November’s – ‘The Fine Jewellery Issue’ – Download Now

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

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 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.

MKS Jewelry moon phase

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 make 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 appreciated the work. I love how it ended 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.

MKS Jewelry Sheikha Mariam

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.

November’s – ‘The Fine Jewellery Issue’ – Download Now

– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram

Images: Supplied