I do as soon as I wake up is rehydrate, I drink water. Then I jump in the shower and get ready either for yoga or a run. I do yoga three times a week and run three times a week, I have one day off. I then I have a big big breakfast. How did you know it was the right time to launch your own brand and what were the stepping-stones to that point? It’s never a question of the right time. I don’t think there will ever be a right time to take a big plunge or a jump. Starting my own brand was always something that I wanted to do. It was just a matter of time till I felt that the idea has matured enough and I was able to do it.

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You’re both UAE and France based, how has that helped or hindered in growing your own brand globally? Being based in two different locations gives you access to two different markets and gives you access to the resources as well as the client potential. I felt if anything, being based in two different locations is something that enabled my business more and it broadens its horizon. Do you feel more drawn to the creative or the business side of the brand and how have you grown the team to support this? I am drawn to both, which is why I chose this industry and this type of business. If you were to ask me how much time do I spend on each, I would say my day to day work is about 70%

business and 30% creative. I believe that any successful venture is as good and successful as its people. And I have a fundamental belief that it is never a one-woman show. For anything to be successful, you have to either find the right people for the role or to home breed them, to have the patience, to bring in people that have the curiosity and humility to learn and to get one on one time and work with them and watch them grow and flourish. What has been the biggest hurdle since starting your own brand and how did you overcome it? I think for any brand, not only jewellery, but for any brand in a competitive market, the biggest hurdle is the beginning. To find people that believe in the brand especially

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Salama Khalfan’s attention to detail is second to none. A master at creating the most intricate and covetable pieces, her fine jewellery is the result of both a strategic approach and a creative spirit

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retailers. Retailers are generally very hesitant to take on a new brand unless it is someone with appetite and foresight for new and unfamiliar. That has been the biggest challenge. I overcame this challenge with hard work, I created several collections and I did not compromise on the quality and on designs. Do you have any mentors or guides and how does this help navigate the right path? I have several mentors for different parts of my life and I work with them closely. I think it’s important to work with people that are able to give you an external view of yourself. Even if you know yourself so much, you’d be surprised how much a mentor or a coach can give and provide insight. What is your approach to scaling a business and client retention? I think it’s important to have a long-term view, to build a strategy that is based on facts and aspirations, and to make a strategy into achievable milestones. I started the business with a 5-year strategy and we achieved our goal in year 4, I guess we were lucky. But we followed through with every milestone. We worked really hard and we had constant follow ups and constant check ins. When it comes to clients, they want to have a high quality product and a personal touch or connection. We work very closely with our clients especially on bespoke items that are not part of our collections. We’re involved in their special occasions and we are there for them whenever they want or need us. You have clients the globe over – do you see any buying patterns based on regions or countries and have you seen any changes this year as a result of COVID- 19? There will always be buying patterns that are dictated by geographical regions. We noticed for our collections, it’s less to do with colours and more with the type of jewellery meaning pendants vs. earrings, rings vs. bracelets etc. I think due to COVID-19, people shifted their buying mindsets away from fast fashion and more towards timeless pieces. How has social media affected the fine jewellery business and which platform has been most useful? Personally for us, social media is the main driver; it makes your products accessible to your clients and potential cli-

ents at the touch of a fingertip. It’s a B2C channel. It is convenient and we make it so easy for people to like something, to order it, and to have it delivered next day. The success of platforms always depends on the geographical area of focus. Different regions have different platforms.

Which piece of jewellery that you own is most special to you and why? I would say the piece that is currently in production. I’m always eager to see how my drawings and sketches translate into a tangible piece. What tips would you give anyone wanting to invest in a fine piece of jewellery? We don’t buy jewellery for the way it looks; we buy it for the way it makes us feel. In light of that, buy the piece that elevates you and makes you feel at your top when you wear it. Your pieces are so well researched. Tell us about this intelligent approach to the creative process. It is less intelligent I would say and more driven by emotion and inspiration. When I come across a certain topic, I become very curious about it and as a result, I try to learn everything about the subject. And naturally, that equation is translated into pieces. How do you source your stones? When it comes to diamonds, there’s no two ways about it, all of our stones are ethically sourced and we make sure that we only deal with well-known entities. When it comes to coloured stones, we often go to the home country of that stone. I also like to go on sourcing trips once in a while and immerse myself in all of the possible options of stones. We love your stacking pieces; do you see clients returning to add to their collection? Very often, yes. And it always makes me happy to see a client wearing one of our pieces in ways that we never thought of. It makes me feel that the design has created enough freedom for them to style it on their own. Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration? My Instagram profile speaks for itself. I honestly find inspiration in everyone that I follow. Do you have any pre-bedtime rituals? I take my supplements. I try to meditate for 10 minutes. And most importantly, be grateful for everything good that happened that day. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out? Start somewhere, and don’t wait for perfection. It will come, you have a lifetime of reworking and refining what you choose to do. If you had not launched your own brand, which other role would you choose careerwise? An astronaut.

“I think it’s important to have a long term view, to build a strategy that is based on facts and aspirations.” F E AT U R E

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WORDS: OLIVIA MORRIS

Timeless Reinvention Fabergé, the iconic jewellery house with a history spanning over 178 years, has undergone a transformation

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A heritage brand that spans over one-and-a-half centuries, Fabergé is an icon. Initially founded 178 years ago by Peter Carl Fabergé, the jewellery house has an intriguing history. After being the official goldsmith to the Russian Imperial Court for 75 years, 1917 saw a major upheaval in Russia with the fall of the ruling Romanov dynasty that, in turn, brought an end to the House of Fabergé as it was known. Ninety years later, in 2007, the jewellery house has come full circle to stand for the opulence and intricacy it had once been known for. With its rich history, Fabergé has a special story to tell of timeless reinvention. According to the Maison’s Managing Director Antony Lindsay, Fabergé combines a “pursuit of perfection coupled with creative audacity and extraordinary craftsmanship”. Emirates Woman spoke to Fabergé’s Managing Director to delve deep into this history; the iconic Imperial Easter Eggs and how they have reinvented themselves to fit modern jewellery standards; the intricate design process of Fabergé creations; and what’s next for the jewellery house. As Lindsay says, “At Fabergé, we strive to reinvest luxury jewellery with a sense of wonder, anticipation and discovery.” THE HISTORY Founded in 1842, Fabergé has been the most revered name in jewellery ever since Peter Carl Fabergé became the official goldsmith to the Russian Imperial Court; the house created exquisite jewels and objects, most notably the legendary series of

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lavish and ingenious Imperial Easter Eggs. Peter Carl Fabergé was renowned for his exquisite and artistic use of colour, optimizing the beauty of each gemstone’s unique characteristics and developing a vibrant enamel palette. His worldwide reputation attracted royalty, nobility, tycoons, industrialists and the artistic intelligentsia of Paris, Moscow and London, as well as connoisseurs from farther-flung destinations such as America and the Far East. Before long, Fabergé became the ultimate global purveyor of high-end gifts. In 1917 however, the Russian Revolution brought an abrupt end to the Romanov dynasty, and in turn to the House of Fabergé. The company was nationalised, all production ceased and Peter Carl Fabergé and his family fled Russia. Following the death of Fabergé’s founder in Switzerland, his heirs lost the rights to the Fabergé name. History came full circle in October 2007, when Fabergé, under new ownership and direction, announced the reunification of the Fabergé brand with the Fabergé family. This opened a new chapter in the intriguing story of Fabergé and set the stage for a total revitalisation of the Fabergé name and philosophy, in tune with its original values, aesthetics and spirit. THE REVIVAL Since the revival of the brand in 2007, Fabergé is proud to have developed and expanded, in terms of both the range of extraordinary pieces we have produced, our territories and store locations. Since then, there have been many pivotal moments – too many to list. However, more recently in 2018, we teamed up with Rolls-Royce to create the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ egg. We worked with a very special work master for two-and-a-half years to create this egg, and the partnership symbolised Fabergé’s modern positioning in the industry. When it comes to our collaborations, we always seek out heritage luxury brands, which are, in their own right, the ultimate experts in their chosen field. To name another stand-out milestone, this year we brought on board our first ‘Featured Designer’, James Ganh. This new partnership launched in September 2020 with a vibrant capsule collection inspired by nature and the resplendent colours of summer’s floral blooms. It comes after a year of ‘behind the scenes’ work, with Ganh and his team designing the pieces in secret. We see James Ganh as a true innovator and visionary, with a keen eye for detail and an unwavering ability to engineer the type of highjewellery masterpieces of which Peter Carl Fabergé would be proud. These playfully transformable designs also provide the wearer with versatility, transitioning from day to night with ease. A charming element of surprise is neatly woven into the collection, with delightfully innovative mechanical elements. THE CHALLENGES I’m blessed to be in the position I’m in, working with such an inspirational team on such a privileged project. We are writing the next chapter in the history of Fabergé, one of the most storied, sought-after, and treasured names in luxury. Sure, we’ve had our challenges and we continue to do so but no three come to mind in particular and I think the fact that we don’t recognise hurdles or obstacles as problems, but strive to learn and grow in everything we do says a lot about our brand ethos.

THE IMPERIAL EASTER EGG The story began in Russia in 1885 with Tsar Alexander III. His young wife, Maria Flodorovna was born Dagmar of Denmark, but was sent away from her family for an arranged marriage to the Tsar of Russia. Feeling alone and in a foreign land, Maria suffered from homesickness and depression. Seeing her sadness, the Tsar commissioned a jewelled egg as an Easter gift for his wife – the very first Fabergé egg. Maria was delighted with the exquisite egg and so it became a tradition that the eggs would be made, two each year, as gifts for the wives and mothers of the aristocracy. A total of 50 eggs were made for the Russian imperial family between 1885 and 1917, of which only 43 are accounted for today. It wasn’t until 2013 that the 43rd egg was actually discovered and accounted for. A scrap metal dealer from the American mid-west bought the gold egg for $14,000, with the intention of having it melted down and sold for a few hundred dollars’ profit. He struggled to sell the piece and it was thought he’d paid too much for this somewhat strange bejeweled egg that contained a small clock by Vacheron Constantin, housed inside it. Not perturbed by his initial failings, the scrap dealer turned to the internet and soon realised that he had stumbled upon the Third Imperial egg by Fabergé, a gift from Tsar Alexander III to his wife Maria at Easter 1887. The last time this egg was known to have been seen was over one hundred years ago in 1902. He sold the egg shortly after to an anonymous collector for $33,000,000. Of the 43 eggs that are accounted for today, some are in private collections, some are in museums and some are owned by royalty. Most of the seven missing eggs have not been seen or heard of since the fatal fall of the Romanov family during the Russian Revolution where these eggs were looted and scattered throughout the world, creating one of the most intriguing Easter egg and treasure hunts of all time. Simply put, Fabergé eggs are the ultimate collector’s prize and are globally recognised as the ultimate collector’s treasure. Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II owns three and the Crown Prince of Monaco, Prince Albert II, is the proud owner of the Blue Serpent Fabergé Egg. THE FABERGÉ ICONS Our fine jewellery egg pendants are standout. To own a symbol or such a rich, illustrious history and something that can go on to become a family heirloom and passed on from generation to generation is very special. Our clients here in the UAE are discerning and highly appreciative of the creativity and such extraordinary levels of craftmanship that underpin our values at Fabergé. At present, our key markets are Europe, the USA and the Middle East. Fabergé represents something old, something relevant and something to be treasured for years to come. Fabergé is an unrivalled legacy in luxury and its special to be a part of that. We’ll continue our pursuit of perfection, pushing boundaries of artistry and craftsmanship, in turn creating endearing and enduring personal possessions of unsurpassed quality, that can be passed down from generation to generation and celebrated and treasured for many, many years to come.

“At Fabergé, we strive to reinvest luxury jewellery with a sense of wonder, anticipation and discovery.”

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– Antony Lindsay, Managing Director Fabergé

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The Power Ear

Maria Tash is globally renowned for her intricate yet bold ear adornment. We spoke to the fine jeweller about making a powerful impact, in stealth mode What do your first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine? I usually wake up automatically around 7:30-8am unless I have been up very late the night before. I have a large, king size canopy bed with silk chiffon drapes and satin pillowcases so I treasure my time in bed and don’t get out of it quickly! Once I do get out and into the shower, I think of what I am grateful for because I think it gives me a calm demeanor in the midst of stressful meetings and decisions later in the day. If I have been proactive and planned what I wear the night before, then I have time to do a 12-minute arm workout video on YouTube before I get dressed, put on my makeup, and start getting into calls. How did you know it was the right time to launch your own brand and what were the stepping-stones to that point? In 1993 I opened my first store, Venus Modern Body Arts, in the East Village of Manhattan. In the 1990s there were no studios in New York that offered a combination of unusual piercing locations paired with beautiful jewellery designs so I knew there was an opportunity in the market. It took many years working in that experimental 1990s era and on thousands of people where I developed my piercing style and recognisable jewellery aesthetic and mechanisms. After ten years there, I knew I wanted to move into a more prominent retail location. I developed credibility with the banks and landlord in the original store location, so then I could finally get a new lease and afford the rent in a more ex-

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major aspect of my brain. As the company has grown, I have hired and deeply appreciated my colleagues who are specialists in their departments. I spend a lot of my time in meetings with these leaders throughout the week. Hiring a head of HR was critical for hiring talented people and developing necessary structures and policies. Hiring a head of finance with global experience who loves to travel is another critically important person with whom I spend much of my time. Other leads are head of creative, head of visual design, head of business development, head of marketing, head of inventory, head of ecommerce, and head of IT. A few years ago, just 4-5 people including myself would juggle these roles the best we could. But developing these departments is necessary to expand in the way we have and to give me some freedom and more time to design. Design is my favourite part of what I do, and a natural part of how I think and look at the world. I feel a compulsion to make jewellery concepts in my head a reality. I now have a small team, that helps immensely and allows me to have more time and freedom to focus on creating. It’s a euphoric feeling to create something new that no one has seen before and embed it into the body in a manner not seen before. I love the fun, pensive and prestigious neighbourhood. joy, and empowerment that emanates from Eventually, I wanted more obvious recogniclients after being styled or pierced with the tion for the work I had done, so I got up the jewellery and curated concepts. I am humbled nerve to put my name on the door. and honoured to be surrounded by people In 2016, my brand began expanding inwho have fun working on the brand vision. ternationally with a store location at Liberty London and once that concession did well, You have clients the globe over – do you see we got offers to open all around the world. any buying patterns based on regions or We have since opened permanent stores in countries and have you seen any changes this Rome, Dublin, Harrods London and Dubai year as a result of COVID- 19? I am frequently with plans to continue expanding globally. asked which areas of the world purchase different types of jewellery. I used to be able Do you feel more drawn to the creative or the to say the Middle East liked larger stones business side of the brand and how have you and the UK loved gold spiked jewellery. But grown the team to support this? I am drawn now, buying patterns and style choices are to both, but I feel I have more talent in the no longer regionalized thanks to our digital creative side and wish I spent more time in community. Social media is a great equalizer it. The business side, especially the aspect and curated jewellery and piercing styles put of sitting with spreadsheets analysing the out on Instagram disseminate very quickly retail data, as well as setting the pace on all around the world, where they are received store expansion plans appeals to the science

