Middle Eastern born jeweller Lana Al Kamal uses her experience as an architect to create unique jewellery designs.
Lana Al Kamal was born in Jeddah to Syrian parents and has spent much of her adult life living in Dubai. It’s true to say she has experienced much of what the Middle East has to offer and this was one of the driving forces for launching her fine jewellery brand last year.
Lana originally worked as an architect and interior designer before turning her hand to jewellery design and opening Lana Al Kamal Jewellery in 2017. Her debut collection Leaves of Joy has so far received great positive feedback. The thirteen piece 18 carat gold collection wash hand sketched and painted in water colours by Lana, who is involved in every stage of the production process. All of the pieces are produced and made in Saudi Arabia by one of the country’s largest jewellery manufacturers. No two pieces are the same, produced by hand in very limited quantities, the delicate jewellery offers something unique and exclusive.
As she plans to launch her second collection, Lana Al Kamal shares her thoughts on business architecture in the region she grew up in.
Tell us how your upbringing and heritage influenced what you do today.
Each one of the cities I lived in inspired me somehow. Jeddah my birth place, refined my childhood with love, glamour and sweet memories, my hometown Aleppo built my character with classics and set my taste with the surrounding beauty. Finally absorbing the levels of success Dubai has achieved, inspired me as a woman, to follow my passion and reach my dreams.
What are the similarities you see between architecture and jewellery design?
They both begin with a simple idea and inspiration that evolves into sketch, putting your imagination down onto paper, followed by a long process of developing the detail and choosing the materials. Finally the exciting part – bringing it to life! Also I think both jewellery and architecture can hugely influence and inspire each other.
You launched your debut collection earlier this year – what can we expect to see next?
I’m working now on a capsule collection of bangles, wait for it, it will be something special.
What has been the feedback from your first collection so far?
I have been really grateful to receive amazing feedback so far. People really tend to notice the finishing of the product, I’m glad as I pride myself on quality and attention to details. The uniqueness is also something they comment on, I think because I opt for a less trend led approach, so my pieces are different to what everyone else is wearing.
What for you is the most iconic piece of jewellery in history?
There is so many iconic pieces of jewellery in history, But Spoonmaker’s diamond, in the Topkapi Palace Museum also known as the Kasikci, is one of the breathtaking pieces of jewellery I have ever come across. It’s an 86-carat pear-shape, surrounded by a double-row of 49 Old Mine cut diamonds
What one piece of jewellery should everyone have in her lifetime?
A diamond ring and a classic diamond tennis bracelet.
What jewellery trends are interesting you at the moment?
This fall/winter bigger seems to be better. Statement necklaces and bangles. Hoop earrings will continue for this season too.
Are you a ‘one piece at a time’ woman or someone who likes to stack a number of pieces of jewellery?
I believe in mix and match, which is the entire ethos of the current collection. You can stack and layer each piece. I believe the secret will be always with placement and positioning of each piece, not the quantity.
You are a relatively new brand – what challenges do you face when starting a business?
Lots of challenges, Dubai is incredibly supportive of new home-grown talent but there isn’t the retail network or sales channels to always support it. The most important thing is to keep going, facing problems with huge amounts of faith. Not everything is easy, as the saying goes “easy come, easy go.”
Where do you look for inspiration?
Mostly through the different cities I visit. Architecture, parks, museums and the people. I get inspired all the time by the most simplistic beauty surrounding us.
When you really need to get on with work where do you go?
Definitely a peaceful place with few people and a good coffee.
What’s you most treasured piece of jewellery?
My engagement ring, because it will always be the symbol of endless love, it’s so sentimental. It has mine and husband initials and the date of our engagement.
How do you think jewellery can empower women?
I truly believe it is the sense of sentiment jewellery gives a women. Whether it be the colour of a stone you connect with, something that has emotional value, or just a piece that compliments and takes an outfit to the next level. Like clothing or your hairstyle for example, jewellery can tell a women’s story and give an insight into who she is. My jewellery inherited by my mum has special memories and gives me the courage to be powerful and loving like her, plus it looks great and gives me confidence.
Lana’s top 5 tips for choosing the right piece of jewellery
Keep it as simple and elegant as possible but with a statement piece that will shine through.
Choose a piece of jewellery that reflects your personality, special enough to tell the story of the woman you choose to be.
Always invest in high quality pieces that will hold their value over time.
Buy something you would wear. If you are an every day jewellery person buy strong simple pieces. If you are more of an occasional jewellery person buy a statement piece with a precious coloured stone that will empower your look, and catch the eye.
Take good care of your jewellery, invest even in jewellery boxes, keep them away from water and dust, and try not sleep with your jewellery on.