Noora Shawqi's jewellery designs are inspired by her travels
Emirati jewellery designer and gemologist Noora Shawqi showcases effortless sophistication through her designs which are inspired by her love for travelling. Back in 2017, she started an Instagram account, @noorask to share her love of fine jewellery and since then has acquired a dedicated following. Noora is certified as a Diamond Graduate from the Gemological Institution of America, she received a Diamond Grader certification from the International Gemological Institute, completed a course at L'Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels, and launched her brand in 2018. She recently launched her Ceylon collection, an ode to Gem Island, Sri Lanka, which is available exclusively at Robinsons in Dubai. We caught up with Noora to find out more.
Tell us how your love for jewellery began and what made you decide to start an Instagram account to share this passion.
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved jewellery and I knew it was something I wanted to do. To turn this passion into a reality, I undertook a Diamond Graduate course at the Gemological Institute of America and participated in classes when L'ecole Van Cleef (The school of Van Cleef and Arpels) visited Dubai. These experiences taught me to appreciate jewellery even more and made me want to start an Instagram account where I could share this!
You launched your brand in 2018. How has the response been since then?
My brand's journey began with a blog on Instagram where I focused more on diamonds. Whereas, when I launched my first collection people were surprised to see it filled with gemstones. A quite unpredictable step; however, the response I received was better than expected. Since I established my collection with an inspiration and concept, it caught a lot of attention.
Your work is inspired by places around the world. Are you fond of travelling? Which are the places which have most inspired you?
I love to travel as much as I love jewellery. When I travel, I have the opportunity to explore new worlds, new cultures, new traditions and each country inspires me in a different way.
You have associated with Robinsons for the exclusive sale of your brand. How did that come about?
I was looking for the right retailer that is established enough to be a department store and is loved by regional clients to stock my brand and Robinsons felt like the right fit.
How do you get inspiration for your designs? How long does it take from the point of getting an idea for a design to creating it and seeing the finished product?
When I first wanted to start my jewellery line, I was lost on where to begin. My initial attempts involved some failed designs and production. However, my aim was to always be different from other brands which is when I decided to merge my two favourite things - travel and jewellery. Once it was clear which direction I wanted to take my brand in, everything fell into place from design to production to the final product.
Are your designs made in Dubai?
Yes, they are made in Dubai where I get to keep a close eye on the entire process.
What are your personal choices as far as every day jewellery and jewellery for occasions?
For everyday, I love wearing my small designs and stackable rings alongside other Emirati and international brands. When it comes to occasions, I either wear a set from the Ceylon collection or my favourite diamond set.
How do you think Dubai has evolved over the years as a premium destination for fashion and jewellery?
Dubai has always been known as a jewellery destination with a great history about it. Over the years, I have seen it evolve from embracing traditional designs to adopting a new, contemporary take on jewellery.