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and integrated by our global audience. And on the piercing front, there are so many commonalities between all age groups and genders for why someone would get pierced. Celebrating milestones, personal accomplishments and relationships are some common reasons people get pierced that give all of us joy. Which piece of jewellery that you own is most special to you and why? That’s like asking if you have a favourite child. It’s hard to choose just one! I have some jewellery I wear continuously and others, like those in my first earlobes that I change daily or sometimes don’t wear to draw attraction to the other pieces on my ear. I love a rare eye ring that I designed, whose iris is well painted, and cut, and is housed in an elaborate 18k filigree and diamond band. I also love a gold star bracelet worn by my grandmother and I have childhood memories of her kneading Armenian dishes with that bracelet making a comforting repetitive noise as she toiled in the kitchen as a master. I love many pieces of my jewelry for different reasons. Some are rare, some are so sentimental, and others so beautiful and practical. From my current collection, I love the Diamond Threaded Charms as they are a hybrid of a charm and a stud and when nestled inside the underutilised anatomy of the new Tash Hidden Rook or Tash Helix piercings, they create a look that has never been seen before. What tips would you give anyone wanting to invest in a fine piece of jewellery? Find a piece you really love. I strive to make pieces that are very “low profile” so that they sit extremely low to the skin which makes them very comfortable for long-term wear. Gold is

at an all-time high in intrinsic value. It is a commodity as are diamonds. If one ever needed to sell a piece just for its parts, fine jewellery holds its value. I would purchase one in 18k gold or platinum, with diamonds that are at least VS2/G and not lower clarity and colour. If you choose coloured diamonds or gemstones, I would make sure they are translucent and of high colour and clarity as those stones hold value. When you purchase a well respected brand of fine jewellery the pieces can inflate in value. I have also converted earrings and navel jewellery into pendants for clients who loved a piece or a stone but wanted a new location for it. Now it is even easier to sell fine charms. It’s always fun to come in and add jewellery on luxury pre-loved platforms. But some pieces for a new look, especially when really loving a piece of fine jewellery because the metal colour, length of post and diamof its beauty or its symbolism, and having eter of ring are all custom fitted in store. it add confidence and pride in how you see We want clients to have fun moving around yourself is its true value. and curating Maria Tash components into unique combinations, and we do this type Where is the most unusual point you’ve of styling in person and virtually every day. taken inspiration from for your designs? I was recently inspired by interior design and Do you have any pre-bedtime rituals? I usuthe way light emerges from a gap between ally go for a walk at night in Manhattan when a wall and moulding. That was the inspiit is not so crowded to unwind and get that mild yet very healthy type of exercise during ration for my designs created for the new the weekdays. I also listen to motivational Tash piercings that emerge out of the folds videos as I walk, uninterrupted. When I get of the Helix and under the Rook. Diamonds home I take a shower, put on my silky pajaare the light and the curls of cartilage are the moulding. Combining that concept mas, and watch about 30 minutes of a claswith movement and new piercing locations sic movie, I love the 1930s-1940s. I make tea created an effect never seen before. infused with herbs specially formulated by my acupuncturist, and put on La Mer neck We love that your pieces all work so well and décolleté cream before I climb into bed. back to each other. Do you see clients reI stop looking at texts and calls before I start turning to add to their collection? Yes and these pre-bedtime rituals. thank you, we do frequently! Sometimes people are inspired by a piece of jewellery What advice would you give to your younger and then try and figure out a location to get self starting out? You are stronger and more pierced with it if they want to add it to their capable than you think you are, and don’t current collection. There are many other get so stressed out about disappointments. ways to add to current pieces without any Do not let others, especially romantic internew piercings, and this is what our stylists ests, derail you from your dreams or confido every day, globally. For example, one dence. As I got older, I became more confican add onto their current collection by usdent. Looking back, I was better than I gave myself credit for. ing the new connector chains, dangles, and

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Known for their bold take on fine jewellery, YEPREM is breaking with tradition. We spoke to Managing Partner and Creative Director Virna Chakardemian, the daughter of founder Yeprem Chakardemian about the secret to success

The Rule Breaker WO R D S: D I YA N A H A K M I

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What inspired the launch of YEPREM? In 1964, my father, Yeprem Chakardemian, was inspired by a golden bracelet bestowed to him by his mother, paving the journey to YEPREM’s success in the jewellery industry. How do you ensure your diamonds are ethically sourced? All our materials are ethically sourced and this is vey important to us since YEPREM’s heritage and expertise focuses on premium quality which extends to sourcing as well as the clarity of the stones themselves. What’s the most important stage in the designing process? The most important stage in the designing process is the inspiration behind each piece. YEPREM collections primarily focus on telling a story with every creation. We want to highlight every woman’s vibrancy, elegance and modernity. How does your heritage inspire your collections? The award-winning Ararad hand-piece from the Y-CONIC Collection encapsulates the magnificent Mount Ararat’s immense en-

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ergy and inspiration. It summarises and honours the philosophy behind YEPREM and represents our Armenian heritage. Which piece drives sales? The Claw from the timeless Y-CONIC Collection has made waves in the jewellery industry and has in turn become a bestseller for us. This piece effortlessly becomes part of the woman’s body, granting the wearer self-confidence and power. YEPREM’s hand-focused piec-

es have been a game-changer in the fine jewellery industry. How does the brand empower women? YEPREM empowers women by embracing the body’s shape and complimenting this silhouette through bold design. How has the brand evolved since it was founded? The passion for fine jewellery has passed down through the generations since 1964 when my brothers and I, the second generation, took the reigns, joining our father on his journey of revolutionising the jewellery industry. Do you favour a specific diamond cut in YEPREM? YEPREM’s signature diamond is the marquis cut. Marquis was understood to be a classical cut; however, YEPREM has used it with its modern and sophisticated pieces to reflect elegance through its timeless brilliance. What are your plans for growth? Expand the brand more and more, and launch YEPREM flagship stores on an international scale in major countries worldwide.

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“YEPREM empowers women by embracing the body’s shape and complimenting this silhouette through bold design.”

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The High Rollers

Lesora is the fine jewellery brand that has been flying under the radar. We discuss their new public collection and what drives success

Tell us about how Lesora was founded? The story started off with a long-standing relationship between two of the Saudi based founders (cousins from Riyadh Hadeel, Nadim) and one of the largest diamond players in the industry, from whom they had commissioned bespoke pieces. The relationship developed into a collaboration to create bespoke high jewellery for private clients across the Middle East. The collaboration offered a keen eye, generations of manufacturing expertise, and access to an unmatched inventory of the best and most rare stones in the world. This led to the birth of Lesora, a brand created to bring design focused expertise to the mainstream and provide a polish of modernity mixed with the effortless extravagance of the Middle Eastern woman. Where does the interest in jewellery come from? Hadeel: Growing up in Saudi, jewellery has always been used as a statement piece and essential for completing a look just like bags or shoes, but at the same time it is typically traditional and lacks a certain edge. Personally, given my love for fashion, I would always use jewellery to add an edge to my style and it became a part of my identity. It grew into a passion when I was using my creativity to recycle old pieces and turn them into a new versatile piece and using jewellery to express my style, so when I design Lesora’s pieces now I am constantly thinking of what I would also like to wear. Nadim: The permanence of a diamond’s beauty has always been fascinating to me. Jewellery allows us to create genuinely beautiful pieces with our own interpretation. What is Lesora’s brand identity? What makes you different? Our identity can be defined as strong, modern, and glamorous yet effortless. What makes this work for us is that it is an effortless collaboration. As cousins, we have grown up together with a keen interest in design and style, which has been a continuous dialogue between us for years. This helped us completely understand each other’s aesthetic, allowing us to bring together our similarities and differences to create a unique product. When we design for our clients, we feel we can step into their shoes and understand how they think, as we are also a local customer. With our daily jewellery we are constantly thinking of the modern local woman who we identify with. In addition to our strong

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understanding of the local culture, living in Europe for years has given us influence from different street styles, cultures, and experiences. Where does the inspiration come from in terms of design? We have a very distinctive style regardless of current trends and we like to marry that style with innovations in both fashion and jewellery, while always maintaining a unique identity. We draw significant inspiration from art, fashion, architecture and cultural heritage. Our style is focused on traditional silhouettes and shapes incorporating high-quality materials in a laid back and modern way. It is always essential to highlight a simple and direct statement and to complement the wearer’s style and final look Bringing out the true beauty of stones. We have an affinity to certain shapes that could be edgy yet feminine. When we design our pieces, we focus on simplistic designs with a dramatic element, versatility of each piece, complementing customers’ existing jewellery collections, having strong geometric shapes, and a feminine finish. Who is your client and how will you scale your business? Our client is both fashion forward and independent as well as having the attributes our brand can also be defined by. Obviously COVID-19 was not on our list of risks when initially planning the launch of Lesora.

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However, we are creating innovative ways to adapt to the new environment and are currently focusing on building a robust offering to clients. This will ensure that our online launch will meet the high standard our clients and we expect from the brand What to you in this market is luxury? Luxury is anything covetable and of meticulous quality and finish. In our opinion luxury in today’s market is more than just this, it is also an element of timelessness, exclusivity, and constant innovation within your aesthetic and permanent collections. How has social media affected the fine jewellery business and which platform has been most useful? Across all consumer products social media has had a huge impact, particularly through Instagram. In terms of the fine jewellery industry this has definitely translated to developing more visibility to reach a wider audience, and provided a great platform for innovation and taking pieces into the future in terms of design. Increased visibility in comparing quality and pricing across brands has also been made easier.

Which piece of jewellery that you own is most special to you and why? Hadeel: This is not an easy question to answer as I have always been in love with jewellery and I don’t think I can select a single favourite piece. But I would say the pieces I saw my mother wearing when I was younger and she passed down to me definitely hold the most special place in my heart. I have a few that fall into this category but the particular piece that comes to mind is an antique one-of-akind choker made of yellow gold, natural pearls and turquoise. On the other hand, I am in love with the innovative pieces I have collected through my travels, especially those that are very unique and distinctive. Those pieces represent my identity and style the most. Nadim: My mother has been an avid jewellery collector her whole life, and she has a few bespoke pieces that she always tells me will be inherited by whomever I marry. Pieces in particular is an emerald cut diamond set that is meticulously created with over 60 carats of emerald cut diamonds. And she also has a unique ring that consists of diamonds, multiple coloured varieties of sapphires and coral, which she has had from before I can remember. What tips would you give anyone wanting to invest in a fine piece of jewellery? Our approach to buying jewellery is similar to that of buy-

ing art… “never buy anything you don’t have to have” in other words don’t buy anything you’re not in love with, good jewellery will last you a lifetime. Investment pieces in our opinion should also be things you get a lot of wear out of. If you’re spending a significant amount on something, you should enjoy them and not just keep them in a safe. Quality, do not buy anything that is not of the utmost quality in terms of the materials (diamonds and gem stones), design and finish. How do you source your stones? We pride ourselves on building a sustainable and ethical business; the diamonds our suppliers provide us with are amongst the most traceable in the world. They also are the suppliers for some of the most prestigious, publicly listed and heritage jewellery houses in the world. When we are creating our pieces, we look at the stones ourselves along with experts in our team, to ensure we achieve the quality we have in mind. For our large bespoke pieces sourcing of stones is part of the journey. We sit with our clients and go through the inventory to allow them to pick what suits them Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration? We take inspiration from many sources, Instagram definitely being a channel with access to a huge library of those sources. Hadeel: I get most of my inspiration from street style and architecture from various cultures. I love looking at the different silhouettes, colours and shapes you see in street wear, mixed with the strong architectural geometric shapes we see around us down the street and more specifically those shapes highlighted in the Najdi culture, which inspired our brand logo and Eamila collection. I am an avid Instagram fan but one particular page I take inspiration from is that of Carine Roitfeld’s magazine (@ CRfashionbook). Nadim: I for one have a deep interest in architecture across different cultures and art of all types. One of the collections for example, named Cupid’s Garden, was inspired by a lot of the themes found in Renaissance artwork, yet designed in a very modern way. I am also inspired by many Escher drawings and Yayoi Kusama works which depict interesting shapes and textures. For inspiration I follow a bunch of art pages, a particularly interesting account is that of Art Collector Robert Suss (@robertsuss). Also Architectural Digest (@archdigest) provides posts and links to many international and interesting architectural works. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out? Nadim: This is an interesting question to answer… I think I was a lot more fearless when I was younger and there are risks I took that I wouldn’t necessarily take now, that ended up paying off. So from that aspect I would tell my younger self to trust your gut and not worry so much about things materializing. Hadeel: “Everything will be alright”, I generally worry so much about the future and whether my goals and aspirations will come to life especially when I was younger. But what I realized is that when you work hard and put your heart and soul into something, while also adapting to any changes, everything will work out eventually. This is the fine jewellery issue – what does that mean to you? Our identity as individuals and as a brand was born out of this region. So as a newly launching brand with strong local roots and a modern approach to jewellery, the fine jewellery issue of Emirates Woman is a platform that couldn’t be a better fit for our public debut.

