Crafting a legacy

MARLI New York’s aim is to give modern women an opportunity to wear fine jewellery every day. Inspired by the buzzing energy of the big city, her pieces have an architectural feel with all the classic codes of exquisite craftsmanship.

Having lived in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, she opened her first GCC flagship store in The Dubai Mall Fashion Avenue and already has a loyal celebrity following including Kylie Jenner and Jennifer Lopez. Founder and designer Maral Artinian talks us through her creative process, and shares her advice for future jewellery designers.

bridal jewellery

(Avenues Statement earrings Dhs105,100; Avenues Crown bracelet Dhs53,200; Avenues Statement multi-finger ring Dhs40,430 all MARLI New York)

What do you love about creating jewellery?

When I see women wearing them, it gives me a lot of pleasure. The piece becomes part of their daily life, and that’s what MARLI is all about. From a creative aspect, it’s really interesting to find new techniques and to challenge yourself to try something new. MARLI is about being contemporary so we are not all about following trends. There’s no limit to creativity in jewellery. Jewellery has always been a part of me. I studied psychology and worked in advertisement but I think when you’re born in this family, you’re always surrounded by it. I really admire two things and that’s jewellery and branding, and I managed to combine those two passions together.

How did you know what designer you wanted to be?

I always wanted to have everyday pieces. And for them to have a clean and sophisticated look – minimal in their functionality. With experience and time passing, you start to refocus on these points more. A lot of MARLI pieces have fluidness, and this helps us to explore more.

How has the brand evolved?

When I launched it, there weren’t too many brands into this ‘everyday’ movement, and not many brands that were doing diamonds and semi-precious stones like MARLI.


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How has your upbringing shaped the designer you are today?

I was born into the jewellery industry. I have always been selective with what I wear. I used to choose my jewellery before choosing my outfit. My taste is consistent because I never liked anything over the top.

What do you women look for when they come to MARLI?

They are looking for modern and sophisticated pieces that they can wear with their existing jewellery. They’re looking for quality – MARLI has that quality.

What have you learnt about yourself since launching the brand?

Things can happen any time so you have to be ready. You have to be receptive to change. I didn’t expect success in such a short amount of time but I had to embrace it. I don’t know what’s next because I want to be in the moment. Success leads to other doors, so I have to evolve and that’s the challenging part.

How do you find balance?

I do take some time to myself. I’m a beach person. I go to Miami a lot. I watch a lot of documentaries that have nothing to do with my business. I don’t like having any commitment on the weekends – I  just go with the flow.


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What advice would you share with future designers?

I don’t consider myself only a designer, I run the entire business and operation. In terms of design, you have to understand who you are designing for, but if you want to grow a business you have to have commitment and perseverance. You have to believe in what you are doing and not be influenced by others, because there will be so many others. You will always be criticised whether you do well or not. You can’t get affected by criticism – instead, listen to it and understand why it was told to you. You have to believe and understand that you are who you are.

What is your most treasured possession?

My dog – her name is Mia. She’s a mix Havanese and toy poodle. She’s my companion whenever I travel.

What can we always find in your bag?

Perfume and lipstick.

Any jewellery rules we should follow?

Don’t overdo it and make sure you’re wearing the right size.

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