Blending the traditional Egyptian craft of carving jewellery into extravagant shapes with a dash of colour, designer Nouran Shaarawy explains her inspiration for the brand.
Egypt seems to have been going through something of a stylish renaissance recently, where jewellery and fashion designers are suddenly coming out of the woodwork and making themselves known, but Manière Jewellery was one of the first to kick-start this, back in 2009 when they launched with a capsule Christmas collection, and are still going strong to this day. The brand is a beautiful fusion of a sort of Khan El Khalili-style traditional silver work blended with a bohemian aesthetic featuring, for instance, chunky silver pendants adorned with Arabic calligraphy, and then infused with colourful stones and beads for a final effect that is entirely unique.
“I’m inspired by anything beautiful really,” explains founder and designer Nouran Shaarawy. “I love the crafts-work of silver and stuff, but I also love colour.” The creative lady did not get her start in jewellery though; “I was actually a chemical engineer,” she laughs. “I worked in that field for a while but like many people in corporate life, eventually it felt stagnant to me and I really wanted to do something artistic.” So Shaarawy took a jewellery course in the city to learn the craft and eventually launched with a small collection in late 2009, which was received with great success.
Eventually, Shaarway abandoned chemical engineering altogether and dedicated herself to creating the unique pieces that Manière has come to be known by, blending traditional with vintage sensibilities with boho whimsy. “My grandfather was very into sculpting so I really appreciate the work that can be done with silver. I actually spend two years studying Arabic calligraphy for the designs,” she explains, “I’m really inspired by old songs, old phrases we no longer use; they’re beautiful and we can reuse them now, written on jewellery. At the same time, I love the brightness and intricacy of Indian jewellery, and I’m also really taken by more vintage styles, like Victorian-era pieces.”
The brand’s fusion of various styles is its defining factor, as Shaarawy wants the freedom to incorporate different aesthetics into her pieces, but regardless of pinning it down to different themes, all the pieces are creative and definitely one of a kind.
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