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The Perfect Balance

Limelite Jewellery combines quality craftsmanship. We spoke with founder Ilke Shah about strategically smart price points and aesthetically pleasing design WORDS: AMY SESSIONS

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How did you know it was the right time to launch your own brand and what were the stepping-stones to that point? After years of collecting brand name pieces, I found it was getting a bit ‘same-same’ everywhere you go – everyone had the same pieces. I started making fine jewellery for myself and received great feedback from friends about

my designs. Creating the Limelite name, logo and website was a family affair – lots of help from my kids and husband. Initially I made a collection of 30 pieces and organised a trunk show for close friends. Overall it was a great success. We sold 25 pieces and the feedback was invaluable in helping me find the right positioning for my brand. You’re based in the UAE, how has that helped or hindered in growing your own brand globally? Firstly, my workshop is in Dubai, which allows me to be very agile. This also allows us to make pieces very competitively and in turn enables us to offer really good value to our clients. We can make custom pieces within a very quick turnaround, like our name necklaces, which are very popular for birthdays and anniversary presents. One of the key factors about being based in the UAE is the market intimacy, people are so supportive. In the early years the business was entirely dependent on referrals from friends and some key influencers in the region. The UAE is also a real international hub, so all our Dubai clients end up being a surrogate sales team as they travel. Do you feel more drawn to the creative or the business side of the brand and how have you grown the team to support this? I’m definitely on the creative side. I’m constantly experimenting with new designs – only about half of my ideas ever make it out of the workshop! But as the business grows you definitely need to build a team if you want to scale. I’m very lucky to have a business partner, Minna Bussey, who complements me very well. She handles the ‘business side’ such as the ecommerce platform and finances but of course in a small business, we are all in sales! We then have a small army of support staff including models, photographers, social media ambassadors, and of course most importantly the workshop team who work all hours to get pieces made sometimes with only an hour’s notice before a client is catching a plane – yes, it happens ALL the time! What has been the biggest hurdle since starting your own brand and how did you overcome it? Finding reliable and trustworthy suppliers for precious stones is really tough. When you start out it is really difficult to make sure the stones you source are not only genuine but also ethically sourced. Add to this the complication of sourcing unique colours, materials and finishes that will amaze customers, collectively this is a huge challenge. Do you have any mentors or guides and how does this help you navigate the right path? I always say my husband is my biggest men-

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tor, supporter, and navigator. He is a serial entrepreneur and also teaches entrepreneurship at Insead Business School in Paris and Abu Dhabi. It’s great to bounce ideas off him and he can always see the silver lining in every cloud. I also have a strong network of other ‘women in business’. It is wonderful to see so many women setting up their own businesses and collaborating with each other to everyone’s mutual benefit. We regularly compare notes and support each other with cross marketing and resource support. You have clients the globe over – do you see any buying patterns based on regions or countries and have you seen any changes this year as a result of COVID- 19? I think COVID has forced people to rethink their buying habits; how important is a brand name versus value for money or individuality? In recent times, we’ve seen that only a few brands in the luxury segment retain a genuine value that stands the test of time. I think in these times, people are more interested in products with meaning. Limelite’s pieces are all made with 18 carat gold and premium quality diamonds. They have genuine intrinsic value as well as being beautiful pieces in their own right. Clients are also looking for ‘everyday wear’. They want to enjoy their jewellery rather than having amazing pieces that only come out on rare occasions. In fact I even do ‘jewellery makeovers’ for my premium customers; this involves taking their entire set of old, unwanted or mismatched pieces and re-making a completely new collection of Limelite pieces that they can mix and match on a daily basis. How has social media affected the fine jewellery business and which platform has been most useful? Social media has made the world so much smaller for us. We do not think in terms of regional markets, rather we think about target segments – mums wanting to buy their first jewellery for their daughter, independent professionals looking for a unique piece, a ‘thank you’ gift for a special friend. We use social media to attract target groups rather than to target regions. Instagram is by far the best platform – it is super easy to use, and very easy for us to engage. Which piece of jewellery that you own is most special to you and why? That’s easy; it has to be my moon necklace made with rose cut diamonds. This is the piece that started the whole journey. My mother had given me these incredible stones as a 21st birthday gift but I had them sitting in a box gathering dust. I finally got the inspiration to make them into a moon-shaped necklace and the

piece was so lovely. That’s what got my friends to push me into launching Limelite. What is the most interesting bespoke piece you’ve created for a client? I had a client with a 5-carat Tiffany diamond wedding ring that had sat in her safe for 18 years – it was a family heirloom but not relevant to wear in modern times. Obviously being an heirloom it was really important to her to respect the integrity of the piece and we sketched a number of design options before she was entirely satisfied that our recreation balanced both the style and sophistication of the piece but also aligned it with the rest of her collection.

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Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration? @sevanbicakcijewellery – his application of Istanbul architecture into jewellery is exquisite and in a similar vein @nikoskouilisjewels is equally impressive. What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs? Follow your passion not your business plan. I think too many people look for a business that will make money, but ultimately that just becomes another job. If you follow your dreams and do something that you love, you will see success. Which pieces would you recommend from Limelight that suits everyone? Diamond chokers are back in fashion but Limelite’s pieces are ‘just right’ – beautiful interpretations of the classic design that you can wear every day, and our prices are exceptional. Our Pinky ring has been a bestseller this year – each one individually made with your own choice of stones and gold finish, it’s truly unique piece.

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The Precious

When it comes to jewellery, there’s always a story to tell. We spoke to some of the most inspiring women we know to discover what special jewellery pieces they have and the sentiment behind them Her Highness Sheikha Sana Al Maktoum FOUNDER OF SANA AL MAKTOUM FINE JEWELLERY @sanaalmaktoum What’s the most precious or sentimental piece of jewellery you own and why? When I first started studying jewellery design, my mother gave me one of her bracelets as a gift. I love that she expressed her support in jewellery and that she chose one of her own pieces to give me. What’s your first memory of a piece of jewellery? I remember watching Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the scene where she is wearing a three-chain pearl necklace with a diamond centrepiece and thinking that she looked both elegant and strong. Do you have an heirloom or piece of jewellery which has been passed down in your

family? If so, what significance does it hold for you? I do not have a specific piece of jewellery that has been passed down to me but I do remember growing up and watching my mum and grandmother as well as my older sister and cousins going through their jewellery pieces before every major event like Eid or a wedding. The joy and excitement of those moments are memories I cherish and something I hope to pay forward with those who love my pieces. Which brand do you feel stands the test of time and which are new discoveries you love? It’s hard to pick as there are so many amazing brands and designers, but I have always been intrigued by Chaumet because I find that their delicate pieces speak to the feminine essence. I recently discovered Noora Shawqi and I love how she uses beautiful gemstones to curate her travel experiences. Her Ceylon Raindrops necklace is beautifully made and a current favourite of mine.

Mahira Abdelaziz MBC TV ANCHOR @mahiraabdelaziz

Noha Nabil KUWAITI INFLUENCER @nohastyleicon What’s the most precious or sentimental piece of jewellery you own and why? My first perpetual calendar watch by Patek Phillipe. It’s limited to five pieces worldwide and I own the only piece in Kuwait. With the beautiful exclusive rainbow diamond setting, I’ve never been so obsessed with complicated watches! It’s definitely a museum piece! What’s your first memory of a piece of jewellery? A pair of pink diamond earrings that my dad gave me when I was born. Of course, I don’t remember the specific moment I got them but I grew up never taking them off until I was 12! You can see them in every picture of my childhood literally. Do you have an heirloom or piece of jewellery which has been passed down in your family? If so, what significance does it hold for you? We don’t have an heirloom or piece of jewellery which has been passed down in my family. Which brand do you feel stands the test of time and which are new discoveries you love? Chaumet definitely stands the test of time. This iconic brand makes you feel that you are wearing history. As for new brands I really love Messika. The designer seems to understand the modern woman’s taste and lifestyle perfectly.

What’s the most precious or sentimental piece of jewellery you own and why?My wedding ring. I don’t wear it on a daily basis but it took me months to find the cut and shape and design that I liked. It was love at first sight. What’s your first memory of a piece of jewellery? My mum’s rings – she is a ring person. She had a huge collection and I loved playing dress-up with them. Latifa Al Gurg Do you have an heirloom or piece of jewellery FOUNDER OF TWISTED ROOTS which has been passed down in your family? @twisted_roots If so, what significance does it hold for you? A What’s the most precious or sentimental piece of jewellery you own and why? My pearl necklace was given to me by my mum when engagement ring, because it signifies the start of my life with my husband. I graduated from school and a pure gold necklace What’s your first memory of a piece of jewellery? My father giving me long, gold given to me by my dad when I graduated from earrings set with turquoise stones when he came back from a trip to Tunisia. university to teach me the importance of investing Do you have an heirloom or piece of jewellery which has been passed down in your even when it comes to jewellery. family? If so, what significance does it hold for you? My grandmother’s gold hoop Which brand do you feel stands the test of time earrings. She passed them down to me when I was born. They are beautiful and and which are new discoveries you love? Bvlgari, remind me of her all the time. Van Cleef, Chopard, Cartier, Graff and Tiffany & Which brand do you feel stands the test of time and which are new discoveries you Co. definitely stand the test of time and have timelove? There are so many that have stood the test of time like Chaumet, Boucheron less pieces that set the trends throughout history. and Harry Winston. For new discoveries, I’ve recently fallen in love with Suzanne I’m also loving the new Piaget designs as well as Kalan, Shay Jewelry and Kamyen. Dior jewellery. Messika also have beautiful pieces.

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Nadine Kanso FOUNDER OF BIL ARABI @nadinekanso, @bilarabi What’s the most precious or sentimental piece of jewellery you own and why? I have pieces that I got when I was a child and some of them are nostalgic, I don’t wear them though as they are childish, but I have a beautiful heart that my mom never took off until I graduated and then she gave it to me, this is a precious piece that I cherish. What’s your first memory of a piece of jewellery? Beautiful earrings my mother wore from a Greek designer. They are super light though not small but very charming and reminds me of summer days, beach and sunsets. Do you have an heirloom or piece of jewellery which has been passed down in your family? If so, what significance does it hold for you? Not really as both my mum and dad were not firstborn so what has been passed are their own which has a great sentimental value to me. Which brand do you feel stands the test of time and which are new discoveries you love? I have a soft spot for Bvlgari, especially the vintage pieces, and I think they do stand the test of time with their unbeatable elegance. Not so new discoveries but also love their work – David Webb and Taffin.

Jude Benhalim

Sheikha Dana Al Khalifa

FOUNDER AND DESIGNER OF JUDE BENHALIM JEWELRY @jude.benhalim

BAHRAINI FASHION BLOGGER AND BUSINESSWOMAN @theoverdressed

What’s the most precious or sentimental piece of jewellery you own and why? I own several of the very first pieces I designed back in 2012 and still wear them sometimes. I guess they mean so much to me because they represent my journey – my personal and professional growth and development. They also humble me and remind me of how far we’ve come as a brand. What’s your first memory of a piece of jewellery? When I was a child, I used to love going to the Egyptian local markets to buy colourful stones and beads to make beaded bracelets. My mum used to help me set up a small booth near our beach house during the summer where I would sell the bracelets to my friends and family. I have such a vivid memory of these moments, I used to love the whole process. Do you have an heirloom or piece of jewellery which has been passed down in your family? If so, what significance does it hold for you? I have a pair of gold hoops that was passed on from my grandma to my mum and then to me. I love them, I wear them all the time. I want to hold on to them and pass them on to my children as well. I don’t think hoops can ever go out of style – they keep coming back! Which brand do you feel stands the test of time and which are new discoveries you love? I think Azza Fahmy was definitely able to stand the test of time with her timeless creations; I’ve always admired that about the brand and I love to support local brands. I recently discovered a beautiful Lebanese jewellery brand: L’atelier Nawbar. The brand is so unique and I can’t wait to get my hands on my favourite piece!

What’s the most precious or sentimental piece of jewellery you own and why? So many. My jewellery box is tightly edited there’s nothing so-so in it. The nature of jewellery is for it to tell a story and have a personal meaning. If I had to choose I would go back a long time to when I was 16. My mother gifted me a gold chain with six round diamonds – the first piece of jewellery I loved so much. It is now an essential layering piece. What’s your first memory of a piece of jewellery? My mother’s earrings! I think I was six or seven we were playing puppets and some-

Her Royal Highness Princess Nourah Al-Faisal FOUNDER OF NUUN JEWELS @nuunjewels What’s the most precious or sentimental piece of jewellery you own and why? I would say my wedding ring for the obvious reasons and a ring I received as a gift from my father that belonged to my grandmother, both of whom have passed. What’s your first memory of a piece of jewellery? I can’t say I have a particular memory but I was always drawn to my mother and aunt’s jewellery, as a child I remember grabbing their fingers and necklaces. Do you have an heirloom or piece of jewellery which has been passed down in your family? If so, what significance does it hold for you? I have my grandmother’s ring, a Cartier broach that was a gift from my grandfather to her, as well as a few other pieces they are a direct link to my family history and which hold the memories of our elders close at hand. Which brand do you feel stands the test of time and which are new discoveries you love? For me the first and most obvious is JAR but also Grima Jewellery – it is so unique I love their pieces especially from the 50s through the 70s. Those are just two that immediately come to mind. As for the new absolutely HEMMERLE. It’s an Arab woman designing but the work is absolutely stunning, one of the strongest brands out there now and I love Fernando Jorge and Ionna Souflia, a Greek designer very original – these are just a few.

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how my mother’s earrings got stuck inside a puppets head. She was distraught thinking she lost one of the pairs until it re-emerged. They were a gold clip-on No name Italian brand; she wears them to this day. Do you have an heirloom or piece of jewellery which has been passed down in your family? If so, what significance does it hold for you? Yes, from my grandmother I received a small diamond which I had reset. It is very special to me. My grandmother was from a bygone era. When you travelled with trunks and wore hats. She was very elegant, so regal and very beautiful. She loved that I loved the same things she did. Which brand do you feel stands the test of time and which are new discoveries you love? The masters of jewellery for me were Bvlgari and Cartier. The archival pieces, not the market entry products, these I feel are incredible. You can’t overlook brands like Luca Carati that are so Italian and beautifully so. I love a classic jewellery look that is perfectly finished – that’s what I look for. As for new discoveries, everything on TheOverdressed. com is chosen to reflect this, we strive to provide an edit of future classics so you love it today and tomorrow.

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Hakima Al Said FOUNDER OF HAK THE LABEL @hakthelabel What’s the most precious or sentimental piece of jewellery you own and why? My grandmother’s emerald ring because it reminds me of her. What’s your first memory of a piece of jewellery? What comes to mind are my mother’s rings, which she always wore and has now given to me. One is a thick gold band with rubies and the other is a Cartier Trinity ring. I also remember my grandmother’s emerald and sapphire rings, which she would wear every day. Do you have an heirloom or piece of jewellery which has been passed down in your family? If so, what significance does it hold for you? The rings mentioned and a few more pieces from my grandmother. It’s really special to be able to wear jewellery that my grandmother and mother loved. It connects us on a deeper level and is a way of telling our family story. Which brand do you feel stands the test of time and which are new discoveries you love? Cartier, even their modern designs are classic. As for new discoveries, I’m loving Fernando Jorge, Suzanne Kalan, Bijules and Vibe Harsloef.

Her Excellency Dr Sara Al Madani

Her Highness Sayyida Basma Al Said

FOUNDER OF HALAHI, SOCIAL FISH AND PROPOSAL CUPIDS @sara_almadani_

FOUNDER OF WHISPERS OF SERENITY CLINIC, THE FIRST PRIVATE SPECIALISED MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING CLINIC IN MUSCAT, OMAN @basmaalsaidofficial @serenitymuscat

What’s the most precious or sentimental piece of jewellery you own and why? I think the most precious jewellery I own is a ring I customised with my name’s initial letter and my sons’ initial letter and I’ve been wearing it for five years. What’s your first memory of a piece of jewellery? It’s when my mother gave me a necklace she used to wear when she was pregnant with me. I felt like she passed her legacy to me. Do you have an heirloom or piece of jewellery which has been passed down in your family? If so, what significance does it hold for you? No, we’ve never had a piece of jewellery passed from generation to generation, but that would’ve been interesting. Which brand do you feel stands the test of time and which are new discoveries you love? I’m not a person attached to one brand, but I love Tiffany and Cartier’s stories. There are a lot of bold statements that I love in both of these brands. In general, I’m not a person that sticks to one jewellery brand. I like to try and test things and look different now and then.

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What’s the most precious or sentimental piece of jewellery you own and why? There are two pieces, one is not sentimental, but I love it; a silver headwear piece that I got from the traditional silver market. I wear it a lot, and you can see it in many of my pictures. But the sentimental one would be my grandmother’s ring, my father’s mother, I

lived with her for a long time. She wore a ring Princess Diana had, except Princess Diana’s ring had a sapphire, but my grandmother’s ring had a black stone. What’s your first memory of a piece of jewellery? The first memory is always seeing my grandmother wearing the ring. It’s so important to me, and I’m blessed to have it. Do you have an heirloom or piece of jewellery which has been passed down in your family? If so, what significance does it hold for you? That would have to do with my other grandma; she’s from Ireland. We had a ring called an Irish Claddagh ring; it was a ring passed to me from her. Interestingly, both my grandmothers have given me unique rings. The Irish Claddagh ring has a heart; when you’re married, you turn the ring around, and when you’re single, you put it upwards. Which brand do you feel stands the test of time and which are new discoveries you love? I would say two brands stand the test of time and they are Cartier and Rolex. The one that I have recently rediscovered, and I’ve loved it all my life, was Tiffany&Co. It’s related to my teenage years; I used to love having the Tiffany blue box with a ribbon.

