Local Designers at the Jewellery & Watch Exhibition

Wow…

The last 8 months have definitely been a rollercoaster ride. I shall not bore you with too many details, suffice to say, work amongst other activities (will be sharing them with you briefly) have kept me away from my blog.

Let’s Talk Jewellery… 

Last month, we saw the 16th edition of Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition 

 With more than 27,000 visits over the six days, an Indian Pavillions (as part of the Qatar-India Year of culture – 2019) and a charity auction (with proceeds to Education Above All Foundation) , the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE) 2019, concluded on a high note, making this year’s exhibition the largest in terms of participation, with more than 500 brands from over 10 countries covering an areas of 29,000 square metres.

The 16th edition saw the participation of the Young Qatari Designers (YQD) initiative for the third year in a row, where a special pavilion was dedicated to the 12 young Qatari designers, under the patronage of Prime Minister of Qatar and Minister of Interior H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani.

Here are some of the designers, whom I had the privilege of meeting.

Leila Issam Abuissa

“Anything Art” A motto Leila Issam has held dear to her heart at a very young age. During a time when children exhibit signs of whether they will grow into appreciators of Art or its architects, Leila clearly had the qualities of the latter.

With a Baccalaureate in French Literature and Philosophy; a combination she felt necessary in order to better understand the discipline that continues today in her thinking process of creating luxury products. She then moved to Paris to study art and design where she experimented with different fine art techniques, as well as design in all its forms be it conceptual or interior.

it was only after she moved to Florence did the Jewellery world strike her from every angle, thus began a quest for an Art form she would take on as her own.

Hissa & Jawaher Al Mannai.

It all started out as our past time when the two sisters repurposed their mother’s unwanted accessories and recreated new designs from it. Using their creativity, they went on to create fashionable necklaces and bracelets made of crystals, marbles, ropes, elastic and ribbons. They began their private collection and sometimes adding other accessories and vintage pieces, with this a dream was born, to create their own masterpieces, Their fascination and passion for jewellery saw them travelling extensively, this was necessary for them to establish Ghand – derived from the sugar crystals and how they look exactly like diamonds

“Our philosophy is to be imaginative and creative in our designs; our signature pieces are versatile”. Their personalities are so evident in their creation, a combination of Hissa’s taste for the bold and Jawaher’s preference for simplicity.

Fajr Al Attiya,

For Fajr, it all began with designing bags, however her love for beautiful aesthetics took her one step further into the world of precious metals and gems. Inspired by nature’s most beautiful creations, Fajr set out to cast the beautiful sites into eternal jewelry pieces that will be treasured. This led to the birth of Trifoglio in 2015 and the launch of her first collection in early 2016 followed by her first range of luxury leather good.

 

The popular The DJWE Forum, returned for the second year, with the participation of Qatari and international experts, designers and professors of history and arts in the jewellery and watches industry. The most prominent of these were Mr. Alex Popov, President of the Moscow Diamond Exchange, Geoffroy Ader of Artcurial, and Melvyn Kirtley, senior gemmologist at Tiffany & Co.

The sessions included discussions on Qatar’s rich heritage and the history of jewellery and pearls in Qatar. Among the distinguished academic speakers at the forum were Dr. Najla Ismail and Dr. Jochen Sokoly,

The prestigious French watchmakers Objectif Horlogerie presented free “Discover Watchmaking” workshops for all, and renowned expert Geoffroy Ader presented daily high-level educational talks, with the Qatar Watch Club in cooperation with the Turkish Watches Club. Jewellery workshops were held, dealing with precious stones, and providing advice on the evaluation of diamonds.

This was definitely an opportunity to feat your eyes on exquisite pieces of jewellery and watches.

For more information on the designers:

Follow Leila Issam Abuissa @leilaabuissa

Follow: Hissa & Jawaher @ghand_jewellery

Follow: Fajr  @trifoglio_qatar

 

What did you enjoy most about the DJWE2019?

 

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Styling on at 55

Just because someone, somewhere, decided on an age-appropriate dressing concept without your consent,don’t allow someone else’s notion of taste inhibit your own taste. Conditioning you to think that the older you get the more conservative you have to dress robbing you of your creativity; dictating that colour and vibrancy no longer form part of your interest and suggesting that appropriateness, restraint and formality should now be your objective.

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Clothing and shoes : https://www.facebook.com/PerLeiCouture.pearl/
Photography: https://withalittlegracephotography.pixieset.com/

 

At 55, I cannot fathom why this restrictive concept of age-appropriate dressing was given the nod, I for once, believe that the older you get, the more bold and playful you should become in your dress, having paid your dues you have earned the right to dress boldly and to value comfort over fashion, so don’t allow society to define you., having said that, I am not suggesting that we become distasteful, tacky;  no, on the contrary, let’s add  some fun and creativity to our own style, be willing to take risks but know your limits.

