Elegant Qatari jewellery to be on display at Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition
19 Feb 2017 - 12:41
By Raynald C Rivera | The Peninsula
In a market dominated by global brands, there exists a burgeoning local jewellery industry evident in the emergence of young homegrown jewellery designers whose creations will be shown alongside international brands at the 14th Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE) which opens tomorrow at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center.
For the first time in DJWE’s history, jewellery connoisseurs will be provided a peek into the fascinating pieces by the designers, some of which will have their reveal at the show, thanks to the Young Qatari Designers initiative just launched this year.
For its inaugural edition, the initiative features six young Qatari designers whose unique collections would turn heads at the six-day luxury expo which has attracted 40 exhibitors from 10 countries showcasing more than 500 brands.
“Participating in the exhibition, without any doubt, will be an important highlight in my career in this field especially that it is my first time to participate in such big show,” Fajr Al Attiya, one of the featured designers, told The Peninsula.
Fresh in the industry having ventured in the business two years ago, Fajr believes she has to start in Qatar and that the exhibition will be a good stepping stone for her brand to go international.
“This exhibition has a big role to play in providing a platform for my brand to be known internationally. When I interact with people, I will know first-hand their feedback about my design. I’m very happy with this initiative and the support from the concerned,” she added.
Fajr’s getting into the realm of jewellery industry was rather unplanned and unexpected.
“I entered the jewellery world suddenly. It was unexpected. Although I like jewellery and precious stones, I did not expect I’ll be a designer one day and that people will be seeing my designs. Through my followers in social media especially in Instagram, I noticed that people like what I am doing and particularly how the different elements of my designs work altogether. From this, I got the idea to create my own brand,” she relates.
Her design inspiration is mainly derived from clover leaf and flowers in general, which exudes happiness towards both the wearer and the beholder. She will debut in the exhibition her Trifoglio brand with a nature-inspired collection.
“The collection looks simple but luxurious. For example, gold appears in various colours such as yellow and white and even precious stones are varied so every woman will get what she likes. I believe that precious stones will remain precious and will not lose its value in all seasons,” she explains.
Although she currently focuses on nature in her designs, she sees herself designing jewellery incorporating aspects of Qatari culture and Gulf heritage.
Nouf Al Meer, who marks her fourth year in the industry, recalls the beginning of her career was driven by an existing gap she found in the market.
“While looking for jewellery I would see many beautiful pieces, however I would find myself coming up with many ideas that i did not find in the market. Also everything I would see was either very expensive and high end or not of good quality, that is why I wanted to create something that was of very good quality but at the same time had a reasonable price,” Nouf muses.
Concepts for her creation comes from everywhere, from people to place from the mundane to the unusual.
“Every time I want to design something new, I have to go out and watch people which gives me inspiration as I sit, have my coffee and sketch. I also get inspiration from surroundings: nature, environment as well as social interaction with people. Even periodic occasions such as the National Day can be a source of inspiration,” she explains.
A deep sense of cultural rootedness is evident in some of her works, one of which is a series dedicated to National Day.
“I definitely incorporate different elements from Qatar and from my culture. I created a collection, ‘Qatar’, which consisted of bracelets and rings bearing the colours of the Qatari flag in order to celebrate the National Day,” she said.
In the same vein, her showcase at DJWE, though varied, will contain elements reminiscent of a set of cultural nuances.
“There will be different collections including the Mission collection, which incorporates the sword design that symbolises strength and power. I also have the reveal, the Blossom collection, the Qatar collection, and the new collection I have which is the Pride collection which is all about the Arabian horse that symbolizes beauty, pride, strength and culture.
“In addition to my main collections, I have designed new pieces that I will showcase exclusively at the exhibition. There’s variety of different rings and earrings that are easy to wear that i have created,” she elaborates.
Please comment on the Young Qatari Designers initiative as a new feature of the exhibition. How will it help Qatari jewellery designers? How will it contribute to the local jewellery industry?
Nouf believes the benefit of the Young Qatari Designers project will not only be felt by emerging designers but also have a ripple effect throughout the local industry.“The Young Qatari designers initiative is a great opportunity for up and coming designers to showcase their work. It provides young designers a chance to show to the public their creations, which will hopefully positively contribute to the jewellery industry,” she said.
Ghada Albuainain was 21 when she embarked into designing jewellery, but her journey started long before that.
“I have always loved making beautiful things out of nothing, and it grew to loving jewellery and designing them,” says Ghada, a self-taught designer.
She has never studied jewellery design but learned by reading about it as well as observing bench jewellers in workshops at the gold souq during her free time, finally launching her career at an exhibition in London in 2014.
The unconventionality of her ideas makes her uniquely stand out among other designers of her generation such as transforming materials found in the garage into beautiful pieces.
“I get my inspiration from what’s around me, and I always get inspired by the ugly and things that aren’t valued,” she explained, adding she will be showcasing her very first works called Pipe in Gold and a new collection called Digital Garden.
Her unique Pipe In Gold collection depicts smooth pipe fittings designed with the strong women in mind. It has an industrial vibe embodied in the image of the pipe with gold as material representing “every woman’s strength beneath her flourishing beauty.”
On blending Qatari elements in her works, “I don’t think it’s something obvious that I incorporate Qatari elements in my designs, but it’s part of the DNA of each and every design.”
Like Fajr and Nouf, she sees the initiative as an invaluable support for her brand providing exposure on a bigger stage.
“The Young Qatari Designer initiative is a great step for my brand. To be part of DJWE side by side with the best in jewellery and watches industry, and to experience who does it really works,” she said.
All three designers agree that with the growing number of young Qataris getting interested in the field, the future for the local industry is definitely looking up.
Other Young Qatari Designers which will feature at the exhibition include Noor Al Fardan (owner of Noudar), Nada Al Sulaiti (of Hairaat) and Sarah Al Hammadi (of Sarah’s & Co) . They will display their works and introduce their brands in a 206-metre space inside the main exhibition hall of DECC starting tomorrow.