Fatma Al Otaiba FOUNDER OF ODEEM @odeem_official What’s the most precious or sentimental piece of jewellery you own and why? The most precious and sentimental would be a Piaget vintage watch that was my late father’s. Having something that he owned and wore means a lot to me. What’s your first memory of a piece of jewellery? My first memory is a gold and black onyx pendant I’ve had since I was two-years-old and wore all the time. My father had ordered it while he was on a trip to Japan. He sketched my name in Arabic for them to engrave on the pendant. I cherish and wear it to date. Do you have an heirloom or piece of jewellery which has been passed down in your family? If so, what significance does it hold for you? My grandfather’s silver and onyx ring with his signature engraved. It was also used as a stamp on official documents and letters. Which brand do you feel stands the test of time and which are new discoveries you love? Cartier and Bvlgari stand the test of time for me. In terms of new discoveries, Carolina Bucci is an Italian designer whom I discovered on Instagram. I have purchased some pieces from her beautiful London boutique and really love the playfulness of her designs.

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WORDS: OLIVIA MORRIS

“I never feel fully dressed until I put on my jewellery each morning,” Her Highness Sheikha Sana Al Maktoum says. “I love unique, can’t-be-missed pieces that reflect my inner strength and help set the tone for my day.” This is exactly why Her Highness launched her eponymous jewellery brand this year. Sana Al Maktoum Fine Jewellery aims to help women find their innerstrength through her bespoke designs. Following in the footsteps of her grandmother, whom she was named after, it was seeing her grandmother’s tenacity and hard work that ignited a light in Her Highness to do the same. “I decided to launch a jewellery line because growing up I saw my grandmother, who I was named after, take meetings at all times of the day in order to manage her businesses and I remember seeing the spark in her eye as she tackled one challenging business decision after another,” she tells Emirates Woman. “I was in awe of her strength and independence and I wanted to challenge myself to find my strength and to channel it towards my passion – jewellery.” Throughout her younger years, Her Highness was in awe of her grandmother, Sheikha Sana Al Maktoum, not only for her grit in carving her own path, working hard, but also for being an avid jewellery collector. The Sana Al Maktoum Fine Jewellery founder went on to develop a clear passion for jewellery – collecting vintage jewellery books through the years, which she would look through for hours. This led her to go and study in the USA. “My love of jewellery is something that I just can’t help, so I wanted to lean into it and learn everything I could about the business which is why I pursued diplomas in Jewellery Design and Diamond Grading from both the Gemologi-

The Treasure

Her Highness Sheikha Sana Al Maktoum is encouraging women to find their inner strength through one treasured piece of jewellery at a time

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cal Institute of America and the International Gemological Institute,” she says. “Throughout the process of getting these diplomas, I knew that I had found my calling and that I could launch an ethical and honest business built around something I am so passionate about.” Harnessing her passion for jewellery and her study experience, Her Highness came to launch her brand just this year in August, all the while keeping her grandmother’s legacy at the forefront of her mind. Her first collection for Sana Al Maktoum Fine Jewellery entitled ‘My Treasure’ is an ode to her late grandmother, using butterflies as the symbol. “Butterflies are symbols of transformation and beauty and she grew up at a time when options were limited for women, but she didn’t let that stop her,” Sheikha Sana explains. “She found a way to shine and to help others shine which is why I consider her a treasure.” Her Highness’ first collection features 13 pieces, incorporating pave-set diamonds alongside pink, yellow or blue sapphires in yellow, white or rose gold encasings, all featuring butterflies. Sheikha Sana explains that each piece is “designed to be worn alone or layered together, each creation honours the memory of a remarkable woman and encourages the wearer to embark on a journey to find her own inner treasure”. Not only has Her Highness put women at the forefront of her mind when designing her first collection, but the essence of her namesake brand is also honesty. “As a modern brand I wanted to ensure that certain values rang true in my jewellery so I focused not only on the design but also on the source of my jewels, ensuring all the jewels I use are conflict-free by utilising only Kimberly Process-Certified jewellery in my pieces,” she says. “Being ethical in business is extremely important to me.” The KPCS process was established by the United Nations in 2000 as an effort to stop the trade of conflict diamonds. Sana Al Maktoum Fine Jewellery also ensures that every diamond that goes into their pieces is of top quality (VVS-VS), meaning the diamond clarity is extremely high. While Sana Al Maktoum Fine Jewellery is still very young, Her Highness is working towards building a long-lasting brand that “will grow and mature with me as I continue to learn from experience”. With the inspiring message she aims to portray with her brand, there’s no doubt Her Highness will be able to flourish with Sana Al Maktoum Fine Jewellery. “I want Sana Al Maktoum Fine Jewellery to help inspire women to look within themselves to find strength,” she says. “Women can do anything they set their minds to and I want my jewellery to remind them of that.”

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The Leaders

What does the Seddiqi brand represent? Seddiqi Holding represents family values, continuity, reliability, the importance of relationship building and luxury. With Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, we are humbled by the relationships we have forged within the industry and look to continue contributing to position Dubai as a global hub in the horology industry. As an expert, what should consumers look for when buying a watch? Always trust your preference as a consumer versus what the market focuses on. It is important to choose a timepiece that fits your personality and lifestyle to avoid buyer’s remorse. Don’t be swayed by the market or social media trends, ultimately the quality of the product and reputation of the brand should be the driving factors to make your decision. It is also important to take note of the history of the brands you like and who is at the helm currently. Rely on credible sources and ensure your research is up to date to help you make the best decision. Given the numerous sources for information, consumers now have access to a wealth of knowledge and are fully aware of the market offering to make an informed decision. How has your role evolved over the last 15 years? When I first joined the company, I started as an intern, slowly making my way up as I started to understand and learn the business more. Eventually, I was given the responsibility of establishing the marketing department which didn’t exist prior to me joining. The marketing team was entrusted with positioning the family business in the region and that’s when the history of our founder and his passion began being communicated. As the business grew, so did the marketing department and its responsibilities. In addition to being the Chief Marketing & Communications Officer of Seddiqi Holding, I am also a part of the Executive Committee involved in driving the operational side of the business.

Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons has stood the test of time and this year sees the business celebrate its 70th anniversary. The leading jewellery and watch retailer has been “curating time since 1950” from the company’s inception, when it was founded by Ahmed Qasim Seddiqi. Based on family values, continuity and reliability they have remained at the forefront of a demanding business. Seddiqi Holdings’ Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Hind Seddiqi, embodies the family values, which have been passed down to her through generations. Starting as an intern at the company 15 years ago, Hind has worked her way up in the family business and was responsible for establishing the company’s marketing department. Hind has also been responsible for launching and spearheading Seddiqi Holdings’ Dubai Watch Week, an annual event which began five years ago. Continuing to bring her family’s vision to life, combining it with her innovative ideas, Hind discusses with Emirates Woman her developing role in the family business, what Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons stands for and why they continue to be a leading jewellery watch retailer in this region 70 years on.

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As the leading jewellery and watch retailer Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons celebrates its 70th anniversary, we sit down with Hind Seddiqi to get a further insight into the family-run business

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My role also involved bringing my family’s vision to life in terms of creating an educational platform for our peers with Dubai Watch Week. Which brands are driving the market? We have recently seen an incredible rise in demand for F.P. Journe, definitely one to watch out for, for both men and women. The interest is growing in our region and the quality and craftsmanship behind each product and how it resonates with our clientele. Parisian brand Messika has also been growing exponentially in our market. Their designs allow for a great transition from day to night and the quality of the pieces is exquisite. What does it take to create a brand that lasts the test of time? As a family business, the values passed down from my grandfather Ahmed Qasim Seddiqi, the founder of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons truly lives with each one of us to this day – they are honesty and trust. Being in this business for 70 years has ensured that we continue to maintain our long-standing relationships with brands, clients and more. We have certainly evolved as a business over the years, but our values have remained consistent and are a driving force behind how we function. The evolution of operational elements is key; however, a mix of consistency and evolution is where we thrive as a business. We will endeavour to continue maintaining these key relationships and upgrading operational elements as the business evolves. You launched Dubai Watch Week in 2015. How did the idea for this succesful event come about? Dubai Watch Week was inspired by the first GPHG – Foundation of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève – tour that was brought to the region. With this first step, we noticed there was a growing interest and people wanted to learn and experience more. We with fine jewellery. These factors also contribute towards the unique also organize factory trips with clients which are reputation of a Maison and cannot be replicated by others. always well received and empowered us to create a similar experience in Dubai. It opened the What is your own personal favourite fine jewellery brand? One of my conversation with brands, collectors and press favourites amongst others is Van Cleef & Arpels – I am a big fan of bringing together everyone to candidly discuss brooches and in my opinion, they have the best in the sector. I am in key topics and issues. Our objective from the awe and always inspired by the whole narrative of their campaigns beginning was to create an educational platform from start to finish. to show our respect for this business and the inWhat are the key jewellery and watch trends driving sales? For jewdustry we are in. ellery, we are seeing an increase in demand for pieces that can be easily transformed to different designs for different occasions. The What makes Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons stand out as ease and functionality of such pieces appeals to women in the rea retailer in the Middle East? Our core values and gion. When you purchase something expensive, the ability to reuse passion of the working family members have been the piece by interchanging some elements is key. We are also seeing instrumental in guiding us over the years. This a trend amongst the younger generation where they like to purchase includes the guidance from our Founder Ahmed only one earring and mix and match this with something from anQasim Seddiqi, late Chairman Ibrahim Ahmed Seddiqi and our current Chairman and Viceother set or collection. Chairman. We work alongside brands in our With watches, we have seen the return of small watches for both portfolio to create limited Dubai edition timewomen and men. Case sizes are smaller and slimmer, resulting in watches being lighter and easier to wear. We are also witnessing the pieces for our region and clientele. This helps us return of stone and coloured dials. understand the unique preferences of customers, The women in this region have very refined taste. Jewellery is a by catering to their needs and positioning ourwardrobe staple and is often a key element to one’s outfit when it selves as a leading retailer in the market. comes to weddings and social gatherings which are very common What makes a piece of fine jewellery so special? in our region. A well-known custom during weddings is the passing The meaning and story behind each piece of fine down of fine jewellery sets from the groom’s side to the bride and jewellery is bound to resonate with consumthis is an important tradition to this day. It is also great to see how ers. There is a lot of thought and precision that the region has influenced a lot of Maisons and how they design colgoes into the making of each piece and colleclections. Maisons like Van Cleef & Arpels and Piaget create pieces tion. Additionally, the quality, finishing and with multiple functionalities, allowing for flexibility when it comes craftsmanship is key. All of these elements could to how the pieces can be re-worn down the line. shape the personal attachment that one forms

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The Founders

We speak to six leading Arab jewellery designers about founding their brands and what fine jewellery represents to them

Her Royal Highness Princess Nourah Al Faisal

Founder of Nuun Jewels

When did you start your brand? Nuun Jewels was launched in 2014 in Paris where we held our first event at the Musée de la Chasse. I was quite nervous I remember but was very happy with the response we received. What made you want to start your own jewellery brand? My parents were actually the driving force and my late father, in particular, he was very keen that I spread my wings and that I launch internationally. I was quite happy just making my commission pieces as I had been for many years, to be honest.

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How did you know when it was the right time to start your own jewellery brand? I had been working on a collection for a while with the idea that I would hold a private exhibition in Saudi Arabia. After my father passed away I felt like it was time to finally do what he had wanted so I enlarged the collection and with the support of my family I finally took that step. Why do you think your clients are so loyal to your brand? I would hope firstly because they like the designs and of course the

quality – I really put my heart and soul into everything I do, I strive to be authentic and to constantly evolve. I hope that they can feel that in my work. How would you define your jewellery brand? I don’t even try; I would prefer to leave that to my clients. I focus on always striving to improve. What does jewellery represent for you? It represents memories, family history and celebration, it connects us across generations and it is beautiful.

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Hakima Al Said

Founder of HAK The Label When did you start your brand? In 2018 I launched my first collection, Kindred. What made you want to start your own jewellery brand? I have always had a love for jewellery but designing my own pieces happened by accident! While working as a graphic designer for a jewellery brand in London, I was captivated by the complete process from designing through to production. This experience taught me the different

aspects of jewellery design and so I slowly transitioned from a graphic designer to a jewellery designer. How did you know when it was the right time to start your own jewellery brand? I didn’t wait for the right time, to be honest, I just decided to go for it. I think the right time is when something clicks inside of you and you just think yes, this is what I’m feeling, this is a challenge and a journey I want to take. Why do you think your clients are so loyal to your brand? I believe it’s because my designs offer a unique balance of contemporary styles mixed with cultural symbolism. My

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clients also like to explore their individuality through their jewellery and my designs allow them to do this in a creative way. How would you define your jewellery brand? Bold yet minimal, fusing cultural symbolism with modern elements in designs that can be worn every day or styled as statement-making pieces. What does jewellery represent for you? Jewellery represents so many things from selfexpression and individuality to telling your story in a creative way. I also love how jewellery can be a gift from someone special or a family heirloom that you can wear every day.

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“Jewellery represents so many things from self-expression and individuality to telling your story in a creative way.�

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Jude Benhalim

Co-Founder of Jude Benhalim jewellery When did you start your brand? I launched the brand in 2011 alongside my partner and mother Rana, we established the brand together. What made you want to start your own jewellery brand? I discovered my passion for jewellery while working on a high-school project. I designed my first collection at the age of 17, and received a lot of compliments from people around me; that’s when my mum recognised my love for design and partnered up with me to co-found our brand. How did you know when it was the right time to start your own jewellery brand? I was very young at the time, I wasn’t really thinking about all the work that will fall upon me or at what cost; I was young and enthusiastic and very excited and I just dove into it headfirst. I guess you can never be fully prepared for establishing your own business because you can never really foresee just how much it will require of your time, passion and devotion. But since the beginning I felt it in my heart that this is what I wanted to do; and until this day work is my comfort and my happy place. Why do you think your clients are so loyal to your brand? My brand offers a modern, unique, versatile product with a little touch of Arab aesthetic; the perfect amalgamation. My clients love how “different” the pieces are. They also appreciate the colour options that come with every piece, allowing them to personalize their piece in the colour they love best. How would you define your jewellery brand? A high-quality jewellery brand that caters to the fierce yet feminine, classic yet daring, edgy yet elegant woman. Inspired by geometric shapes and architectural constructions, we bring these ideas to life through a fusion of materials and concepts that bring a mix of tradition and modernity; striking a blend of old and new. What does jewellery represent for you? To me, jewellery is an expression of character, confidence and individuality. Jewellery helps to empower women to express boldness, while embracing their femininity.