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Clothing and shoes : https://www.facebook.com/PerLeiCouture.pearl/
Photography: https://withalittlegracephotography.pixieset.com/

 

With some high street fashion stores showcasing new collections every fortnight, online flash sales, mobile apps and home deliveries, stylish clothing has never been more readily available, dare I say that multitude of options might leave you feeling slightly overwhelmed when it comes to decision making, but worry no more, chances are that you fall into one of the following 3 categories, so I propose 3 different styles which might help to reinvigorate your closet.

Bohemian

Chunky knits, distressed jeans, artfully structured dresses, embroidered caftans, turquoise chunky jewelry, leather bag and fun pair of espadrilles makes for an easy and comfortable not necessarily sloppy look is the epitome of boho chic.

 

This style is great for people over 50 as it is more forgiving than the sophisticated style, the lose cut provides comfort, the signature hand-stitched tote and a pashmina or shawl  instead of a structured coat.

Eccentric

Despite their small numbers, Eccentrics are the kind of people whose entire existence is devoted to individuality and innovation, making our world a more interesting place by challenging our preconceived notions of  beauty and taste while inspiring us all to step outside our comfort zone raising the bar on the impossible.

 

Sophisticated

Feminine and appealing, it is all about glamour sometimes bordering on allure.

 

Good fit and simplicity are the key to this style. The love for a well tailored jacket and accessories.  An unapologetic shoe addict with an obsession for handbags and impeccably groomed make up the signature of the sophisticated, always alluding to happiness, prosperity and optimism

I know that somedays all this sounds too much effort and we would much rather potter around the house, growing organic veggies or create art instead of running around makeup counters, paging through fashion magazines or retail store apps, so we opt for the boho chic style and on others days we feel inspired to express ourselves in a different way , getting all groomed up with immaculately well groomed nails and shoes on point but on the odd occasion we may feel the urge to make a statement by being somewhat eccentric in our taste, the point is that none of these are right or wrong, the most important while adjusting or up-cycling your style with creativity is to have fun and never forgetting to love the girl in the mirror.

 

 

 

 

At times you might feel that your very own style is at the far spectrum of others and that is perfectly acceptable because that is you, remember that you are beautiful, smart,wise, funny and kind.

“Ultimately great style s kindness, kindness to oneself and kindness to others” – Dee

Share your favourite fashion style and I will feature it on my blog

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Clothing and shoes : https://www.facebook.com/PerLeiCouture.pearl/

Photography: https://withalittlegracephotography.pixieset.com/

 

‘Pendulum’ Fashion Show Displays VCUarts Qatar’s Students’ Talent

 19th Edition of the show highlighted extraordinary designs and skills of VCUarts Qatar’s fashion design students

Doha, Qatar –Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar’s)  previewed their collection as part of its annual fashion show on May 3rd 2018

The fashion show, opened by Sandra Wilkins, VCUarts Qatar’s Chair of Fashion Design, featured collections of 25 sophomore, junior and senior fashion students.
Wilkins explained that the title of this year’s fashion show was ‘Pendulum’.

“The ‘Pendulum’ theme represents our focus in establishing a design department that meets the needs of this growing and diverse industry. The whole foundation of design is built on reimagining, re-proportioning, re-fabricating and making new again,” she said.

The students were required to submit their designs to a jury of fashion experts.

Students from the campus in Richmond, Virginia also showcased their designs during the fashion show.

Selina Farooqui, a VCUarts Qatar alumnus, was a guest designer for the show, where she showcased her Ramadan 2018 Collection.

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“Having graduated from VCUarts Qatar in 2011, it’s an honor to have been invited to be the guest designer at this year’s fashion show,” she said. “I remember when I was a student taking part in this show and showing my first collection, and now I am back here, having worked on my own fashion line.

“The constant support, motivation and knowledge VCUarts Qatar provided me with enabled me to launch  a successful fashion brand in Qatar.” said Selina

you may wish to read: my previous articles on Selina Farooqui :

https://umsuhailsblog.com/2017/01/16/meet-selina-farooqui-a-doha-based-award-winning-fashion-designer/

https://umsuhailsblog.com/2017/11/22/selina-farooqui-with-winter-velvets/

The creative concept for this year’s show placed emphasis on ready-to-wear pieces which were both wearable and marketable.

A number of  awards were given on the night. The W Doha Award went to Maryam Al-Bouanin for her children’s wear collection titled, ‘Playful Innocence’.

The Salam Fashion Award went Noor Aburish for her collection titled, ‘Lost in translation’.”

 

  • The award for Most Outstanding Sophomore (Academic) went to Roudha Al-Mazroei
  • The award for Most Outstanding Sophomore Collection went to Maha Al-Thani
  • The award for Most Outstanding Junior (Academic) went to Heidi Rashad
  • The award for Most Outstanding Junior Collection went to Heidi Rashad
  • The award for Most Outstanding Senior (Academic) went to Sreehitha Saini
  • The award for Most Outstanding Senior Collection went to Maryam Al-Bouanin
  • The Friend of Fashion 2018 awards went to Mariea Lenette Webb, Nicole Danielle Pollard, and Latasha Annetta Dunston.
  • The awards for Senior Collection Richmond went to Conner Francis Karlen, Chongwon Lee, Naradulam Batsuuri, and Anne Rae Carlson.

