Founded in January 2011, L’atelier Nawbar is a one-of-a-kind concept of a contemporary art gallery merged with a jewellery store and atelier- all put together in one space in the heart of Beirut City. To celebrate the art of craftsmanship, L’atelier Nawbar is an artistic world that showcasing a holistic collaboration between the designer, artisan, retailer and consumer.
Created and designed by today’s fourth generation jewellers Dima and Tania Nawbar- the creative minds behind this fulfilling experience. A&E chats with the Nawbar sisters, as they fill us in on their deep appreciation of traditional hand-craftsmanship, the long-life lessons they received from their family’s jewellery heritage and how they sustain high-quality in a demanding world.
Tell us about your journey into the jewellery industry and a little bit more about your early days as jewellery designers?
Our father asked us to join, and we agreed but in our terms. We wanted to expose the workshop and have all our clients use it as we did as children to remodel, repair and tailor-made pieces. It still early days as we have been proper jewelers for the past six years and compared to my father 40 years’ experience we feel like we still have so much to give.
Did you always know that you would be taking the reins in your family business?
It was written in the stars and inevitable.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from you family’s jewellery heritage?
Honestly in design and quality we treat our colleagues and clients as family. We believe in long-term relationships.
What is your typical design process? What does L’atelier Nawbar offer that other brands in the region don’t?
We don’t like to be compared because we are always pushing our own boundaries and comparing our evolution to collections before. We get our inspirations from our own personal lives.
What are your personal favourite stones?
Our favorite stones are opals and emerald.
How important is it to maintain “slow fashion,” high-quality practices in an industry that is always demanding more?
We don’t believe in slow fashion we are always up-to-date, we make sure to pick up on trends before time and have ample time to develop these designs. They are true to the time you buy them but they are always having a timeless element.
What is your take on the world of independent fine jewellers in the Middle East? There are some talented designers but there are some who are influenced by the west and therefore there are a lot of copies of the big brands.
To what extent do you feel jewellery empowers the women of today?
We feel that jewelry design empowers today’s woman no longer how many karats she has on her finger.
It is clear that the brand is designing for a range of ages. Can you share with us who are you planning to appeal to?
We design for a type of woman not an age group. Our woman is avant-garde with personal style who is not scared to experiment a set trends. This lady comes in all ages.
Tell us a little bit about your latest collection. Do you have a favourite piece?
Our latest collection is the Bondstreet Collection, a collection that very close to the heart. As it is a revamp of an eighties collection that was designed and produced by Nawbar London located in 102 new bondstreet (our father previous shop).Our favorite piece is the cuff earrings multi use and add color to any outfit.
In your opinion, what are three must-have items that every woman should own?
- Pair of favorite earrings that can be dressed up and down that express personal style.
- A sentimental charm they never take off from childhood.
- A cocktail ring to bring out any outfit.
Name a role model you would want to wear your designs.
Rihanna, Katy Perry and Beyoncé; or anyone with a specific personal style.
Do you have any advice for those hoping to break into the industry?
Stays true to your personal style even if you are told otherwise, don’t try to modify thinking it’s too much or too little if you love it someone else will.
What is next for L’atelier Nawbar? Are you working on any special new designs or projects at the moment?
We are fashionable and trendy fine jewelry so new a collection 2 or 3 times a year is mandatory for our concept.
By Dana Mortada