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THE FOUNDERS

Donna Hourani

Founder & Creative Director of Donna Hourani When did you start your brand? I launched my brand in August 2016. What made you want to start your own jewellery brand? I have a background and BA in Interior Architecture and love design in general. I started by experimenting with my own jewellery and then found myself sketching designs and searching for workshops and suppliers to execute them. One thing led to another and I ended up with my own jewellery business. How did you know when it was the right time to start your own jewellery brand? It wasn’t preplanned. It naturally happened on its own. I think I had all the necessary basics to start and then took it from there. Why do you think your clients are so loyal to your brand? My clients not only love the product but they love the experience that comes with it. Jewellery is meant to last forever and with that, it carries a sentiment, stories and moments in the client’s life that they want to cherish and pass down for generations to come. I try to provide this experience and emotional attachment to every piece I create for them. How would you define your jewellery brand? Donna Hourani jewellery specialises in honest, sustainable and purposefully selected pieces, each collection with a unique message and story to tell. Every customized or personalised piece is a physical representation of the client’s story and is meant to serve as a daily reminder and provide a positive thought or emotion related to their story. It isn’t just a beautiful piece of jewellery but there is also a great emotional attachment to it. What does jewellery represent for you? It is an extension of you represented in a beautiful piece to treasure. Long after a person is gone, it is one of the very few items that can carry that person and their stories with them from one generation to the next. Its value increases with time. The older it gets the more valuable in terms of sentiment and monetary value as well. It is truly something priceless and treasured.

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“It isn’t just a beautiful piece of jewellery but there is also a great emotional attachment to it.” F E AT U R E

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Nadine Kanso

Founder of Bil Arabi

When did you start your brand? I started Bil Arabi 14 years ago and it was a medium of expressing identity and culture. The brand started as an art expression and I had no intention to create it but it grew organically to become a leading brand. What made you want to start your own jewellery brand? As mentioned, the idea was not to start a brand, the statement was to appreciate the culture and be proud of our identity by wearing our language and not shying away from it. How did you know when it was the right time to start your own jewellery brand? With time and after having few orders, I started to realize that I needed to work on a brand and make it more structured. I always felt that things happen when they need to happen, I moved to D3 almost six years ago and established an office and all. How would you define your jewellery brand? It has strong DNA and represents a contemporary Arabia if I am to say. What does jewellery represent for you? Jewellery in my personal opinion has always been related to taste and beauty – to a personal connection to something we would wear over the years and will always tell a story.

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THE FOUNDERS

“We create each piece with passion, we strive to become different and empower other women to do so as well.”

Alanoud and Aljazi Althunayan

Founders of AJ Jewelry

When did you start your brand? We created AJ Jewelry in 2015 when we were only students and had a passion for jewellery and design. We saw that people loved our designs and we gained recognition. What made you want to start your own jewellery brand? Since we were little girls we loved to create jewellery made of beads or strings. As we grew older we loved wearing fine jew-

ellery pieces as we understood how precious they are. We started noticing a majority of people wore the same jewellery bracelets. So we wanted to design and create something different, and so we did. How did you know when it was the right time to start your own jewellery brand? We didn’t! In 2015, we participated in a pop-up show in Riyadh to showcase our first fine jewellery pieces which are the bar bracelet and the bar ring in yellow, rose, and white gold. Clients loved our designs and we sold out. We had to make new orders for clients and from then on we began to start and to grow in recognition.

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Why do you think your clients are so loyal to your brand? We create each piece with passion, we strive to become different and empower other women to do so as well. Our pieces are made to be mixed and match to every women’s personal style. We love to engage with our customers to see how they style their AJ Jewelry pieces. And of course, we focus on optimal customer service. How would you define your jewellery brand? Remarkable, chic and exquisite. What does jewellery represent for you? To us, jewellery is a sign of love. Whether it’s to gift your loved ones or your own self.

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C O M P I L E D B Y: D I A N A B E L L- H E AT H E R

The Extraordinary

Talk us through the inspiration for the Turn For Extraordinary that marks Piaget’s Possession 30th anniversary. What makes our Possession collection special is the unique interaction between the piece and its owner. The turning feature on the rings, watches, bangles, and pendants bring out the playful side of the owner, which makes it different to any other piece of jewellery. Thirty years on and it continues to seduce with its invitation to “Turn for Extraordinary”. How important is the collection to the brand? Possession has always been so much more than just jewellery, it is a companion that inspires its owners to take possession of their lives and make their dreams come true. With every spin, twist or turn this beautiful talisman releases its magic to bring luck and happiness to its owner. With Possession, it gives women the freedom to stack and mix and match creating different elegant looks that can take them from day to night. The precious stones are also a special part of it. Malachite is a crowd favourite in the Middle East. How would you define Piaget? As a true innovator of the watch and jewellery world, Piaget strongly believes in creativity and artistic values. It is within the walls of our “Ateliers de l’Extraordinaire” where master artisans continue to harness rare skills that have been preserved and perfected from generation to generation. Piaget is a brand that cherishes history and celebrates innovation and audacity. The Maison’s motto “Always Do Better Than Necessary” has been with the brand for as long as I can remember and is still what leads Piaget today. Do you feel women have a strong role to play in the jewellery industry? Yes, I believe women have a strong role to play in the industry. Before, women used to receive the jewellery pieces. Today, women like to buy jewellery for themselves to match their look and their personality; they assert their style and their

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Stéphanie Sivrière, Director of Piaget Creations, discusses the brands iconic allure as Piaget’s Possession celebrates its 30th anniversary

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cess and it helps me understand my team and better managing it. What is your advice to those starting out? It’s the hardest part but be as creative and as differentiating as possible. What would you tell your younger self? I would tell myself to take a step back from the designs I create and not to take any comments or criticisms personally. They are here to make us grow; to keep us alert and to help us keep questioning ourselves. It is part of the design and creation process! What has been your favourite collection to work on during your time at Piaget? It is difficult to choose a favourite collection; they all inspire me a lot. The most powerful moments are when we present the collection to the world and see our designs brought to life, presented during Piaget events to our clients. However, I can say that the favourite pieces I like to work on are the ones where we collaborate with artisans of the Métiers d’Arts. What role does sustainability play in Piaget? It is important for us. Last year in 2019 and for the first year ever, we have compensated 100 per cent of carbon emissions. Our global emission has decreased. Our three sites have recycling systems and soft Mobility is active-

role. Piaget just launched an incredible campaign called Extraordinary Women, which celebrates women who are independent, creative, strong, passionate, generous and fun – a new dynamic where women can be whoever they want to be. Piaget’s Extraordinary Women gathered a group of women from around the world who are exceptional in their fields, ranging from cinema to art, music, design, and artistry. We are proud to have an incredible Piaget Society of women achievers from across the globe – and we wanted to inspire the new generation of women to express their talents and individuality. There are more and more women in the business. The world around us is changing and offers news possibilities. Women affirm themselves; they take the lead of their style, ambitions and creativity. More and more women are independent and join the industry thanks to those new opportunities. How did you start in your career and have you had any mentors? At the very beginning, I attended a jewellery school where learned to craft jewellery. As I liked drawing and designing pieces, I joined a creative studio in Paris for a few years. After working freelance

for a while with various missions for Piaget, the Maison hired me to develop the jewellery department of the brand. I could say that my mentor has been the Maison Piaget. When I was hired by the brand, the whole jewellery department had to be built. The Maison allowed me to develop my designing skills at the same time as its jewellery collections would grow. I had a lot of freedom and the Piaget spirit, praising audacity; allure and elegance helped my creativity to evolve. As I arrived at Piaget, I began designing and building jewellery collections. I was alone and started to need help. I progressively recruited a team of designers to help me. At first, it was only for the jewellery and then I took the direction of the watch design as well to ensure coherence between the two. Now in addition to creating some of the pieces, I manage a team of talented designers. I know the design pro-

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ly encouraged and made possible with the availability of electric bicycles, electric car parking, and participation to public transportation. And we continue to reduce every year carbon emissions linked to cars. Last year also marked the beginning of a shift in our plastic consumption and our principle is to ban whenever possible single-use plastic. Describe your design process? I start by doing a lot of research and sketches to build the design; it is the most important part. All along, I always try to keep three words in mind to design Piaget pieces: creativity, elegance, and surprise. The gouache is the final touch to the creation. What is next at Piaget? I would like to continue to explore other “forgotten” Métiers d’Arts and collaborate with the artisans to modernize those exceptional crafts, bringing them back into light through Piaget’s exceptional creations.

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After five years as CEO of Boucheron, we ask Hélène Poulit-Duquesne to share her experience at the 160-year-old Maison and weigh in on the future of fine jewellery

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How have the last few months been for Boucheron? We had the chance to prepare very well for the lockdown in France because we had seen the situation in Asia evolve. Since January, weekly meetings have been scheduled with our teams in China to get news and updates and progressively with other teams from affected countries until the crisis affected the whole world. The first thing I did as CEO was to keep the agenda, add crisis management and ask my team to brainstorm about post-COVID and think about the future half a day every week. The idea was to see the positive in this crisis, to think about what positive influences it will have on us, in an attempt to interpret this as an opportunity for change. The fact that we responded more flexibly and focused on efficiency led to some changes in operations as well. How did you communicate with your customers during lockdown? We took care of our clients: I contacted my VIP clients to hear from them and find out how they were doing. I don’t think I’ve ever been so connected with them. I connected with most of our high-level clients, not out of commercial interest, but I wanted to know how they were doing, also their families, and their children – where they were staying during the lockdown, if they managed to join their families. It was sincere. How did you enhance their experience? We worked with our communications director to reinforce editorial content, adapting it to the context. The company has also opened its first distance selling platforms, in France and Japan, to serve clients at home. Crises accelerate underlying trends, and this is exactly what happened here. Our goal was also to entertain our communities. We first launched a podcast, True Stories narrated by Guillaume Gallienne. Available in English on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and SoundCloud, this first 5-part series ‘For Better and for

A Fine

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Worse’ is dedicated to the most incredible marriage stories witnessed by the Maison. Also, Claire Choisne, our Artistic Director, decided to design and give away a 3D drawing of a peony flower brooch, authenticated by the Maison. Boucheron is the first Place Vendôme jeweller to give away an original, authenticated, 3D printable drawing to the general public. How did you go about presenting new collections? When I found out that Paris Haute Couture week – where we launch our new high jewellery collection every year in July – would not be held this year, we decided to still present our Contemplation collection to the press. We hosted a physical presentation for journalists based in Paris and a webinar (online conference) as an alternative to a physical presentation for the rest of the world. It was a totally new format for a collection launch. We delivered a live stream in which Claire Choisne made an appearance from her studio on Place Vendôme and was able to interact with the press. The content was wonderful. Worldwide journalists took part in the webinar from Boucheron’s boutiques, from venues in hotels, as well as from their homes. What do you feel is the biggest challenge the industry faces right now? The biggest challenge at the moment in our industry is to sell to the clients when they cannot travel. Even if we are selling digitally, when customers are buying very highend pieces, they want to touch and feel the jewellery. That’s why we decided that the Contemplation collection will travel all around the world. If our clients cannot come to us, we are going to them! The collection left Paris in August, went to Taiwan, China and will go to Japan at the end of 2020. What I see today is that we must all strive to adapt to emerging circumstances. We cannot do anything to confront the COVID-19 pandemic; we must ride the wave and adapt to the

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“It is our empathy and our generosity that

differentiates Boucheron from the rest of the brands.� F E AT U R E

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changes it imposed on us. No one knows what will happen next, but in any case, we have to be very innovative and flexible in adapting to any new situation that may arise later. It is the only way to continue. Before the pandemic, we could not have imagined that e-commerce would perform so well. This is the same assessment for our growth in China – where we just opened a boutique and a winter garden in SKP Beijing – which is significant and with a growth rate that is much bigger than before the current crisis. We are also having great results in the Middle East where clients cannot travel but keep investing in jewellery locally. Do you feel jewellery brands have driven the market as long-term investment buys? Jewellery is a resilient category because its investment value is very strong during all types of crisis. Actually, an increasing number of people are currently buying gold, diamonds and precious stones as a form of investment. Jewellery is something that is handed down from daughter to granddaughter. That is why our industry is resilient against the cri-

with a wonderful history whose geographic development has not been finalized, especially in Asia. So we have a huge commercial expansion plan for the brand. These are the main two priorities that I had, but t in fact, since I joined the company we worked on all the aspects of the company. How does a historic Maison like Boucheron approach the digital age and entice new customers? Distance selling and e-commerce subjects were in the pipeline and are now more than ever a priority. This crisis reconfirmed the fact that clients are easily buying jewellery online. We will launch our e-commerce website soon as it is absolutely essential. Not necessarily because of the volume of business that it may represent, but because it is also a service which we must offer to our clients in the real world. In 80 per cent of jewellery-purchasing experiences, the client will visit the website, even if they might in fact choose to buy in a boutique. The client switches between offline and online during their entire purchasing journey; e-commerce is therefore necessarily a part of brand

creativity. I also believe that Boucheron is the brand that encapsulates what is happening in the Arab world today because women’s freedom is our main concern. Our goal is to continue to support our development in this area, which is a priority for Boucheron. Recently, we presented our new campaign, ‘Legacies’, broadcasted from September 21 to November 5. It puts the spotlight on three women who share the values of empathy and generosity that are dear to the Maison: Nour Arida, Jessica Kahawaty and Saira Arshad. Each of them speaks of the values passed on to them, which have enabled them to shape their own style. Style and values that, in turn, they endeavour to pass on. This message echoes the vision of Maison Boucheron, where every creation in the last 160 years has aimed to help women reveal their uniqueness. In this campaign, their friends and families surround Nour Arida, Jessica Kahawaty and Saira Arshad. Nour Arida, her mother and her daughter chose to wear pieces from the Serpent Bohème collection. Jessica Kahawaty

“Middle East women recognise themselves in Maison’s proposal and vocabulary and we plan to keep spreading our message for innovative and stylish jewellery there.” sis. Especially bridal collections. People will never stop getting married. Even during this pandemic, our Place Vendôme boutique was filled with couples on the first Saturday after reopening. I have always been optimistic, so I am also positive about the market outlook. What has been your ambition for Boucheron since stepping into the role of the CEO? First, I would say to tell our unique story all around the world, which follow our brand platform: This was Frédéric Boucheron’s intuition as early as 1858. His approach to the intimate relationship between a jewel and the one wearing it was daring and unprecedented: with no constraints or fuss, but with spirit, his creations exalted femininity. Boucheron does not impose but proposes. As its clients moved towards emancipation, the Maison accompanied them in their life choices and in their quest for freedom. Our jewellery accompanies every moment, every success, and every desire. Today, as in the past, women recognise themselves in Maison’s proposal and vocabulary. Boucheron allows them to create their own style, to reveal their uniqueness and thus to write their own story. Secondly, rejuvenate the brand. I like to say that Boucheron is a 160-year-old startup