Five VCUarts Qatar students will have their collections shown at the home campus annual fashion show on May 10.
Sandra Wilkins by VCUarts Qatar’s Executive Dean Donald Baker praised Wilkins for her 20 years of hard work, loyalty and dedication to the university, and the fashion industry in Qatar. Wilkins retires next month after two decades in Qatar.

Dr. Donald Baker, Executive Dean, VCUarts Qatar, said: “For almost 20 years, Wilkins injected bright and imaginative ideas into the fashion design program – will miss her dearly.”

For a complete list of QF’s initiatives and projects, visit http://www.qf.org.qa

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Together for 10 Million

New York – USA, Doha – Qatar, May 2018:

The Qatari designer Nada Al-Sulaiti, founder of Hairaat Jewellery revealed the special piece ‘Together for 10 Million’ that was specifically designed for the celebrations of Education Above All foundation, recently took place in New York marking the reaching out to 10 Million out of school children.

The final design of the jewellery as created following hours of meetings, consultations and redesigns, to finally present this one of a kind piece in its current charm.

Hairaat firmly believes in EAA mission and vision that considers quality education a human right and will result in a better, prosperous and fulfilled future for alL

 

 

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The Round Brooch set in  gold  with  a  center  stone  of  specially   clear  rock  crystal specially  cut  for  this  piece, with 4.97  carat  Round  Brilliant  Diamond  and 3.82 carat   of  Alex-andrite.  It is designed as a circular brooch  that  can  be  worn  in  four  different  ways.

The jewellery embodies the values and mission of Education Above All in embracing vulnerable children and provide them with protection and support for better future. The jewellery captured the minds and hearts of the audience who praised the designer and appreciated the hard work of Hairaat in presenting a special piece that delvers noble messages.

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The final design of the jewellery as created following hours of meetings, consultations and redesigns, to finally present this one of a kind piece in its current charm.

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“HAIRAAT is extremely proud to be a part of this event, and present one of a kind jewellery that is designed especially for EAA celebration of supporting 10 million vulnerable children around the globe. We are here to support this noble cause and our country’s effort to deliver this human message to the world. This reiterates the role of art in supporting social causes, and reflects our commitments as Qataris in supporting our leadership vision”. said Nada Al-Sulaiti

“We would like to thank Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser for her wise vision, and are grateful to EAA for giving me this opportunity to present this jewellery that reflects the core values of EAA of supporting education and reaching out to all vulnerable children’, she continued

The jewellery was presented during the celebration of Education Above All celebrations in reaching out to 10 Million children and provide them with quality education through 65 projects in 50 countries. In partnership with the UNICEF, the event took place on 17th of April at New York Public Library.

Nada Bint Khamis Al-Sulaiti  is  a  Qatari  designer who is passionate for design. She established Hairaat in 2011, to bring a  new  concept  for  creative  luxury  in  the  jewellery  world.      Hairaat’s pieces radiate Qatar’s rich  culture  to  the  world  through  jewels  blending  it  with  International  appeal,  Creating  unique  statement  pieces.    Hairaat integrates  honesty,  integrity  and  ethics  into  all  aspects  of  its  business.  Hairaat, which  is  an  original  Qatari  concept,  will  grow  through  continued  creativity  and  innovation.

For more info:

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info@hairaat.com

 

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FLYING CLOUD

Flying Cloud: a light breeze, a fleeting cloud whose shadow moves across the surface of the water…

No other image could more accurately represent the fierce quest for freedom that propelled Gabrielle Chanel all throughout her life. She lived to free the body from all hindrances: to separate true desire from false pretense, relationships from the weight of convention, life from the ordinary, and to exist as if suspended where air and water meet, between sky and sea…

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Gabrielle Chanel was a person characterized by contrast: the granitic harshness of landscapes from her childhood, the stringent purity of the abbey at Aubazine, and the ruggedness of Scottish moors created sharp opposition with places one easily refers to as “resort destinations”. These places located on land’s edges that step out into the sea each seem to be linked to an encounter, a singular figure: Deauville and the Basque Coast to Boy Capel, Venice to Diaghilev and the Serts, the Riviera to the Duke of Westminster, Cocteau and Picasso… Each place adds a unique color and tone to these various moments, the successive phases of her existence. It is as if her life had to be transformed from an element in its purest state to its polar opposite: the extreme hardness of stony landscape to the soft and supple embrace of fluid water pierced by sunlight.

Flying Cloud: this is also, of course, the name of the yacht which belonged to Hugh Grosvenor, familiarly known as “Bendor”, the second Duke of Westminster, one of the men who undoubtedly counted the most in the designer’s life…

 

Flying Cloud: a four-masted yacht with a black hull and a white wooden deck which was not just a place for vacationing and, sometimes stormy, love affairs, but was also, and most importantly, the emblem of a lifestyle in which the most extravagant luxury – no less than forty crewmen were necessary to man the boat – was merely a prerequisite for the most extreme simplicity, of lunches enjoyed under the sun, charades and conversations among friends. “Luxury”, as Gabrielle Chanel used to say, “is a necessity that starts where necessity stops”.

