daou jewelry’s sparkling revival
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
Arab Today, arab today

Daou Jewelry’s sparkling revival

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Daou Jewelry’s sparkling revival

Dalia Daou
London - Arab Today

Many jewelry brands have associations with high-flying celebrities and royals — but none is quite like Daou, which has been on the scene since the 1930s.
Designed today by the third-generation Lebanese-born London-based jewelry designer, Dalia Daou, the revival of Daou Jewelry in 2014 caught everyone’s attention. The designer has not looked back, and her creations continue to delight jewelry enthusiasts.
The story starts in Beirut. Dalia was born into a family behind a flourishing jewelry business, but one with an interrupted history. For her to become a jewelry designer was no coincidence at all — she was determined to do it in order to preserve her family’s legacy, something she says was enriching.
“It all started with my grandfather, whom I never had the pleasure of knowing. Then my father took it to another level in Beirut in the 1960s and 1970s with clients such as Brigitte Bardot, Grace Kelly, Queen Elizabeth II and others who fell in love with what we offered at that time. In other words, I grew up being familiar with the nuts and bolts of fine jewelry and I’ve always connected jewelry to an extra sense of specialness,” she said.
Designs on the jewelry business
Dalia’s passion for art and sculpture led her to study it at Wimbledon College of Art in London and École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. This creative adventure prepared her for the role of a jewelry designer.
“I’ve always studied art, even while working on a physics degree at the University of Bristol. Before I revived Daou Jewelry, I first developed my artistic skills through specific jewelry courses that I did in Hatton Garden (London’s jewelry quarter) and at Central Saint Martins. I also studied gemology at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in London,” Dalia said.
Dalia worked first in the luxury PR industry in New York and then, after returning to London, veered off into the world of finance. Then she finally returned once and for all to designing jewelry. “After I left finance, I was certain I would return to art and it seemed like a responsibility I should — and could — take on for the sake of re-launching Daou Jewelry. It had all the challenges of a new business as well as a certain excitement and distinctiveness in recreating the brand for today,” she explained.
While she is very proud of keeping her family’s tradition alive, saying that it is exciting to tell the story once again, there is no denying that it is also a huge responsibility. “I have to maintain the highest standards and plan correctly for business development,” she said. “I want to reach the same level that Daou enjoyed at its height in the 1960s and 1970s and even go beyond.”
It is no surprise that her Lebanese heritage influences her designs. “There aren’t any direct references to my background but it’s true that Lebanon in the 1960s and 1970s stood out as a place of glamor and elegance, exuberance and innovation and I feel a certain pride in that and of course in my family,” she said.
Daou’s inspiration
Daou designs were always known for their innovative flair, use of color and form and being ahead of their time. And for Dalia’s collections and bespoke pieces, these design markers are still central to the brand’s identity.
“Modern pieces are always created with great finesse and of course considering how they will be worn. I seek out heritage designs sometimes and combine them with my own scientific and personal inspirations,” she said.
For Dalia, designs are the result of combining many inspirations. For example, her Sunset Sunrise Collection has the literal colors of beautiful dawn and dusk, but created in baguette-cut stones as though painted in a modern impressionist style. Her deep knowledge of gemology is, of course, very useful when it comes to selecting stones.
“The newest Phoenix Collection tells the Daou story of revival, resilience, rarity and new femininity inspired by a story, a myth of birds of paradise,” Dalia said. “It also features a return to the imaginative use of colored gemstones and the signature Daou play of light with hand-selected fine opals.”
Attending high-profile jewelry exhibitions, she believes, is essential to the promotion of her label on a global scale. “The beauty of jewelry is evident when seen and worn so it’s always a pleasure to show the Daou collections at important exhibitions and meet new collectors in order to see their reactions to what I have put on display. I hope I will be able to exhibit at more international shows in the future,” Dalia said.
Individual flair
Asked what differences she sees in terms of today’s ways of wearing jewelry, Dalia said: “Today jewelry is worn in a more individualistic and more adaptable way — just as wardrobes have become mix and match, worn with jeans or cocktail dresses, layered or statement pieces whether worn at work or for celebrating.”
In the past, matching sets of jewelry were very much in fashion. “But my observation so far is that Daou jewelry wearers and collectors have always been more enthusiastic and non-traditional with each Daou piece being original in style and never terribly matchy-matchy,” said Dalia.
The comfort factor is another aspect of her jewelry design that she does not overlook. It is therefore of supreme importance that Dalia considers how her creations will flatter the wearer. “The piece should have the right sparkle and weight so that it won’t hinder a woman’s work and play in any way. I’ve definitely learned this over a lifetime of familiarity with fine jewelry pieces. However innovative, modern and exciting the designs, flattering pieces should be seen in the context of an important priority. What’s the point if you can’t happily wear beautiful jewelry?”
Dalia doesn’t like to be prescriptive about her target market. “Rather, my jewelry is for whomever values thoughtful and exciting contemporary design that remains ever elegant and wearable. Jewelry should be beautifully made so that is enjoyed and treasured,” Dalia pointed out. “That is what women crave.”
This April, she plans to make a trip to the Middle East where women’s love of extravagant jewelry is promising. “It will be wonderful to return to the market here with Daou jewelry because it’s very important to me both commercially and emotionally,” Dalia said.
Having won so many prestigious awards — New Designer of the Year at the UK Jewelry Awards and a place on British Fashion Council’s Rock Vault — she has certainly been able to position the Daou Jewelry brand strongly for all to see. “My next step will be to take new initiatives to reach private jewelry collectors as well as recognized and respected stockists the world over,” she said.
To sum it up in Dalia’s own words: “Jewelry means history, love, thoughtfulness, and innovative creativity. It means these things both for the longevity and sentiment attached to treasured pieces which, over time, become family heirlooms.”

Source :Arab News

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