As we sat admiring O Jewelry founder Shamsa Al Omaira’s delicate collections, we were torn between the unique story of the Abu Dhabi-born creative and the opulent opal jewellery sparkling before us.
By Jemma Walker
The talented designer is an artist at heart, studying visual art at university – though fine jewellery wasn’t always her passion. She told us: “I love to design my own things from clothing and abayas to jewellery – everything. I was designing a necklace with my friend, and I said, ‘I’m going to make this for me and you’ and she replied, ‘you should do it, people need a jewellery designer like you – with an art background.” Just six months later the budding creative released her first collection – Classic O.
What’s the significance of the ‘O’?
It’s my family’s name – Omairah. The circle symbolises so many things, it goes on and on – it’s unity – the shape has been a symbol since the start of time. For me, it mixes timelessness and modernity, something that I try and achieve in my designs.
Describe the O Jewelry woman?
I appreciate a woman that has her individual taste, whether she’s edgy, classic or modern; she should know how to appreciate jewellery and style it in her own way. You can take one of my designs and style it in any way – the O Jewelry woman appreciates beauty in all forms.
Which is your favourite collection?
The Classic O and O Sapphires – it’s nature as a very delicate stone. The gems have a transparent quality that blends perfectly with the skin; it’s my favourite stones besides diamonds and I think I expressed myself in these pieces.
Is there a gem you’d love to work with in the future?
Pink diamonds. The difficulty is that the price is much higher, so I need to find the person who’s courageous enough to want that stone. I found a stone for $800,000 but I thought ‘I can’t do it yet’ – it’s because I haven’t found the girl who would buy it.
Tell us about your new collections?
I’ve had the tourmalines for the Ramadan collection (O Tourmalines) for two years. If I see a jewel I like I buy it and wait for the right moment to use it and that time is now. My other new designs make up the O’pals collection, usually opals are big and have very strong colours – it’s a gorgeous stone – but you can’t wear them daily because of their size and then I found these smaller ones. Many people love opals but can’t find the right design to wear daily, so I’ve made the collection classic and simple so they can be incorporated with everything.
Do the O Jewelry collections have a signature?
My signature is the diptych, I include it in every collection – and the rope – it’s a little personal touch. People come to me with stacks of bangles from lots of different brands, mostly Cartier or Van Cleef and they want to add their own personal piece. My designs add a subtle sparkle but not too much so people can incorporate my personal touch with theirs.
The two collections are available from the first week of June and MOJEH.com was treated to an exclusive first look (and feel) of the beautiful designs from O Jewelry – if you can’t wait head over to our Instagram page for a preview.
Which designers inspire you?
I admire many different designers. For me looking into the diamonds themselves, that’s what I find fascinating – so I’m obsessed with Graff – it’s the way they design the jewellery to emphasise the diamonds – very classic. A local designer I really love is Shamsa Alabbar, she has her own style and doesn’t imitate others – that’s what makes a real designer for me.