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There is no better example of this aesthetic than this environment where everything is reduced to the essential, in which perfection in every form emerges from a tried-and-tested method. The perfect roundness of a buoy, the sharp outline of a pure white sail, and the subtle entanglement of knots in a rope whose soft yet strong design includes motifs such as the arabesque and interlacs. There is no better model of her vision of fashion than nautical striped jersey tops, flowing wide- cut trousers, loose-fitting black neckties, emblematic berets and the mandatory white watchbands worn by English sailors, which beautifully complement tanned skin. They provided a masculine counterpoint to the radiance of pearls, one of her favorite accessories, which she adored when contrasted with skin bronzed by summer sun – the sun- tanned skin which she was one of the first to flaunt in the 1920s. “A stark white earring against a deeply tanned earlobe brings me great delight”, she used to say to Paul Morand.

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Even the specific color scheme of marine life seemed to be predestined for her: a limited, subdued range that is simultaneously severe and sensual, in which black, blue, maritime white and the warm, dull sheen of polished copper brilliantly emerge against the dark, fresh background of the sea.

In this part of the Mediterranean coast, which runs from the red rocks of Estérel to the terraced lemon trees in Menton, and where the sea laps the foothills of the mountains, the air never stops moving, caught in a perpetual ebb and flow motion, which cleanses the sky of all impurities and is described by “that magnificent plenitude of light”, of which Nietzsche spoke, that «atmospheric dryness» in which he saw a “remedy for the tumult of the soul”. “Of the soul”, that is first to say, of the body, a vivacious, dry, restless body refined by exposure to the elements, by salt-water air, the sun’s bronzing effect, and the soft caress of sea foam; this light body that Gabrielle Chanel dreamed of and cultivated.

As an homage to these solar, radiant moments in the life of Mademoiselle, and in sync with the cruise season, CHANEL Fine Jewelry presents the Flying Cloud Fine Jewelry collection in two chapters.

The first chapter reinvents and showcases the most simple and necessary elements to life at sea: buoys sculpted in white gold, lapis-lazuli and cultured pearls in the Precious Float line; ropes crafted from gold and diamonds for the Sparkling Lines collection; white gold anchors, pearls and sapphires for the Yachting Day line; sails, compasses and tattoos, in white or yellow gold set with sapphires and diamonds for Sailor Tattoo… Also seen are the endless shades of broad ocean expanses, from the transparency of the Turquoise Waters line in white gold, sapphires and diamonds, to the deep, dark blue of the high seas seen in the Deep Blue set made from sapphires, white gold and diamonds

 

The second chapter presents a series of variations on the summer wardrobe, exploring freedom of movement and clothing that seems to float around the body: the Summer Cruise line features alternating bands of deep blue sapphires, white gold, cultured pearls or yellow and white diamonds; Golden Braid depicts the braids seen on marine uniforms; the Sailor Suit set showcases large yellow or white gold buttons like those seen on sailors’ jackets. These are paired with a gold bracelet and ring in the shape of knotted rope and set with diamonds from the Sunny Rope line, along with the airy sautoirs, bib necklaces and bracelets in white gold, sapphires and diamonds from the Sapphire Stripes series.

The highlights of this collection dedicated to the sun’s golden light and the freshness of the Mediterranean breeze are two unique pieces crafted by master goldsmiths: a bib necklace featuring a woven design in white gold, sapphires and cultured pearls from the Azurean Braid line, and a supple rope motif necklace in white gold and diamonds from the Endless Knot line.

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I would like to take this opportunity to thank 51east for making my daily tours possible and sharing these amazing stories with me.

 

Be sure to read the next post : CHANEL HORLOGERIE – SINCE 1987, CHANEL GIVES ALLURE TO TIME

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Excellence, Imagination and refinement with Peter Langner at Per lei Couture

I had the pleasure of meeting The Peter Langner, at Per Lei Couture Doha, a multi brand boutique based in the Pearl Qatar.

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“our customer is not specifically running after fashion trends – i need to feel good, i need to feel right”

Peter Langner, the designer who, at the young age of twenty-four, left his home in Hanover (Germany) to attend school in Paris at the world renowned Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale to follow his passion to become a great couturier.

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Completing his studies with distinction, he went directly to work and learn from the masters at the famous design houses of Christian Dior, Emanuel Ungaro, Guy Laroche and Christian Lacroix.

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1991 saw the opening of his own workroom in Rome.  2015 saw his move to Milan. Soon after he moved his Headquarters as well, giving his label the TRUE MEANING OF “MADE IN ITALY”

Langner assembled an amazing staff of artisan. With their rare capabilities and their master craftmanship, they turn Langner’s designs into reality. Every dress designed, sewn and beaded in the workroom in Milan uses the most exceptional fabrics from Italy and France as well as the finest crystals.

Each fabric cutter, seamstress and embroider are asked daily to test their limits, to move forward into a new dimension. The team continuously attempts new forms of fabric manipulation or even creating their own sequins; a continuous search for something new, to go beyond the conventional. In doing so, Peter Langner’s artisans never relinquish the goal of perfection or abandon their commitment to the highest quality.

