Arab female jewelry designers that are pushing the boundaries with their unique creations are continuing to gain international acclaim, with many of their designs being seen on high-profile celebrities around the globe.
Forbes Middle East has delved into the thriving jewelry business across the Arab world to uncover the women who established successful brands. Here are the top female jewelry designers in 2019, extracted from our list “Women Behind Middle Eastern Brands”.
Azza Fahmy, Amina & Fatima Ghali
Brand: Azza Fahmy Jewellery
Founded 50 years ago, Azza Fahmy’s eponymous jewelry brand’s retail operation currently comprises of 14 retail outlets. The brand recently opened its first London store in Burlington Arcade and a U.S. pop-up at the Waldorf Astoria in LA. Fahmy works in partnership with her daughters Fatma (managing director) and Amina (head of design).
Amina joined the company in 2005 and launched her first collection in 2008, while Fatma has helped grow the company from a home-grown brand to an international luxury designer house employing over 200 people. Five years ago, Azza independently funded and established Design Studio by Azza Fahmy, one of the first design education hubs of its kind in the region.
Brand: Dima Jewellery
Dima Rashid discovered her passion for jewelry design after a simple visit to the bead store in London. Following that she decided to return to Cairo to learn more about the art of gemstones and jewelry making. Over 16 years later she built her own brand, which received international recognition.
Iconic international and Arab celebrities who have donned Rashid’s pieces include Naomi Campbell, Gigi Hadid, Eva Mendes, Eva Longoria, Oprah, Yousra, Mona Zaki and Nelly Karim among others. Her jewelry is sold by retailers including Harvey Nichols, London and Sauce in Dubai, alongside her showroom in Cairo.
Noura Sakkijha is the co-founder and CEO of jewelry brand Mejuri, which she launched in 2015 and later expanded globally to 35 countries. In a span of less than five years, Mejuri has received $29 million in funding from investors including NEA and Imaginary, with follow-on VCs: Felix, BDC, Incite and Dash Ventures. Kendall Jenner, Sophia Bush and Whitney Port are among the celebrities who have worn Mejuri’s creations.
The brand’s annual revenue has quadrupled for its fourth year in a row. Sakkijha studied industrial engineering and worked in consulting at one of the financial institutions in Toronto before starting Mejuri.
Dana Al Alami
Brand: Dana Alalami Jewelry
Al Alami began her career in the jewelry business in Saudi Arabia from humble beginnings in 2006. After completing her bachelor degree from Kind Saud University, she developed her passion for Jewelry Design and built her dream to be one of the first Saudi Woman jewelry manufacturers.
Dana’s collection fetched $100 million at an exclusive auction hosted by Dubai Tourism and Burj Al Arab in 2015.
Brand: Noor Fares
Fares established her collection in 2009. Today, her brand is carried globally by leading retailers including NET-A-PORTER, Dover Street Market and Moda Operandi.
Noor studied History of Art at Tufts University in Massachusetts before going on to the GIA in London to learn about the world of precious stones.
Brand: Nada G
Nada opened her first boutique in October 2004. The business has grown in the past 14 years from a humble boutique that produced approximately 100 pieces a year, to an award-winning business with four points of sale in Lebanon and five points of sale globally, selling thousands of pieces per year.
In the past three years, the Nada G Fine Jewelry’s sales have increased around 220% and celebrities like Olivia Palermo and Pauletta Washington have been seen wearing Ghazal’s pieces.
Brand: Falamank by Tarfa Itani
Itani founded her Falamank Jewellery design house in 2006 in Beirut, and opened her first store and design studio in the city in 2010. The brand now has over 12 regional and international point of sales.
Falamank by Tarfa Itani has been recognized by the receipt of international awards including recognition from Premier Awards for best fashionable design and best oriental design.
Brand: Bil Arabi
Bil Arabi—which means “In Arabic”—began with one ring in 2006. Today, the line includes rings, earrings, bracelets, pendants and cufflinks, that all draw on the Arabic alphabet.
Nadine also serves as co-founder of DRAK – Design Ras Al Khor, an initiative dedicated to the transformation of one of Dubai’s oldest gritty quarters, Ras A lKhor Industrial Area, into a creative hub. Over the years, Nadine has collaborated with the likes of Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Christofle, Bernardaud and Maserati on specially commissioned artistic projects.
Azza Al Hujairi
Brand: Azza Fine Jewellery
Azza is the Founder and Managing Director of Azza Showroom and Creative Director at Azza Fine Jewellery. Her educational background and previous career were is in Law and Politics, she then went on to study Gemology and Jewellery Design at the Gemological Institute of America.
With over 10 years of experience in the Jewellery industry, Al Hujairi sits on the board of the GCC Gold and Jewelry Association and also founded an independent Gem Certification Laboratory “Dannat”.
Brand: Jude Benhalim
Benhalim founded her Cairo-based brand aged 17. Her pieces have since been worn by celebrities including Vanessa Williams, Nadine Leopold and Christine Evangelista.
All Jude Benhalim jewelry is designed, assembled and hand-finished in its Cairo studio using only the finest 925 silver and gold plated brass as well as custom-made Resin stones. Jude jumped into the design world head first with her mother and partner, Rana Alazm.
Brand: Donna Hourani
Having launched three years ago, Donna Hourani pieces have already been seen on a number of royalty and celebrities, including HRH Queen Rania of Jordan and Bella Hadid among others.
The Lebanese-born fine jewelry designer launched the Donna Hourani brand in August 2016, following a degree from the Gemmology Institute of America.