Nada Ghazal, founder and creative director of the jewellery label of the same name, fondly remembers her desire to be an artisan from a young age: “When I was a child I used to sit by the fireplace with my grandmother watching her delicate fingers weave a wonderful piece of art: she loved crochet. I could sit for hours on end watching her and her methodical fingers and never tire. I was fascinated with the intricate details of the pieces she created, and the love and attention she patiently dedicated to her art."
And it didn’t stop there as Nada’s grandmother also helped her to pursue her own creations: “I clearly recall the wonderful warm feelings I had the first time she held my hand, approached it and gently pressed my finger against the needle as she carefully led it to tie my first knot. I knew in my heart that I had to become a designer,” she recalls.
Nevertheless, when Nada grew up, she initially pursued a path away from the fashion industry, instead choosing to advertise: “I gained a degree in Advertising Design from the Lebanese American University and, followed that, I lived in Dubai, where I worked for a multinational advertising agency which gave me a canvas to express my art and a better understanding of how to build a brand.” For Nada, this experience was essential as it enabled her to develop an ear for business and understand not only how to create but also how to sell and make a living from those creations.
The next step was an inevitable, she explains: “I won several regional and international awards during my advertising career but felt that the only way I would be truly satisfied with my achievements it through creating my own brand, so in 2004 I returned to Lebanon and launched Nada Ghazal Fine Jewelry, formerly Nada G.”
The Nada Ghazal brand is defined by “jewelry that has a soul.” Nada explains: “[the work] is a reflection of my feelings, memories, and experiences all of which are captured in undulating waves of gold with precious gems that I feel celebrate our unique human complexities.”
Nada uses a lot of brushed gold in her designs, which she adorns with scattered diamonds and precious gems – now synonymous with her brand. She especially likes to apply a matt finish and rhodium surround, which she says “give the pieces an organic, grounded and earthy finish.”
Developing a strong signature early on has contributed greatly to the brand’s success. Nada Ghazal Fine Jewelry now has a flagship store in Beirut, five other retailers locally, and another eight retailers worldwide, including stores in New York, Los Angeles, and London. Nevertheless, it’s her hometown of Beirut that Nada still holds dear: “My jewelry reflects my emotions. Beirut has is forever my muse and like all Lebanese, as a business, we have had our fair of challenges working in Lebanon recently. My jewels reflect both the beauty of my surroundings and my constant strive to rise up from the challenges we deal with." In part, Nada creates jewelry that is born out of conflict and shows that everything can be made better: a phoenix rising from the ashes if you will.
One of the most recent challenges is COVID-19, of which Nada says: “I believe people have become a lot more discerning in their purchase choices after the pandemic. They are looking for a retail experience that is unique, memorable, and tailored, and for designs that are authentic. People want jewelry that is personal to them, which has also encouraged a shift towards new, independent designers. Hopefully, that trend continues.”
Despite the pandemic, Nada and her team have been working away on the latest collection, titled ‘Baby Malak Flourish’, which is “inspired by a sentiment of hope, one that defies the status quo." Nada adds: "I designed the collection at a time when our world at home as well as globally was in upheaval. The pieces for me provide a constant reminder that no matter how difficult things are we need to stand tall, resist, and rise up to assert our presence. Malak is my spirited daughter who has the ability to light up a room, changing its mood and bringing sparkle and color to everything and everyone around her."
As for the actual aesthetics of the collection: “It consists of organic totemic rings that stand proud rising up from the ground. We created them as families of different shapes and sizes that can be worn together. The collection also has cuffs and torques sprinkled with diamonds and multicolored sapphires, as well as stud earrings that evolve from day to night with a descending drop and statement stud earrings that have our signature undulating motif."
As a final note, Nada shared some life advice that applies to new designers and clients alike: “Always surround yourself with people who know more than you. [They will] allow you to constantly learn and grow.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Nada Ghazal Fine Jewellery is now available via L'Atelier Mode. Discover the latest creations here.