Accustomed to Langner’s ability to transform fabrics into unique works of art, his clientele wears each piece as an extension and expression of who they truly are.

His client base hails from Japan, Korea, America, Italy, England and the Middle East.  His clientele, is one who is knowledgeable about style, a discerning shopper, recognizes quality, confident in her own skin, knows exactly what she wants and understands her body.  In his words, “my clients do not necessarily follow fashion trends but wants to feel beautiful in what she wears.

 

Per Lei Couture is an exclusive boutique that showcases a selection of well-known international and regional brands.

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For more information on per lei Couture ”

https://www.instagram.com/perleicouture_doha/?hl=en

https://www.facebook.com/PerLeiCouture.pearl/

Email: info@perleicouture.com

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=Q_9Drjo0X7A

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Expressing your individuality with Noora Al Ansari

Papillon Jewelry is a Qatari Concept born from the passion of Noora Al Ansari, a woman who believes in the beauty that comes from the simplicity of natural elements like precious stones.

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Noora’s philosophy is to offer her clients jewelry that best expresses one’s personality.

US: When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career as a jewelry designer?

NA: It was back in 2009, when I was studying for my MBA. It somehow triggered in me that I want to do a kind of  business related to fashion, luxury or something but it should be unique and different from others who are into abayas, jalabia etc.  It was then that I thought of being involved in the jewellery business using my creativity to designing jewellery pieces that reflects the culture and taste of Qatari women.

US: Who have been your biggest mentors in this industry and what is the best advice they have ever given you?

NA: One of my biggest mentors was Mr. Ravi Rakyan.  Mr. Ravi has been in the jewelry business for more than 30 years which he inherited from his great grandfather.  It’s a family business that they started back in the 19th century. When I first met him at one of the jewelry exhibitions, he provided me inspiration of the jewelry business from the way that he was dealing with the customer, the quality of his products and how different he was from his competitors.  He listened to them carefully and calmly.  He was patient, sincere and honest in his approach, telling them clearly whether he can or cannot make what they are requesting for. So, Mr. Ravi taught me about how precious a piece of jewelry is, how to appreciate the work and, at the same time, how to gain trust from the customer by treating them with respect. And, if they like your creation, be happy and if they don’t like it, it is still ok; it doesn’t mean it is the end of the world.

The second biggest mentor, of course, is my husband. He taught me the technical aspects of business, about budget planning, accounting and also looking at things from a different perspective because in jewelry, you have the beautiful (emotional) side and the business side. Sometimes, I may feel that we need to do this, we need to buy this or we need to buy this piece but he, sometimes, try to control me. He knows that I am excited to buy but he explained to me to stop and to ask myself questions – why do I want to buy it? Why I think it is beautiful and what will make a customer be attracted to this piece?  How is it related to our concept as a Papillon?  Which customer would buy it? So, they are 2 biggest mentors for me.

 

US: What was the most valuable thing you learned from your MBA course?

NA: If I compare my MBA course against my work experience, I learned that customer service and creating trust between myself and the customer are very important.  When the customer trust my way of working, the product that I offer and the service I am providing, then it will help develop a good relationship.  But, it takes time and one needs to be patient to establish and develop relationships. Because people are different, some are very easy to convince while others are not.  If you convince someone then ok, if you don’t convince people, it’s fine.  Because at the end, it’s all a matter of the taste.  This is the most valuable thing that I learned from MBA.  My research for my MBA program was about the relationship between customer service and customer expectations and how they are related to each other. It gave me an insight on how to deal people and to manage their expectations.  And, it’s very important that if you cannot do it, just say I cannot do it.  It is also very important not to make promises; if you know you cannot make it, just be honest and say I cannot make it.  And, if you can produce it in a certain time, then say I can deliver it in 3 weeks, even if the customer doesn’t like to hear 3 weeks or 1 month.  But it’s the reality, they can either accept it or not.  Because we use outside suppliers and our work depends on their work and delivery, we can try and improve our delivery.  If they need time to deliver product or something we can sit down and discuss and try to make it work, whenever possible.

What I also learned from my MBA is that if we want to do business, first of all, it’s very important to study the market, to study the people and who are the targeted customers.  You need to make a plan for your business – financial plan or marketing plan, all aspects in building the business and once you are sure about your plans and the place where it is visible and practical, then look into how to go about doing it.

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US: What is your favourite part about being a jewellery designer?

NA: When the idea comes to you, it’s a very nice feeling…like oh I can do this and then you take a piece paper and you start to draw something, you start to call people that you know, I want to do this. Is it possible that we create something like this piece?  This part of this idea is very interesting and the excitement that comes when you know that it’s a special piece and then followed by the hard work of communicating with the supplier and the final drawings. At the same time, you will start thinking of the marketing of the piece. To produce the piece, you need to sit down, brain storm and it’s not the end. It’s nice to involve yourself with people…those who are close to me or with customers I have.  And, when the final product becomes a reality, when you touch it, when you see it, when you tried on and then it establishes a connection that you made it from scratch and it’s like “done”.