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development. As e-commerce develops, the boutique will become increasingly important, because the client is beginning to expect a lot more from it. They wish to live an experience, and the boutique is not merely a place for making a purchase. In the meantime, we will also continue our collaboration with several global e-commerce platforms all around the world. They all have achieved excellent performance during the period of closure and still right now, I think that digital consumption has made a big leap. Do you have any specific plans for the Middle East? When I first joined Boucheron, we did not have any independent presence in Kuwait. Today we have two boutiques there and we own ten stores in the region in cooperation with local partners. It is one of the regions where the brand develops steadily. In my opinion, Boucheron enjoys an excellent position in the Middle East. Middle Eastern clients already know a lot about the Maison and its collections. They are among our most aware customers, the most educated and interested in fine jewellery. They understand the world of jewellery very well, and they fully understand what Boucheron stands for. Middle Eastern women are bold and love

and her mother are adorned with jewels from the Plume de Paon collection. Lastly, Saira Arshad and her friends wear items from Quatre and Jack de Boucheron collections. In a past interview you described the house as “sincere”, why is that trait important? The values of sincerity, empathy and generosity were advocated by our founder Frédéric Boucheron and as a CEO, I share them. That’s why I intend to make them last. I think that it is our empathy and our generosity that differentiates Boucheron from the rest of the brands. For example, we receive our customers in our boutiques as if they were our friends because we have a genuine relationship with them. I am a big advocate of sincerity for two main reasons. First, it is one of my core values at a personal level and second, I think that anyway, if you are not sincere in what you are doing or the story you are telling, then clients will feel it. So, at the end, it will be counterproductive. How are you implementing sustainability into future collections? Given the current situation, I believe that sustainability will be even more important than before in luxury consumers mind, which is a good thing. People

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“ I believe that Boucheron is the brand that encapsulates

Hélène Poulit-Duquesne

are more involved in this subject and this will come to our clients. The jewellery industry is “by essence” sustainable because you never throw away a jewel. You give it to your daughter who will pass it later on to her children. Nevertheless, we have to continue to work hard on sustainable subjects, raw materials, such as sustainable gold or the traceability of our stones. For gold, we reinforce our ethical commitments by increasing the purchase of ethical gold with the target to reach 100 per cent by the end of 2020. For stones, the subject is more complicated, and we have two markets: diamonds and coloured stones. We are working on diamonds traceability. The goal is to, at some point, know precisely where the diamonds come from in this industry, from the raw stage to the ring that you have on your hand. We already launched a test on traceability for our bridal solitaires. We also have a project going on internally for precious coloured gems. It’s dif-

ficult because the market is totally micronized meaning that coloured gems are coming from a huge number of small mines and it is hard to follow a gem from the mine to the market. The jewellery industry is currently working on this subject for the future. And, of course, each time we can find a nice coloured stone that has the chance to be traceable, we buy it. We bought last year, different traceable emeralds for example. We are very invested in these projects and it helps us to be part of the Kering group knowing that they are very concerned and supportive of this subject. How has your career background helped you in your role as CEO? When I left my business school (Essec), I joined LVMH and stayed for six years. I had my first experience in jewellery, participating in the buying of FRED by LVMH. Then I spent 20 years at Cartier, in charge of Marketing, then Commercial. The first woman being part of the exco. It was an incredible experience during which I acquired all the knowledge in regards to the jewellery and high jewellery industry. I learnt everything there, from gemology to creative direction. I joined Boucheron as CEO in 2015 and today, with all this knowledge; I can pilot this beautiful Maison with great agility and added value. I loved Cartier and still love it, but I think that at the end of my journey at Cartier I felt that the company had become too big for me. Now I think it’s a better fit for me because we are a medium size company and things happen very quickly, which correspond to my energy and impatience. I make a decision, we implement it, and things move on. I like this feeling. I am completely in love with Boucheron. Working here is fun. Indeed, Boucheron is not my property, we belong to Kering group. But I manage it as if I was part of the Boucheron family. I feel I am living an extraordinary adventure and that it is a real gift. I love my job so much. I feel grateful every day since I joined. How would you describe your management style? To me, there is no distinction between being a CEO and a woman, a mother. Integrity and authenticity drive my life and I refuse to be a different person at work then I am at home. To be perfectly honest, my definition of these two is exactly the same. That is ‘to love, to care and to lead’. When you raise children, you lead them by example, you advise them, you transmit them your

core values but they act freely. You give your best but they do the job. That is why I think I might be a motherly manager. I deal with my subordinates as I deal with my children. I give the vision, I lead the team but then I empower them to “make it happen”. What have been your proudest milestones so far in the business? First, on the product side, I would quote the Eternal Flowers. The creation of this collection which allowed the Maison for the very first time to create very emotional High Jewellery starting from a scientific technique and which definitively established Boucheron as the jewellery of emotion and poetry thanks to innovation. Thus, this collection explains the uniqueness of Boucheron’s creative process: create emotional and poetic High Jewellery through R&D. On top of that, eternal flowers were for me a kind of philosophical quest: I wanted jewellery to give eternity to what is the most ephemeral, nature. I wanted to pay tribute to Frederic Boucheron whose jewellery used to be the closest to nature The second one would be the renovation of our Place Vendome hotel. You find our DNA and purpose, from the creative process in Claire’s studio to the selling of the pieces in the boutique, through the manufacturing and the know-how in the atelier. You have everything encapsulated in the same place. And I really wanted to express our generosity in the way we welcome our clients. I wanted them to feel they are part of the family. That is why we designed the “26V” apartment to accommodate them when they come to visit us. On a personal level, what have been your greatest challenges and how did you overcome them? Find a good balance between my personal life and my professional life – with two kids, particularly when they were young. Thankfully, my husband has been extremely supportive. I may not spend a lot of time with my children but what is important for me is that the time spent with them is qualitative. “Quality above quantity” is my motto. I believe that my sons have the right behaviour today because I have always made sure that we communicate a lot on all their feelings, what they are living. We share a lot. Do you have any personal rituals or mantras that you follow? Before joining Boucheron, my coach asked me to think about what kind of CEO I wanted to be. What would be my new posture? I’ve been thinking about it dur-

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ing the summer. When we met again, my answer was: I just want to be myself. It comes back to your question on sincerity. I also have plenty of mantras I learnt and are so true. One of them is the Chinese wisdom quote: “the fish rots from the head”. Meaning that if you do not solve a team problem first from the top, do not expect it will be solved. Another one is: “you need to cut your arm before gangrene”. Which means you need to take a quick decision instead of postponing. It implies managerial courage, which is difficult to have. Or, “Try to move the things that can be moved, do not try to change things that cannot be changed and above all, make the difference between the two” from Marc Aurèle. My last one is “never spoil a good crisis” that I have been using every day since the beginning of COVID. I could write a book on the key takeaways I learnt from my mentors. I love mantras. How do you start and end your day? I wake up and drink a fresh juice of fruits, vegetables, ginger and turmeric, that I obtain from my juice extractor. It is a real shot of vitamins. Before falling asleep, I always read a minimum of three pages of a book. The last book you read or podcast you’ve listened to? The last podcast I listened to was ‘For Better and for Worse’ related by the voice of French actor Guillaume Gallienne. This series of five episodes is dedicated to the most incredible marriage stories of Anna Gould, Consuelo Vanderbilt, Lady Curzon and Dame Greville witnessed by our Maison. Their amazing adventures don’t always have a happy ending, but it is our wish to not tell princess stories and to stay true to reality. And the last book I have read is ‘Fourrure’ by Adelaïde de ClermontTonnerre. I loved it. What your personal and career goals for 2021? China is the first priority of our plan. It is super important for the luxury world and if we succeed in China, then I would expect that everything will be different. We will have investment for everywhere else in the world and we will really fly. Our priority up until this point has been the opening of Beijing SKP. SKP is not just a store but also a winter garden. The Jardin d’Hiver has been reinterpreted from Paris place Vendôme to Beijing SKP so our local clientele can experience “a true Parisian afternoon” through the traditional French “Art

de Vivre”. It is one of the markets on which we are focusing our efforts the most, with a growth plan until 2025 that envisages the opening of a number of new boutiques in strategic cities such as Hangzhou and Shenzhen. We intend to stick to the expansion plan that was defined before the current crisis took hold. We also would like to welcome back our international clients whenever they will be able to travel. Middle East based clients would come back to Paris and London hopefully. Also, we will keep implementing our brand platform that we have put in place the

last few years which lies in one word: freedom. Aesthetic and creative freedom, technological freedom that leads to innovation and also freedom in how jewellery is worn, the free spirit that has guided our creations for 162 years. Middle East women recognise themselves in Maison’s proposal and vocabulary and we plan to keep spreading our message for innovative and stylish jewellery there. Personally, I will focus on preparing and supporting my eldest son (17 years old) who will live abroad from September next year. And maybe prepare myself also to let him leave the nest.

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Talk us through the inspiration behind the Ice Cube Capsule collection? Marion Cotillard has been a dear friend of mine and of the Maison Chopard for many years now, 16 years actually! She is a fervent environmental activist, so our collaboration is entirely natural and aligned with Chopard Journey to Sustainable Luxury. With the Ice Cube Capsule, Marion Cotillard came up with the idea of creating a high jewellery set that would embody both her style and her personal idea of responsible jewellery. When she shared the project with me, I was definitively excited. I left the artistic direction of the project entirely to her while ensuring that Chopard provided the responsibly mined materials and the technical support of our artisans required to craft this magnificent high jewellery capsule collection inspired by the graphic shapes and Rock‘n’Roll spirit. Why do you feel there's an increased interest in piercing-free high jewellery pieces? Even if many women have pierced ears, I know that some simply don’t like to have their ears pierced. This can be explained by cultural reason, but some would just prefer to avoid the needle pain and opt for piercing-free pieces. That’s why I often propose ear clips earrings in my high jewellery collections so that it can suit every woman. When Marion designed the Ice Cube Capsule collection her idea was to create high jewellery earrings for non-pierced ears such as her own. The earrings she designed are all different, complementary and made to be worn as part of a mix and match game. It is a contemporary and relaxed way to wear diamonds. Tell us about the continuation to strive for sustainability at Chopard? The Journey to Sustainable Luxury that we started in 2013 is our in-house multi-year programme committed to responsible sourcing and helping the people in the supply chain who are too often overlooked. It is an evergreen initiative that garners new destinations along the way. Each year, we set new targets and missions for ourselves. This year we hit a groundbreaking milestone, sourcing gold from the Barequeros in El Chocó. What is remarkable is that El Chocó is Colombia’s second-largest gold producing region and 46 per cent of the Barequeros are women. We aim to reinforce 100 per cent transparency, to make the source of each material traceable, ensure that each person in the chain of supply and production is earning fair wages, with little to no impact on the planet. Also, our latest project the Ice Cube Capsule by Marion Cotillard was intended to combine Marion’s ideas with Chopard’s expertise in the realm of ethical jewellery. The future will have Chopard, as a team, pushing towards increasing the footprint for ethically sourced materials, across the world. A challenge that we have taken on is that this is

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an ongoing and a very long journey. As I always say, Rome was not built in a day. This is a long-term project, but I am truly convinced it is the right one. With time and patience, I believe we can change things and even if the change is small, it is definitely worth it. You grew up with Chopard, how would you describe the brand’s evolution and how would you define it today? Chopard is an independent, family-owned Maison, which is one of its main strengths. I am very fortunate to be able to work with my family which is a blessing in many ways, as well as a real advantage in terms of being able to express our creativity freely. I initiated the high jewellery at Chopard and I am now very happy to see the evolution and the success thanks to our talented and passionate artisans in our workshops. At the same time, my brother Karl-Friedrich created Chopard Manufacture and the L.U.C Collection, a great achievement. Today Chopard is one of the only Manufacture mastering high jewellery and fine watchmaking in-house. I am truly passionate about my work and taking care of the ladies’ world at Chopard is a real blessing. The role of Artistic Director is an integral part of my role as Co-President. I like to create and push the limits further. I am proud of bringing the ladies collections to where they are now, especially the Happy Diamonds collection including the Happy Sport watches and Happy Hearts line. As an independent family-owned company, we have the privilege to determine what the future holds and the upcoming challenges will be to continue taking bold and exciting new steps in our Journey to Sustainable Luxury and make sure the industry recognizes the importance of sustainability in the world we live in today. Which collection or piece of Chopard jewellery is most special to you? I have a special connection with my first jewellery design: the “Happy Clown” pendant, an articulated clown with moving diamonds and colourful precious stones dancing in its belly. I still recall and cherish it. My father made it a wonderful surprise for me when he manufactured the very first one secretly. This propelled me into the creative world. I will always be very proud of this piece as it served later, in 1985, as the basis for an extensive Happy Diamonds collection and it turned out to be the start of jewellery at Chopard. The clown was followed by the elephant, the ladybird, the teddy bear and the much-cherished heart and probably also the first creation of my beloved Animal World Collection: the monkey pendant.

by Example

MARION COTILLARD; PHOTO: ELIOTT BLISS; HAIR: WENDY LLES; MAKE UP: CHRISTOPHER DANCHAUD; MANUCURE: EDWIGE LLORENTE; STYLING: AURELIE SOURISSEAU

Caroline Scheufele has grown up surrounded by jewels since her parents Karin and Karl Scheufele III bought Chopard in 1963. As Co-President & Artistic Director of the Maison, she has introduced and grown the fine jewellery offering and is now pursuing all paths of sustainability

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The Best of Bespoke

Her Highness Sheikha Mariam bint Khalifa bin Saif Al Nahyan, founder of MKS Jewellery, explores how creating bespoke pieces can help you grow as a designer

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MKS has been part of the jewellery landscape in the region since HH Sheikha Mariam bint Khalifa bin Saif Al Nahyan established the brand in 2013. Every collection has paid a delicate and elegant tribute to her heritage, from mother of pearl pieces that nod to the pearl divers of the UAE to her recent Sea Signs line that blend nautical and astrological themes. She sees jewellery as a symbol of self-expression and imagination with each of her pieces telling a story, many of which she heard throughout her childhood while growing up in Abu Dhabi. Her mother was a strong influence on her and she would regularly sit the young Sheikha Mariam down to talk her through the gems she had in her jewellery box. “At the core of MKS Jewellery is storytelling, sentiment, humanity and craftsmanship,” she has previously told Emirates Woman. “Each piece is handmade and we do our absolute best to source everything from the community around us, that’s how the pieces come to life; they have a spirit of their own that tells a story, made all the better when stacked and styled all together.” This emotional attention to detail extends to the bespoke pieces that she regularly creates for private clients. These one-of-a-kind creations involve extensive research and conversation, Sheikha Mariam even travels to certain locations like Hatta to fully immerse herself in the vision of her client. These one-to-one moments encourage her as a designer to expand her imagination and to connect even more with the loyal fans of the brand. What have you learned through the bespoke creation process? That making dreams a reality is a process and that the empathy and understanding of the client is really important, but also to have a perspective to give the right amount of freedom of choice and preselection. The possibilities are endless so shortlisting the design choices makes it better for the client to understand the proposed

design. I love when the client is extra sentimental; it’s harder design-wise but so much more interesting. What has been your most memorable project? We created a bespoke ring for a client, which carried so much meaning with a strong message and a wonderful story. I was glad that they entrusted me to design it, taking in the proposed ideas and appreciating the work. I love how it ended up being such a unique and timeless piece. How have these one-off projects shaped you as a designer? These projects make me think outside the box and allow me to interact with clients, to listen to their thoughts and have a better understanding of what people are looking for. I think it is very important to truly listen to what the client is looking for and to have patience and to keep an open mind to suit their needs. At the same time, as a designer, you need to express your thoughts and share your ideas with them since you are the expert and will need to sometimes guide them all with the consideration of their budget too. How do you balance your signature as a designer and the aesthetic preferences of a client? All pieces are designed with love that is already a cornerstone of MKS Jewellery. At the end of the day, a bespoke design is made to fit the client’s personality and style, and the reason they come to MKS Jewellery is that they like how we tell their stories, and the thoughtfulness of the little love notes throughout each piece – this is something that is at the core of the brand, what we belong to and believe in and I will always remain true to that. If you could design a piece for yourself, what elements would it incorporate? I love coloured diamonds so I would be inspired to make them a part of the piece. The piece needs to have creatively unique design details and meaningful significant elements. How do you see MKS as a brand evolving? I’ve learnt that seizing opportunities is not about when but which way. It’s not enough to find success and settle; people are always looking for new ideas. As a brand to stay relevant we always have to keep up, grow and evolve while staying true to who we are in the process. What would you like to do at MKS that you haven’t done yet? As a brand that started in 2013, we have always looked to the next chapter, from launching a fine fragrance capsule to being the first brand to use camel leather as packaging. As for what has not been done yet, I have a few ideas coming together. But this year, our biggest focus is on the customer’s experience, so I’ve been thinking of her and what will make her heart happy.

