Bling ring

We can proudly say that in this region, we are not short of inspiring and dazzling jewellery designers. An ability to combine heritage with contemporary flair is something that has an international appeal, and many have managed to build a global brand. A hard as it was to choose our favourites, we focused on those that are doing something different within the busy world of jewellery making.

LX2 Studio, based between Dubai and Cairo

 

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LX2 Studio celebrates a vibrant city with each of its collections. The brand was founded by two friends Letitia Gasser and Lina Kobeissi in 2017. Lina was an architect and Letitia worked in luxury fashion, and both had the same fascination with the discovering the world. Creating stories and experiences is something that makes the brand unique. Clean and delicate designs are made with 18-karat gold which is hand-crafted and set with semi-precious stones and diamonds. The geometric shapes feel contemporary; we are particularly taken with black and white diamond Neon Rings, inspired by Berlin’s neon lights and underground art scene.

NUUN Jewels, Saudi Arabia

 

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Her Royal Highness Nourah Al Faisal from Saudi Arabia balances modernity and exquisite quality in her high jewellery brand, NUUN Jewels. Established in Riyadh in 2014, in just two years she secured a prime boutique spot in Paris’s prestigious Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore address. Focusing on architectural shapes and looking to her surroundings, the collections regularly pay tribute to Nourah’s family or home.

Jude Benhalim, Cairo-based

 

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Founded in 2011, Jude Benhalim is a high-quality jewellery brand that caters to the fierce yet feminine, classic yet daring, edgy yet elegant woman. The Cairo-based brand brings a mix of tradition and modernity styles. It has been championed by numerous stars, the latest being supermodel Adriana Lima.

L’atelier Nawbar, Lebanon

 

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L’atelier Nawbar has been creating contemporary jewellery with a traditional twist since 2011 and regularly present at Paris Fashion Week. What makes the brand unique? Lebanese sisters Dima and Tania Nawbar are fourth generation jewellers who give back to the community by enlisting local artisans and training socially disadvantaged and displaced women in handmade craft. Jewellery making is in the sisters’ blood thanks to their great-great-grandfather who started their family-run business in the gold souk of Beirut in 1881.

Èlbé, Tunisia

 

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Sustainable and inspired by the Mediterranean, Èlbé sounds like an accessories brand made for sunny Dubai. Established by Tunisian designer Nour Ben Cheikh and Clémentine L in 2018, the brand offers a series of holiday-ready accessories, and we are particularly taken by Èlbé, meaning “my heart” in some Arabic dialects.

Gaelle Khouri, Lebanon

 

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Lebanese designer Gaelle Khouri creates pieces that turn heads by focusing on complex compositions of abstract shapes. Working with layers of precious materials intertwined with diamonds, her collections drape over the skin and follow the movement of the body. Inspired by the the way Middle Eastern women adorn themselves in statement gems, her surrealist creations have become true objects of desire and are stocked on Net-A-Porter, Farfetch and Moda Operandi, among others. Crafted from precious stones and shaped into dramatic silhouettes that echo architecture, her pieces make a statement without overwhelming.

Mejuri, Jordan

 

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The Toronto-based jewellery brand was founded in 2015 by Jordanian couple Noura Sakkijha and Maj Masad. With a staff of over 80 percent women, Mejuri is a company by women for women. The label takes a minimalistic approach to jewellery, selling timeless simple pieces like: thin gold bands, classic small hoops, the occasional pearl earrings, and diamonds.

ZAGH, Egypt

 

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Catering to modern Egyptian magpies and beyond, Cairo-based jewellery brand ZAGH grabbed our attention for its contemporary aesthetic and creative use of shapes. Founder Riham Zaghloul decided to launch her own label in 2015 when she couldn’t find any pieces that reflect her desire for something truly unique. Armed with a degree in computer sciences and business and experience from working in software engineering, she went to create pieces that pay tribute to art and nature. Although she has a design studio in Italy and looks to Germany as a source for silver, ZAGH remains a proud Egyptian brand by using traditional techniques like hammering, stone setting and carving.

Savolinna Jewelry, Dubai

 

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Savolinna is the brainchild of Hessa Al Shafar, an Emirati entrepreneur making a bold footprint on the contemporary jewellery design scene with her unique approach to colours, shapes and layering. After gaining a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations, Hessa’s attitude towards bespoke luxury naturally took her to fine jewellery. Combining skills in creative management with gemstone expertise acquired from the International Gemological Institute, Savolinna Fine Jewelry was launched in Dubai in 2017.

Lillian Ismail, Saudi Arabia

 

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As far as we can remember, at 17 we were still figuring out which degree to take up at University, but Jeddah-born Lillian Ismail was already shaping her jewellery business. What started as a high-school graduation project, resulted in her being dubbed as Saudi Arabia’s “Youngest Jewellery Designer”, and she didn’t stop there. She took her creative spirit to New York’s Pratt Institute where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in jewellery-making. After an internship at Oscar De La Renta, she decided to launch her namesake label in 2018. Her pieces, or “artwork” as she refers to her designs, are used as a medium to express concepts from her culture and Islamic background, which are then blended with contemporary aesthetic she developed in the New York. All of her rings, brooches, necklaces and earrings are handmade locally in her hometown, Jeddah, and she uses materials like onyx and emerald across her spheric shapes.

Aisha Baker, Dubai

 

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Every piece of jewellery tells a story and for her second high jewellery collection, Emirati brand Aisha Baker wanted to turn fantasy into reality. Named “Frozen in Time”, the pieces conjure visions of a frozen world, with the distinctive emblem of an icy blue peony and materials including sapphires, diamonds, quartz and white gold. The collection will be released in two parts, starting with The Peony Symphony consisting of a bracelet, ring and earrings. Inspired by traditional Asian ceramic art, the blue flowers look pressed into transparent quartz for a dreamlike effect.

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