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US: How do you decide what elements to include in you designs?

NA: I would usually brainstorm with my sister even before I start producing my pieces sharing my designs with her and then getting her opinion in terms of color, size, materials to be used – white, yellow or rose gold, kinds of stones.  I do brain storming because you think up the idea, you have the taste but, sometimes when you are involving yourself in the work heavily, you forget many elements. So, brainstorming with people, keeps on reminding you of these elements that you may have forgotten in the excitement of designing a unique creation. And, filling the missing parts and accepting the ideas, creating a design and sharing with people close to me or the customer that you trust. There are certain people with certain pieces for certain things, so i would speak about serving customer that I know that may be trusted in this piece or want this kind of idea and design or they can help more because they also go and meet with other people and they may speak about jewellery. They keep hearing ideas from others that they can share with you.

US: What was the first commission you landed?

NA: Seriously speaking, with some suppliers that I know from previous exhibition I attended. And then started with the small collections.  After I graduated, I started to speak with Mr. Ravi more seriously. After my MBA, I thought I needed to change my career.  So we started with the royal collection, followed by elegant everyday collection, then we came up with papillon signature collection and then papillon collection.

I found that people in Doha also wants to see branded jewellery.  So, I started studying each brand, why I should have this brand and this brand and then, Alhamdulillah, I succeeded in speaking to them, because they saw the passion that I have. And this was what Adolfo Courrier, Ferrari Firenze and even Cosia saw in me. They all agreed and started telling me that when they saw me  and said even you are new in this business but we can see passion is driving you to be successful and they asked us, the same question, why we should go with you instead of an established company? My answer was, we are new and are taking care of our jewelry and we will be also able to take care of your jewelry. As we are promoting our collection, we will also promoting you. For example Adolfo Courrier, we are growing together. Cosia pearl is established long time ago, and also Mr.Ravi. So the growing opportunity for all of us is there. We are learning from each other.  That’s why they are excited that we will be their Ambassador of their line in Doha.

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US: If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be?

 NA: I don’t regret what I started. I wish that I have started earlier and I would not committed to other things. I had more focus on it. But I have learned from my career when I graduated with my degree that I was lucky to be in the place and I learned how to deal with the people. It’s not easy because you are speaking with people with different mind-set, with different characters and different attitude. It was kind of studying psychology in practice rather than in theory. So it taught me how to deal with people, how to gain their trust and learn how to provide the best customer service from them.

US: What was your biggest fear when going out and starting your own line?

NA: My biggest fear is people’s acceptance and establishing a Qatari brand.  It is a very sensitive thing. It is not abaya or other normal items. It’s made of gold and precious stone. So how you will bring your vision, your dream, your line to be accepted by people because here we still have people who believe in brands, like Italian brands, high end brands because they feel comfortable to buy from them and they relate brands to their look and to their style. Like, if I am stylish, if I am beautiful then I should buy something branded. For us to come and introduce our brand or our line and convince people that this is a brand and it is no less beautiful that the high end brand or whatever brands they like. This was one of my biggest fear. I know how much I need to spent to explain to them to be convinced that this is also beautiful jewellery and this is unique. If you wear people will come and ask where did you get this from if not necessary I am feeling to wear something that has the brand  name so people from far will recognize that she’s wearing this brand its more enjoyable if they like it and they  come to you and ask where did you buy from. There you can feel that you are unique because you choose a piece that is beautiful and I am not saying 10 people but even 1, 2 or 3 people will ask you where did you buy this from it gives you different feelings like happiness and the same time when she call me and say well this piece, I did marketing for you. This is the difficult part of bringing this to the people and convince them or like encourage them that this is also high brand they shouldn’t hesitate because when they may think that what she studied about diamond. How that she know that the supplier or the people that she is working with to do with this pieces are really trustworthy, because we are telling people this quality if VVS or VS. So they will say where you learned about diamonds you will know this is really…. But when you go to the brand they already trust the brand they used this kind of standard quality shouldn’t even will ask.

 

US: What advice would you give to young people who look to you and want to enter a career in jewelry design?

NA: I would encourage them. If you believe in yourself, if you believe in your talent and you believe that you can bring something different, then just go ahead and don’t be scared from other competitors. Learn from them and do something different. This is the important thing how you make something different. Don’t do something that the same as them.  Yes, I know the kind of pieces that is in fashion, it’s ok that you make fashion piece but with your own touch. This is how you can say it’s different or you can say then after a time you will be like encourage or going into upper level where you can feel that I can introduce something totally different on what is the fashion now.  And people will like it, that you create fashion. And I want to be able to do this. This is my goal – to make a piece that is ahead of the trend and everyone will come and say new trend. This what i want to achieve really. This piece is known by Papillon. I really want this in the future.

US: How important is DJWE for you?