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Fine jewellery designer Jessica McCormack curates timeless classics with a modern edge WORDS: D I A N A B E L L- H E AT H E R

The timelessness of jewellery is what always makes it a wise investment. Commonly seen as heirlooms to be passed down through generations, the dazzling pieces have a subtle power to completely transform how you look and feel. But why should that emotion be limited only to special occasions? Jewellery designer Jessica McCormack doesn’t want you to simply lock your diamonds away and only wear them at “the right moment”, she sees precious gems as part of your daily uniform and is on a mission to make her collections effortlessly fit every lifestyle. “My ultimate goal is to make sure all my jewellery is wearable and hugely loved,” she tells Emirates Woman. “I love the idea of being able to wear a piece of jewellery on the school run, to work, out to dinner and to everything in between. I think that’s what’s unique about the brand. I truly believe that jewellery is for life and eventually for our great-granddaughters – but we need to enjoy it first.” One of her first major clients was Rihanna who fell in love with the Wings of Desire earrings, now an icon for the brand, before her pieces started to make their way into the jewellery boxes of Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Meghan Markle and Victoria Beckham, just to name a few. However, she never has a

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specific woman in mind when she’s sketching new collections: “I always think to myself – would I wear this? That’s the test a piece needs to pass.” Alongside the winged earring inspired by Hermes, messenger of the Gods, that were snapped up by the Umbrella singer, the Georgian-style cut-down setting and blackened gold have also been associated with the designer. Other notable creations include the art-deco inspired

Hex ring and Gypset diamond earrings that adorned the ears of The Duchess of Sussex. London-based McCormack grew up in New Zealand surrounded by art and antiques as she curiously watched her father, an auctioneer, in action: “My love for jewellery really grew from there. I interned at Sotheby’s when I moved to London and got to spend time with such interesting, incredible pieces – it was really this experience that encouraged me to go out on my own. Sotheby’s is also where I met my business partner Michael (Rosenfeld, a third-generation diamantaire) and the rest is history as they say.” McCormack’s workshop at 7 Carlos Place, London, reimagines a forgotten era of luxury in the most mesmerising way, where clients are inspired to curate their own collections to reflect their unique personal style. It is also where her workshop is based, rare for the British capital, which further reemphasises the importance she places on craftsmanship. “It’s such an important part of creating something that will live on as an heirloom, and that will feel great being worn. We’re able to really cater to what our client wants, and the workshop is essential to that.” As many of the luxury customers migrate

IMAGES: NET-A-PORTER

Modern Heirlooms

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online during these uncertain times, McCormack’s latest move could not be more timely. For two months she will have an exclusive pop-up on the leading luxury e-commerce platform NET-A-PORTER. This is a first for the designer and a great opportunity to connect to a wider audience. “NET-A-PORTER delivers such a highly curated, luxury experience – I just knew they would be the perfect partner. Our philosophy here at Jessica McCormack is centred around clients collecting and curating their own fine jewellery wardrobe, which feels really aligned with NET-A-PORTER’s approach.” Over the next few weeks, jewellery fans will be able to explore some of her signature pieces, familiarise themselves with her distinct aesthetic and just like her loyal clientele, fall in love with her philosophy that fine jewellery is suitable for all occasions, especially now when we all seek something dazzlingly beautiful to lift our moods. “We wanted to make sure that core Jessica McCormack collections were available for NET-A-PORTER clients. Our aim is to provide women with a wearable jewellery uniform that can be customised and layered,

so that they can create their own looks – so collections like Chi Chi, Ball and Chain, our signature pieces – which are all so easy – made perfect sense for the assortment.” It is also a smart business move. Not only will she have access to NET-A-PORTER’s loyal shoppers from around the world, but it also highlights how the client-facing brands can embrace opportunities that a digital landscape presents: “Jewellery is such a con-

sidered purchase, and often highly emotional, so sometimes you need to have that physical interaction with a piece – at the moment though that’s not always possible. A digital focus isn’t new to us – as we’ve always had such a strong dialogue with our clients via Instagram – but I think as an industry ecommerce has become more important than ever, mindsets have understandably had to shift in the past six months. There’s a growing

global desire for my brand and working with NET-A-PORTER affords us the opportunity to reach a wider international audience.” Only 12 years in an industry filled with historic Maisons, McCormack’s brand has carved out its own niche and she has no plans of slowing down: “Every day my team and I are sharing things we want to explore, places we could take collections, designs, collaborations – I’m so excited for what’s to come.” And so are we. Jessica McCormack is available now, exclusively on NET-A-PORTER

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WO R D S : D I A N A B E L L- H E AT H E R

The Icon

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As Van Cleef & Arpels celebrates 50 years of the Alhambra necklace, we look back at its history and the iconic women that wore it

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Every jewellery house has a signature collection that is instantly recognisable, for Van Cleef & Arpels it’s the Magic Alhambra collection. The quatrefoil motif was first unveiled in 1968 and was instantly adopted by none other than Princess Grace of Monaco. It wasn’t however until 2006 when the Maison introduced the Magic Alhambra line that it became a true global signature piece. “Alhambra was born in the context of the liberation of women, a new sense of the environment with society’s desire of a return to nature,” explains Lise Macdonald, the Heritage and Exhibition Director of Van Cleef & Arpels. “The artistic context was also very prolific with reference to popular culture – contrasting colours, geometric shapes, the play of lights and movements in compositions. In fashion, dresses were designed shorter and women would wear accumulations of jewels. Alhambra will synthesize this universe into one design, the stylized clover as a reference to nature and beads of gold, referring to Perlée, a motif of the Maison since the 1940s, more abstract in its vocabulary.” The design was inspired by a four-leaf clover, reflecting the traditional Moorish quatrefoil. It is believed that the collection was named after Spain’s Alhambra Palace in Granada, however, the theme remains connected to nature and the symbolism of luck. “Even though the Alhambra motif can resonate with Moorish architecture and the quadrilobe motif, in particular, the reference in Maison’s design is linked to nature rather than architecture. The stylized clover is the source and core of inspiration to the Alhambra motif. A symbol of luck, it refers to a positive vision of life, a symbol of harmony. ‘To be lucky, you have to believe in luck,’ as Jacques Arpels – Estelle Arpels’ nephew – used to say. Its design is sleek, elegant and joyful with a striking variety of colours. Its timelessness is also a pillar to its success, ” says Macdonald. A born collector, Jacques Arpels gathered four-leaf clovers in the garden of his house in Germigny-l’Évêque, presenting them to his staff accompanied by the American poem “Don’t Quit”, an encouragement to never give up hope. Alhambra has become the most collectable fine jewellery motif for the brand over the decades, yet it has also evolved over time. Precious gemstones such as agate, onyx, turquoise and feminine mother-ofpearl and more have all been worked into the historic design. “The Alhambra was created in a time where jewellery was made of accu-

mulation, using bold colours, varied stones in long necklace compositions. Aside from necklaces, Alhambra motifs can be found in pendants, rings, earring and bracelets,” continues Macdonald. “They are made of a contrast of colours and stones such as orange and pink for coral, green of the agate or the chrysoprase, or white of the mother of pearl. If the motif remains consistent, its variation is infinite, giving the Alhambra a new dimension each time." Some of the most notable unveilings include Sweet Alhambra, Pure Alhambra and Lucky Alhambra and now fifty years after creating the first Alhambra long necklace, the Maison is celebrating with new models that enrich the permanent collection. On a Vintage Alhambra long necklace and bracelet, accompanied by Magic Alhambra earrings, the overtones of grey mother-of-pearl and the sparkle of diamonds combine with pink gold in a gentle variation of shades. Featuring the same alternating motifs, a Vintage Alhambra long necklace and bracelet are embellished with onyx, contrasting with the glitter of diamonds and white gold.

In keeping with the Alhambra collection’s original aesthetic, the motifs are adorned with a delicate beaded contour emblematic of Van Cleef & Arpels’ savoir-faire, while a central golden bead adds a note of roundness to the set versions. In addition, the Maison has also introduced four models in small quantities that showcase the combination of yellow gold, deep blue lapis lazuli and diamonds on one side and then rock crystal on the other. Made up of a Vintage Alhambra long necklace and bracelet, the creations reveal two distinct styles, founded either on contrast or limpid clarity. “In keeping with Maison’s tradition of excellence, the Alhambra collection reflects all its high jewellery expertise. From the choice of materials to the final polish, traditional skills come together to create an iconic piece that will stand the test of time. Until today the Alhambra is a reference in the world of jewellery,” adds Macdonald. Van Cleef & Arpels’ preservation and evolution of its most iconic creation is a lesson to other Maison’s of how to celebrate a historic piece by looking forward. Discover more at vancleefaprels.com

“To be lucky, you have to believe in luck” – Jacques Arpels F E AT U R E

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WO R D S : D I A N A B E L L- H E AT H E R

Through the Looking Glass Harry Winston pays tribute to the past with a Kaleidoscope collection

Reminiscent of a childhood toy, Harry Winston’s newest Kaleidoscope collection of high jewellery pendants and watches takes craftsmanship to a spectacular level with its mix of colourful stones in various shapes and intricate settings that pay tribute to the mesmerising patterns you see as you peek into the lens of a kaleidoscope. Offering a different perspective from every angle, the limited edition range features 11 watches and 32 one-of-a-kind jewelled pendants that take inspiration from a glittering art creation the Maison presented 30 years ago. Named the Ultimate Kaleidoscope, the limited edition jewelled piece of art was unveiled in the 1990s. This precious kaleidoscope emphasized the similarities between two different illuminating art forms. An array of artistic influences helped shape the historic brand as did Winston’s innate understanding of how to balance light, colour, texture and dimensionality. This thoughtful craft is more evident than ever in the array of pendants that include symmetrical motifs and feature a unique combination of precious stones such as red rubellities, green tsavorites, purple sapphires, aquamarines and tanzanite, all partnered with diamonds and coordinating side stones. Available in small, medium and

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large sizes, all of these colourful talismans come with 30-inch necklaces. With the emphasis placed heavily on the stones over the metal setting, these firework-like pieces will look just as striking with an elegant gown as they would with a perfectly tailored tuxedo. Complimenting these gems are the five high jewellery and six Premier timepiece models. Three of the high jewellery models feature a striking combination of round brilliant, pear-shaped and marquise-cut stones giving a 3D effect. A closer look at the Winston Kaleidoscope High Jewellery Watch Black & White timepiece reveals two hearts, at either end of the case, made from two pear-shaped diamonds. The spiral models are particularly striking as they visually create a sense of movement with the use of various stones; for example, one model manages to feature 42 tsavorites, 29 blue sapphires, 28 orange spessartites, 14 diamonds and 14 yellow sapphires. Now that’s an impressive line-up. All five Winston Kaleidoscope models are equipped with a high-end Swiss quartz movement and are presented on satin straps with a platinum buckle set with 29 brilliant-cut diamonds. In addition, the kaleidoscope motif is reimagined on the dial of six 18-karat gold Premier models with a Swiss mechanical

automatic movement and a 72-hour power reserve. Bold colours and geometric shapes, accented with diamonds and precious stones, elevate these novelties further. The Premier Precious Kaleidoscope Automatic 36mm in particular presents a stylish balance of jewellery and advanced watchmaking. You have a choice of two colourways. The cool blue timepiece features an array of stones like turquoise and malachite alongside blue beaded mother-of-pearl cabochons, 72 electric-blue Paraiba tourmalines, six green marquise-cut emeralds, and 12 pear-shaped diamonds. Meanwhile, the 18K rose gold version presents a dial set with a dizzying array of intense hues. Composed of citrine, blue and white mother-of-pearl cabochons, carnelian, six marquise orange spessartites, six pearshaped diamonds, 12 fiery-red marquise rubies, six elongated baguette-cut diamonds, six brilliant-cut green tsavorites, and a flurry of 150 brilliant-cut diamonds – an extraordinary show of colour-play and creativity. Never failing to enhance the timeless beauty of each precious stone they work with, Harry Winston continues to push the boundaries of craftsmanship to the realms of nothing short of magic. The Kaleidoscope Collection is available by request at Harry Winston.

