Jewellery Designer Selim Mouzannar Speaks To MOJEH

3 min read

MOJEH meets up with talented gemologist and fine jewellery designer Selim Mouzannar at The Lounge, The Dubai Mall, to learn more about the man behind the eponymous label’s stunning collections. Rings and pendants of blue tanzanite, green tsavorite and red rhodolite are set within half-moon crescents, setting a scene that’s bursting with kaleidoscopic colours and architectural structures.

Selim Mouzannar

The Kastak Collection uses numerous chains of various pocket watches to create singular jewellery pieces. Why is this?
It’s [Kastak Collection] a tribute, and at the same time it’s a recycling effort. The collection recycles all the pocket watches. My grandparents used to wear a pocket watch with a chain and this chain was so nicely handmade. One day, when they discovered the watch strap, they threw out all the old watches and their chains. So we wanted to do something with the chain.

Why do you use trapiche emeralds in so many of your collections?
I discovered it [the emerald] when I was 18-years-old, and I wrote a poem about it; the emerald, the Colombian emerald. Years passed and I was always thinking about this stone, and so when I met a guy from Colombia, who was from the Muzo Mine, I bought these emeralds. I wanted to pay tribute to the emerald, so I made a necklace purely made from emeralds [Amal necklace], which isn’t that common.

What did you keep in mind when designing the Amal necklace?
I arranged the emeralds in a specific way, so as to make the piece light and transparent. After all, this collection is called the Transparency collection.

What are your thoughts on the jewellery tastes of the Middle Eastern woman?
You know, we are living in a hub of globalisation. I don’t know anymore whether there is a difference between the jewellery tastes of women throughout the planet. There are multi-coloured women in each society, and each society has multi-facets and multi-cultures.

Do you have a certain type of woman in mind when you’re designing your jewellery?
I have women in mind. I think about all the women in the world, and all the women of the world, because I want my pieces to be universal.

How do you strike the balance between being creative, and business-minded?
It’s a balance. When you design jewellery, it’s not enough to just design and bring the idea to life. It’s a balance between design, execution with the goldsmiths, with the materials you use, with the setter, with the cutter. All this work impacts the piece itself in the end. You have to know about every piece. You have to be the one to follow every step. It’s your design and your piece.

Does coming from a family of jewellers help you strike this balance?
In my family, my father, my grandfather and the father of my grandfather were all involved in jewellery. They were good artisans. But when the father gives the business to the son, the son becomes half artisan and half businessman. The son of that son becomes even more business-focused. They trade, they know, they buy, they sell. They lose their emotion. The father of my grandfather was more in touch, he was a craftsman. But today I think there is a return to the source. Craftsman can find work easier, and they can make money easier.

Are your jewellery pieces influenced by your own life?
They are connected to what I’ve lived. To what I know. My knowledge about the gems, my life when I was young and when I was with my father, being a jeweller in the souks. All of this becomes a part of you. My travelling, my bohemian years in the ruby mind, my work in underground companies researching jewellery and stones – all of it.

Selim Mouzannar is available in the Harvey Nichols – Dubai Fine Jewellery Department, Ground Floor, Mall of the Emirates