NA: It’s important because it’s an opportunity for me and for other jewellers to go to many place and present our jewellery and our passion.  But, at the same time not all people will know us because we are spending a lot of time and effort on instagram, snapchat although it has been here from past 2 and half years. Some people come and say this is the first time for them to see us here. So it’s more important is that it is an opportunity for us to be there, to be visible, and, of course, to see VIPs, Emir Sheikh Tamim, Sheikh Hamad,  Sheikha Moza, to come and see the talent and the passion of the Qatari. And how education is important because the country spent a lot of money to give the best education to the best people. Alhamdulillah, I am very proud of being Qatari, I am very proud of what the State of Qatar is giving to us as opportunity to grow. So if there’s an opportunity to us to go and grow and plan for our future then why not. Like a small return to our country to show the appreciation of this.

US: What can we expect to see in the upcoming DJWE 2018?

NA: We will be featuring the following:

  • Papillon, Royal, Signature, Elegant Everyday Collections,
  • Firenze Italia Collection
  • Italian brands like Adolfo Courrier, Ferarri Firenze, Casato, Coscia, Novecentonoventanove, Reho.

We will also be bringing exclusively made gold collection from Pakistan and Oman.

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US: What are your plans for the future?

NA: To expand another branch in one of the luxury world here in Doha and at the same time I also want to create a new collection. We already have a few collections but I am working on the collection that will be recognized by people. When they see any item, people knows it came from Papillon whether it is Signature collection or Papillion collection. I want to reach this level where they will know us in terms of design, quality and trust.

US: Would you look at collaboration with other designers?

 NA: I don’t mind working with other designers, especially Qataris. Why don’t we do some kind of collaboration? I don’t mind even if they want to build the kind of a community or society.  We are very few in Doha anyway.  If speaking about Qatari designer, we are very few. I don’t mind to collaborate. In the end, competition should be understood in a different way. It just because some people may understand that if you are with me in the same business you are my enemy. They don’t take it in a way that we can work together because if we are working together then we are, evolving or building ourselves together as well to creating one line because then my customer will know them and their customer know me and I think we will get more progress by doing so.  To do something for the first time where I work with another Qatari designer to come up with the collection or line we should be proud to have such thing and I think people will be amazed that we could do this because even the brands like Cartier collaborate with Van Cleef. They are different because they are now big names but we are in a society, community or a small country we can make something different why not, I don’t mind.

US: Your message for 2018?

 NA: I really wish that we get more support from locals and they believe in us. I mean they shouldn’t go behind only names but they should believe in us as Papillon, then we can make this piece for them as per their wish. This is what i want especially now with the blockade, they cannot go and buy jewelry from outside so I think we are now a source here to buy jewelry from and people need to change their perception about jewelry in Doha is very expensive. Because for us, we are bringing them the best quality with very reasonable price. If I am speaking about our quality in other jewelry places, it will be very expensive but for us no.

Papillon also has a great selection of gifts for every occasion and according to the season, the age of each woman, and the traditional celebrations that take place in Qatar. There is nothing left to chance in this beautiful store, even the signature packaging of the boutique is part of the amazing journey that starts in this garden of luxuriousness and diamonds.

For more information on Papillon Jewelry

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http://www.papillonjewelry.com/

https://www.instagram.com/papillonjewelryqa/

 

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The shoe that tells a story – with Hissa Haddad

Over a casual coffee, I had the opportunity to get to know fellow shoe-addict and designer, Hissa Haddad. Miss Haddad is known to put her best- and most fashionable foot forward- in the world of glitz and glamour. Hissa was recently selected by the British Fashion Council to participate in the London Fashion Week, after a successful run at Paris Fashion Week last October and showcasing in Doha this year in January.
An engineer in her own right, Haddad translates her unwavering passion for design and the determination to share her expression of her culture into her beautiful shoe collection.

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In partnership with the Italian Chamber in Qatar, Hissa curated her first shoe collectin from all-things-Italian, from the materials used to working with a well-known Italian manufacturer. Hissa produced her debut collection using her favorite medium- satin. While the workmanship was of Italian origin, her shoes were made with Qatari-love, expressing her culture as a source of inspiration. Cuts of the shoes were inspired by Islamic architecture, bringing in some structural influence from her academic career. Pearls were a sign of her Qatari heritage, being a well-known item of trade in Qatari history. Gold and gems are used, symbolizing their importance in fashion and beauty in the Arab- and more specifically, Qatari- world. Haddad’s personal love for satin, adds her own unique touch to the collection, which was marketed under the umbrella of other well-known brands.

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Hissa explains, ” My love for design began at a very young age, inspired by my father’s engineering sketches and my mother’s ability to effortlessly customize clothing.” The ability to customize and improvise, all the while adding personal flavour and touch, is an art that should be nurtured and developed, so that it can be expressed and promoted.

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When asked about how shoe design stepped out from her engineering career, she says, ”The perception and expectation of achieving a career do not include creativity, but just achieving something “clever”, hence my decision to pursue shoe designing and manufacturing after the completion of my Masters in Engineering.”

Hissa reveals that she loves shoe brands that tell a real story, such as Salvatore Ferragamo, who was considered a visionary.

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Haddad also recognizes the vast amount of talent in Qatar and added, “I would love to be an inspiration to all those women and I would love to tell them they can do whatever they want… I have always wanted to launch a Qatari brand. We do have lots of women here who are extremely creative but perhaps, didn’t go all the way to take their brands to the international arena. My advice would be for them is to believe and do it”.

