Sisters Zeenat, Meena and Maya grouped together to work on their jewellery line Mukhi Sisters, and have earned the seal of approval from the industry after winning Fashion Trust Arabia’s prize within the jewellery category. Speaking to A&E, the trio chat through the philosophy behind the brand, their earliest jewellery memories and their most sentimental items.
While the trio – India-Lebanese sisters Maya, Meena and Zeenat Mukhi – established their jewellery business back in 2009, their family’s integral relationship with fine jewellery dates back much further.
In the 1920s, their grandfather left India along with his cousins to make their way over to Beirut, going on to open jewellery stores in Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Doha and Dubai. In 1979 their father, Chandru Mukhi, married Lebanese lady, Effat Kreidieh, who created Effys Jewellery.
Thirty years later, the sister pulled together to put their passion for and rich heritage surrounding jewellery together, creating Mukhi Jewellery. A further ten years on, they were awarded by the Fashion Trust Arabia for their designs. Talking to A&E, the trio talk through the experience of winning the award, the work building up towards it and the future of the brand.
A&E Interviews the Mukhi Sisters
Tell us about winning the Fashion Trust Arabia award?
Being part of FTA was a time to take a look at ourselves and see where we stand, what we have achieved so far and where do we see ourselves going. We usually go through this process internally, but the fact of standing in front of the best in the industry was a challenging moment for us. Being awarded Best Fine Jewelers in the first edition of FTA is a great acknowledgement for our work.
Tell us a bit more about Mukhi jewellery… How did it come about?
In February 2009, we decided to take our passion for fine jewellery to the next level. And so Mukhi Sisters was born out of the vivacious influences of different cultures and rich traditions. We grew up surrounded by design and jewellery-making. Our childhood was full of private shows, trade exhibitions, witnessing artisans at work and exciting discussions about the art and science of jewellery.
It was only natural to us since our father, Chandru Mukhi, comes from a long line of Indian jewellers who have been in the business since 1875 and our mother, Effat Kreidie, has been the woman behind Effys Jewellery since 1982. This intergenerational background makes Mukhi Sisters an independent brand that tells an exceptional story of its own.
What is the philosophy behind the brand?
Mukhi Sisters transforms stories and personal moments into finely crafted jewellery with real individuality, Each piece is a conversation starter, experience and distinctive narrative with a unique energy. Perfect jewellery for every day and night, the creations reflect each sister’s personal style, interests and obsessions.
At Mukhi Sisters, the subtle meets the bold, the vibrant clashes with the sober, the nostalgic meets trendsetting style, the ethnic merges with the urban, and nature blossoms next to fanciful symmetry. It’s a cascade of sensations that celebrates the beauty of semi-precious stones, gold and diamonds to create original statements and to reflect a lifestyle sparkling with individuality. It’s ultimately an invitation to remain true to yourself.
What has been your proudest moment to date?
There are so many. Today, we’re going to pick a moment from our star collection Reverie On The Vine, launched in 2016. We were at an international Jewellery show and one of the finest names from the industry (sorry we can’t share details!) came up to someone representing us back then and asked about the leaf earrings and bracelets we had designed. He said it had been a while since something caught his attention. And this meant the world to us, being acknowledged for your works is always a proud moment.
When did each of your love and fascination with jewellery begin?
From our earliest childhood. Maya: I remember spending time under my mom’s desk at her store, hoping to find diamonds..!
How is it an important part of your heritage?
We grew up so close to the industry that we feel we have undying respect and responsibility towards it. We are so connected to it, it is who we are.
What do you love about creating jewellery in this region?
We love the boldness and the abundance of creativity. The designs coming from our region are not shy, they are well-thought statement pieces, and that is something that makes us proud. There is a certain diversity when it comes to good design coming from our region, as opposed to a wave of a blending in styles we are seeing around us.
What’s it like working so closely together?
It’s great. The biggest win was realizing that we should focus on being sisters, not only business partners and that we have responsibilities towards each other.
If you could only pick one piece as your favourite each you’ve ever created, what would that be?
Maya: I can’t pick just one. My favourite right now would be the starshine bangles!
Meena: undoubtedly the Beiruti Sunset pendant. This piece is a reminder that hope and belief keep us going- it’s one of our iconic pieces.
Zeenat: Our fleur de lys rings, we launched them almost 8 years ago and we still make them! Our clients by them by pairs and I have to say, I haven’t taken off mine since 2011.
Find out more at mukhisisters.com