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The High Life Bvlgari invites you to enjoy life to the full with their MAI TROPPO campaign

Photography: JOHAN RENCK Right page: BVLGARI Le Magnifiche High Jewellery necklace and earrings in white gold with cushion cut emeralds and diamonds, BVLGARI Colour Treasures High Jewellery ring in pink gold with oval mandarin garnet (9,62ct), 16 buff-top rubies (1,22ct) and pavé-set diamonds (1,10ct), BVLGARI Colour Treasures High Jewellery ring in pink gold with turquoise elements, oval rubellite (11,97ct), 32 step cut diamonds (3,57ct), and pavé-set diamonds (1,73ct), BVLGARI Colour Treasures High Jewellery ring in pink gold with oval green tourmaline (18,55ct), with diamonds (1,03ct), and pavé-set diamonds (0,86ct); BVLGARI High Jewellery ring in pink gold with cushion sapphire (10,00ct), 24 step cut diamonds (1,34ct) and pavé-set diamonds (2,04ct)

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This page: DIVA High Jewellery necklace in yellow gold with emeralds, rubellites and diamonds, SERPENTI Seduttori watch in white gold and full diamond paved; Right page: SERPENTI Seduttori watch in pink gold and diamonds, DIVINA ring in pink gold and diamonds, DIVINA ring in pink gold and diamonds and white mother of pearl, DIVINA ring and bracelet in pink gold and diamonds and malachite, B.ZERO1 rings in pink gold

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Right page: Fiorever bracelets in white gold and diamonds, Fiorever ring in white gold and diamonds, Fiorever High Jewellery ring in white gold, diamonds and emeralds, Serpenti Viper bracelet in white gold and diamonds

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Left page: SERPENTI Tuboga watch in pink gold and steel with black dial and diamond bezel; This page: Le Magnifiche High Jewellery necklace in white gold with diamonds and onyx, B.ZERO1 rings and bracelets, SERPENTI Tuboga watch in pink gold and steel with black dial and diamond bezel

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Modern Moves WO R D S : D I A N A B E L L- H E AT H E R

Fernando Jorge’s fine jewellery line fuses an effortless sensuality derived from his native Brazil with a modern edge and feeling of movement F E AT U R E

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Jewellery designer Fernando Jorge might be celebrating a decade in the business this year, but he’s just getting started. Brazil-born Jorge was inspired by his Lebanese heritage; “I had one grandmother who was very artistic and I had another grandmother from the Lebanese side who loved dressing up and loved jewellery,” he tells us. “Later in life, jewellery took me to Lebanon and I started going every year until the end of last year.” During that time he built a loyal client base in Lebanon and has since used this to help support him in challenging times. His desire to make a difference also extends to his newest collection Flame that has been two years in the making and beautifully captures the movement of fire, as well as embodying the energy and power of a flickering flame. Although the inspiration lies in nature, the circumstances of this collection were pretty heated: “It wasn’t designed with the intention to stop the world from burning but I was in Aspen and it was evacuated because the wildfires were out of control, I then went to LA and I almost couldn’t make it out because of the fires,” he reflects. “There was a huge fire in the Amazon which is happening again this year and then I went for New Year’s Eve in New Zealand and we could feel the fires from Australia. It was a wakeup call so I wanted to do something immediate which is to donate a percentage. First, it will be towards re-forestation efforts but I also want to engage with supporting the efforts against illegal gold mining in the Amazon.” Flame features Fairmined gold and responsibly sourced stones from vertically integrated suppliers, marking a very conscious effort on Jorge’s part to create jewellery in an ethical manner and according to the highest production standards. From the beginning, Jorge explored ethical and responsible ways to create his pieces that also spoke of where he comes from, including working with Brazilian gems and Brazilian craftsmen. His efforts haven’t stopped there and since 2017 he has been working with a diamond supplier in Botswana that gives back to the local community. The spirit of Brazil is felt throughout his collection and Jorge explains that his brand stands for “natural beauty, effortless elegance and my design is fluid and organic that compliments the body.” His studies at the prestigious Central Saint Martins in London taught him not to follow trends; “I believe its important to design current, fresh,

forward-thinking collections but not to follow trends, otherwise your brand doesn’t have an identity. When I created my first collection it was delicate and fluid, but at the time the jewellery that we saw was black and white, spiky, and everyone was buying black diamonds so there could not be another brand based on punk so I created a brand out of my vision of elegance.” His popularity continued to grow among jewellery collectors and celebrities such as Beyoncé and Charlize Theron and he started to get noticed by major retailers and online giants. “The first retailer was CoutureLab whose showroom was situated in front of Claridges Hotel and was founded by Carmen Busquets, one of the original investors in NET-A-PORTER alongside founder Natalie Massenet. After this I started working with MATCHESFASHION – I was one of the first fine jewellers to partner with them and from the beginning, all of my prejudice towards selling jewellery online was blown away as it worked so well. I then began working with NET-A-PORTER and LUISAVIAROMA and working in these partnerships helped me incredibly with legitimacy, expanding my client reach and allowed me the opportunity to focus on design, storytelling and growing the brand via our own ecommerce which we are launching soon.” Despite his success, the London-based designer remains humble in his approach and continues to define a common thread that brings his collections together. Many designers of his status would feel tempted to expand rapidly, but Jorge retains the focus on his work: “I’m not exhausting my possibilities by having all of the ideas in one collection, its creating discipline. Of course, I want to do something with pearls but I don’t feel like I can just put pearls in my collection. By creating different collections I have newness, I have a thread that holds a body of work together. It’s important to go back to your story and show it from a different angle, maybe it’s using a technique I haven’t used before.” After working through the anxiety and worry that came with the global pandemic, Jorge was thankful for the space that the lockdown has created. It has given him an opportunity to work on bespoke pieces, focus on the soon-to-launch website and become more engaged with his clients on social media. The focus is quality over quantity: “We are making small but very solid steps.” Fernando Jorge’s website is due to launch beginning of November

“I believe it’s important to design current, fresh, forwardthinking collections.”

From left: Stream Lines 18K Yellow Gold Ring Dh16,051; Multi-Chain 18K Yellow Gold Earrings Dhs25,345; Radiant Diamond 18K Yellow Gold Earrings Dhs63,102 all Fernando Jorge available at Moda Operandi

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Sustainability is deeply ingrained in Tiffany & Co.’s core values – the formal sustainability programme has been in place for over a decade. Can you explain how it all started? Our sustainability story goes back even farther, to 1995, when we first opposed irresponsible gold mining near Yellowstone National Park in the US, We believe that sustainability means considering and addressing the environmental, social, and economic impacts of our business to ensure the long-term benefit of the company, its stakeholders and broader society. Tiffany & Co. has a deep legacy of conserving the natural landscapes that provide the raw materials and the inspiration for so many of our creations. Almost two decades ago, we realised that our best means of ensuring a socially and environmentally responsible supply chain was to go above and beyond industry standards and control as much of our supply chain as possible. Today, we’re more vertically integrated than any other jeweller. Tiffany recently made news for its continued leadership in diamond traceability. Can you expand upon how customers will know the source of their diamonds with this new initiative? Last year, we became the first global luxury jeweller to share the region or countries of origin of our newly sourced, individually registered diamonds. This year, we’re becoming the first to share those diamonds’ full craftsmanship journeys, including the cutting, polishing, and set location. All of this information will be shared with Tiffany customers for each newly sourced, individually registered diamond. This information will be available from any sales professional at the case line, and it will also be printed on the Tiffany Diamond Certificate. By taking transparency to a new level, we reinforce our commitment to ensuring that every step in our diamonds’ journey can contribute to the wellbeing of people and the protection of the planet. Why is diamond traceability so crucial for the company as well as its clients? For Tiffany &

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The Sustainability Factor

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Tiffany & Co. has been offering extraordinary jewellery since 1837. When it comes to sustainability practices, the brand has it all. Anisa Kamadoli Costa, Chief Sustainability Officer at Tiffany & Co., tells us how they make sure they follow a green process WO R D S: D I YA N A H A K M I

Co., how precious metals and diamonds are extracted is of the utmost importance. The precious materials we use in our jewellery comes from the earth, and we care about the conditions that the materials are sourced and products are crafted. This is why long ago, we realised that our best means of ensuring a socially and environmentally responsible supply chain was to go above and beyond industry standards and control as much of our supply chain as possible. What makes this so unique among luxury jewellers is that Tiffany has spent the past 20 years vertically integrating its supply chain. While many jewellers buy only polished gems on the open market, Tiffany sources rough diamonds directly from responsible sources, cutting, polishing, and setting many in our workshops around the world. This allows us to meet our superlative quality standards and ensure a safe and welcoming working environment for our artisans. Are these moves motivated by a reflection of the current climate and the rise of conscious consumerism? This move is not solely motivated by consumer behaviours, but rather a desire to be transparent and bring our customers along on a Tiffany diamond journey. We recognise that we are now more than ever serving a socially conscious clientele who care deeply about where their most precious possessions came from and how they came to be; COVID-19 has only reinforced that we live in an interconnected and interdependent world. We are also raising awareness among those who might not otherwise have considered the importance of diamond traceability. When choosing a diamond, that includes knowing its country of origin and the conditions and care with which it was crafted. How does this fit into broader sustainability initiatives at Tiffany? As a business, we look for ways to make a positive impact in everything we do; everywhere we work from sourcing our raw materials from responsible mines to paying workers in our diamond workshops a living wage to using sustainable paper in our

iconic blue boxes and bags, to making smart investments in renewable energy and carbonsaving projects. As we look to the future, we know we can make a lasting, positive impact on people and the planet when we consider all of the issues holistically. How does Tiffany go about educating its clients on sustainable issues? It’s essential for consumers to feel empowered that their purchases make a statement and have a real impact. More and more people recognise that both their buying habits and their advocacy matter. This is one of many reasons why we decided to launch the Diamond Craft Journey. By bringing stone-specific geographic information to the baseline, website, and diamond certificate, we encourage our customers to make more informed, responsible purchasing decisions. As it relates to our reporting, this is our 10th year of sustainability reporting, and we have continued to evolve our reporting since that time, with a focus on transparency, credibility, and education. Tiffany has made it clear that for a brand that values sustainability so highly, it is no longer enough for diamonds to be conflict-free alone. Could you explain how you work alongside Tiffany & Co.’s CEO, Alessandro Bogliolo, to identify and create new industry standards in provenance? I work closely with our CEO, Alessandro Bogliolo, to elevate Tiffany’s sustainability approach and fulfill our vision of sustainable luxury to drive meaningful change. While Tiffany & Co. doesn’t own or operate any mines, we have long focused on advancing our responsible mining practices through standards setting, advocacy, and philanthropy. For example, where we feel international standards such as the Kimberley Process do not go far enough, we have raised the bar, layering in our expectations, values, and priorities. Due to concerns over human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and Angola’s diamond mines, we refuse to purchase rough or polished diamonds from those countries. How-

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ever, they comply with the Kimberley Process. We believe our customers deserve to know that a Tiffany diamond was sourced with the highest standards, not only in quality but also in social and environmental responsibility. This is just one example of the way we seek to go above and beyond existing standards. What projects are you most proud of in your current role? I am proud to share that we have recently launched an ambitious set of 2025 Sustainability Goals: a bold roadmap outlining the company’s sustainability priorities for the coming years. These comprehensive commitments across our pillars of Product, People, and Planet are based on the results of a robust assessment of Tiffany’s social and environmental impact and opportunities developed in alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Tiffany’s 2025 Sustainability Goals result from extraordinary cross-functional collaboration, co-created with partnerships from teams across Tiffany. I am looking forward to all we will achieve in the upcoming years guided by our Goals. The broad umbrella of sustainability has changed a lot over the years. How do you see Tiffany & Co.’s sustainability values evolving over the next 5-10 years? While we are proud of the progress we have made after more than 20 years of investing in social and environmental responsibility. We are continuously innovating our approach in response to the changing business context. One of the things I love about the work that I do is that it is continuously changing. We want to make sure that we’re continuing to evolve and advance our efforts as the world changes. There’s always an opportunity to improve practices further, set more ambitious goals, and collaborate with new partners to achieve our vision of a sustainable world. Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on the issues that matter to our company and the world and apply that lens of innovation to impact people and the planet positively.

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WO R D S: D I YA N A H A K M I

A Fine Eye for Detail

Founder and CEO of XO Altelier, Vera Dieckmann discusses attention to detail and following your gut 150 emirateswoman.com

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What do your first 30 minutes of the day look like? I wake up very early, usually just before my alarm rings. I start my day with a 10 minute meditation, a practice I started while I lived in Asia. Then it’s a double coffee while I check my phone and then squeeze in a gym session ahead of a full day’s work schedule. What influences your design aesthetic? All my work is creatively influenced by elements in nature; the subtle shades that surround us every day, the reflections of light on surfaces like glass and water. Materials are always at the heart of what I do; the beauty of natural wood and stone, the delicate textures and patterns are art in our natural surroundings. Tell us about your role as Founder and CEO of XO Atelier. How did you know it was the right time to start your own company? XO Atelier is a young studio so I’m involved in all the processes from design to project coordination. As the face of the studio I do the entire client interfacing and liaise between them and our team who work across three countries. It’s inspiring and extremely challenging but I love it. It’s a far cry from working in a large agency or a big hospitality group like I did for 23 years, but it was time to live my own dream not to build someone else’s. I wanted to work under my own set of values, to create a studio that reflects me, and allows me the freedom and creativity to express myself. When approaching a space, what is the first thing you envisage? As soon as I step into a space, the key element is always the light, and most importantly how the user will experience it. It has to fulfill its function in the most elegant way. Good interior design communicates with you on many different levels, it’s visceral, not just visual. I can usually visualise an entire design scheme from the very first moment, and it’s this vision that guides my process. Which designs are you most proud of and why? I’m very proud of our first project Toplum. It has launched us so prominently in the international and regional industry, is nominated for five awards and has already won Best Global Restaurant at the International Hotel & Property Awards. The other side of my business is product

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IMAGES: SUPPLIED

design, which has also been extremely successful for us, with some of our lighting designs represented by established NY and Singapore based Galerie Philia. What in the architecture industry is luxury? In our industry, Interior Design, the biggest luxury is having creative freedom and a client who trusts your vision and your ability to transform that into reality. Which design pieces are your real hero buys for any space? I adore mid-century collectible pieces, ideally a chair or armchair by Pierre Jeanneret, lighting by Charlotte Perriand and a large scale artwork to really establish the mood. Do you see any aesthetic patterns emerging globally as a result of COVID-19? What we see are more creative directions rather than aesthetic ‘trends’ or patterns. People want comfort, outdoor space, fresh natural materials and a real home where they can rest and recharge. Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration? Studio Olafur Eliasson @Studioolafureliasson, Jose Parla @joseparla, Adam Mork @adammork, Victor Ash @victor.ash.studio, Delfina Delettrez @Delfinadelettrez. What effect has social media played in the design industry and its growth? I think the impact of social media specifically in the GCC is substantial. We receive a high number of requests on Instagram and LinkedIn even though we are a young studio and our accounts were established only fairly recently. Instagram has become a crucial tool for those of us in the creative industries as a way of reflecting our brand identity and showcasing our work. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out? To work diversely, in all kinds of studios, both boutique and established, as well as getting exposure to young talent and famous designers. Getting a global perspective is key – so to try to work on every continent

and get as much experience as possible. Listen, observe and never take criticism personally as it will motivate you to push harder, be a better designer and fulfill your potential. Don’t choose this profession to get rich, because it will be a challenge, but through this you will grow and learn every day. The final truth is that rejection and failure is the best preparation for progress, but no matter what happens, remember to be grateful and acknowledge every single person who has contributed to your success: Never forget to be kind. If you were not the Founder and CEO of XO Atelier, which other role would you choose careerwise? I originally wanted to study art under Joseph Beuys at the academy in Dusseldorf, but my father discouraged me. Instead, I opted for architecture and graduated as engineer. Today, I incorporate my love of art into my work, producing limited edition pieces that are listed with my gallery. This is The Fine Jewellery Issue, what is fine design to you? For me fine design is in the detailing, manufacturing and selection of materials. The method and process for this is similar whether it’s a bespoke lighting installation or a piece of fine jewellery, only the scale is different. Our light feature “Flow “ for example, shares many similarities with fine jewellery and now we’re working on a small-scale pendant for a chain based on the initial design of “Flow” combining gold and opal.

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WORDS: AMY SESSIONS

THE SOLITAIRE

Go big or go home with a radiant-cut diamond

18K Yellow Gold Radiant Diamond Pinky Ring POA Nina Runsdorf

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MOST WANTED

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Emirates Woman - November 2020  

The Fine Jewellery Issue

Emirates Woman - November 2020  

The Fine Jewellery Issue