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If you never try, you’ll never know.

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For more information on HH collection:

http://www.hissahaddad.com/

https://www.instagram.com/hissahaddad/

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Celebrating 15 years of delivering the finest luxury to Qatar

Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition 2018

  • Young Qatari Designers initiative returns to DJWE to celebrate local talent
  • Visitors invited to a new one-day DJWE Forum, daily industry talks, and bespoke jewellery & watches workshops
  • More than 400 brands from over 10 countries to showcase exclusive pieces

 Held under the Patronage of the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani,  the 15th  edition of the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE) will be held between 21 and 26 February at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center. 

This year’s exhibition will host a variety of new experiences for exhibitors and visitors, from the one-day DJWE Forum and daily industry talks, through to watches and jewellery workshops. This unique exhibition continues to maintain its position as a primary platform that features a collection of sophisticated and luxury brands presenting innovative solutions that are displayed through emerging and established brands in the jewellery and watches world. In addition, the exhibition offers market insights and options for industry networking and potential new partnerships. Returning to exhibit this year are Qatar’s premier jewellery patrons, who continue to support and present their unique world-class collections; Al Fardan Jewellery Company, Ali Bin Ali group ,Al Majed Jewellery, Amiri Gems WLL and Fifty One East.

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A special pavilion for the young Qatari designers

As part of the exhibition’s commitment to nurturing young talent and creativity, this year’s exhibition returns with its Young Qatari Designers (YQDs) initiative. The YQDs initiative this year will shine a spotlight on three new and three returning talented Qatari designers, by providing them with a unique platform to showcase their new collections alongside renowned international brands. The designers include Nada Al Sulaiti (Hairaat); Nouf Al Meer (Nouf Jewellery) ; Ghada Al Buainain ; Leila Abu Issa (Leila Issam Fine Jewellery); Sheikha Mohamed- Al Ghla Jewellery; and  Jawaher & Hissa Mohammed Al Mannai (Ghand Jewellery).

 

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Iconic French Auction House Artcurial will also be returning to provide watch enthusiasts, visitors and collectors with free consultations, valuations and share knowledge about the industry. Also returning by popular demand is French watchmaking expert, Objectif Horlogerie, set to showcase the art of their craftsmanship, by allowing watch connoisseurs to participate in a master workshop, which will include an accredited diploma for each participant.

DJWE continues to grow its offering by introducing exclusive new experiences for both visitors and exhibitors. The exhibition’s unique workshops and bespoke events, being held at the sidelines of the exhibition are set to offer visitors, luxury consumers and connoisseurs, ample opportunity to enjoy, learn about and buy their favourite pieces.  The six-day event will feature more than 400 brands from over 10 countries bringing an extensive display of classic and contemporary luxury collections by internationally-recognised brands and designers. 

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For more information: https://djwe.qa/

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Endemage – The Merging of Two

Built on a solid foundation of all-things-Omani, Endemage tells tales of East-meets-West. Using the hues and textures found both in the natural landscape of Oman, as well as in Omani heritage, each piece that is made is both rich in quality and in culture. The Arabian oryx, date palm trees, natural springs (wadi’s), the formerly Omani-colonized colony of Zanzibar, traditional hats worn by Omani men (kumma), musar and dishdasha (traditional Omani dress), all form part of the large pool of inspiration from which Endemage translates heritage and culture into fashion pieces.

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What began as a successful 2010 debut, grew into something much more- a stable fashion brand and a carrier of culture. The meaning of Endemage as indicated in the title of this article, shows that it is also a brand that aims to inspire and educate, to bring together pieces and people from both halves of the world, to create something truly beautiful.

 

Nadia and Lubna Al Zakwani are the two creatives of the Endemage empire. Their aim is to reach out to the rest of the world without letting go of their Omani identity. Endemage took her first steps into the fashion world in 2010, after Lubna graduated from French fashion institute ESMOD in Dubai, and gained a steady following of fashion lovers. Both sisters had been passionate about pursuing fashion from a young age. Their mother and aunt owned a local boutique in Muscat, where they spent a lot of their time growing up. This proved to be a strong motivation for Lubna, as she would carry on the family tradition of developing fashion. Lubna became the creative director of Endemage, and Nadia, who majored in business studies, took on the role as the finance-savvy managing director

The brand aims to give modest dressers the opportunity to be covered, yet elegant; simple, yet feminine and chic. This is achieved with the use of chiffon, silk and a personal touch in the form of hand-stitched detailing.
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In short, as described by the Endemage creatives themselves, their work is, “simple but loud, feminine, elegant and eye-catching”.

You may wish to view the following links:
https://www.harpersbazaararabia.com/fashion/the-style/endemages-new-collection-takes-inspiration-from-omani-culture

https://www.savoirflair.com/culture/288640/endemage-oman-travel-guide

Catching up with Lubna Al Zakwani – Creative Director of Endemage:
https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=HScP5q4b8Ig

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for more information contact Lubna: lubna@endemage.com
Place your orders on IG @endemage

 

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