Inspired by symbolism and sacred geometry, London-based Lebanese jewellery designer Noor Fares has created coveted pieces that have gained international recognition. With a new collection that once again showcases an innate creativity, a relentless pursuit for excellence and a design journey that perfectly mirrors her passion, Fares now shares her inspiration, business acumen, creative processes and criticisms exclusively with Buro 24/7 Middle East....
Congratulations on the launch of Akasha. According to sources, the word means a supposed all-pervading field in the ether in which a record of past events is imprinted. How did this translate into your new collection?
Meditation is very much apart of my daily life. I practice Vedic meditation and some of these symbols, for example the Sri Yantra, is an ancient symbol in Hindu culture that is used as a tool to aid meditation. It also represents the balance between masculine and feminine energy.
What does your jewellery say about you and why?
I really connect with this idea of gemstones that contain and transmit specific meaning. I am also very drawn to the healing properties of crystals and gemstones — it's something I'm constantly trying to translate through my jewellery, hoping to share that with my customers.
Many designers like to tell stories with their pieces... Are you the same or do you mostly create something based on pure aesthetics?
The design process is stronger than me. Even if I do create something that's based on aesthetics, which does play a very important part – aesthetics and proportions and the combination of colours – I tend to always combine both. It is difficult for me to create something for no reason because I feel like you always have to explain why and what it is.
Scalability is such an important part of being an business owner. Do you have a set number of pieces that you create for each collection?
I usually decide how many pieces I want to create for each collection but more interestingly, in the process, I draw hundreds of possibilities based on one single idea until I get to the one that works best. I was always taught to explore every single possibility – change the scale, material, colour, shape. It's very tedious but it's the only way to push your ideas further.
Does art play a part in your creative process?
I studied art. Contemporary and modern art is something that I'm very interested in. It plays a very important part not only in my creative process but also in my creative development. I constantly want to learn and discover new artists or artists that I do not know about. So it's really about being informed and looking and learning.
Every piece in the Noor Fares collection is handmade. Do you think the tradition of technique will continue to champion technology or do you think there's room for both in the accessories industry?
I think computer-aided technology is very valuable and it's all about how it's used. I don't think you can compare and say one is better than the other and I don't think computer-aided technology replaces the human hand but it's a tool to achieve different things within craftsmanship. I work a lot with computer-aided technology as well as handwork and they both definitely play a part.
Retailers and celebrities now covet your works. Did you ever imagine Noor Fares the brand would be so successful?
I was hoping that it would be but I never imagined when I started that I would get to a point where I am working with renowned international stockists. I always get a little bit surprised and really happy when I bump into women wearing my jewellery.
How important is it to understand the art of business as a designer? Your mother was an artist, your father a financier, did they contribute to your understanding of what it means to be a business woman?
I'm very involved in the business aspect but luckily I have a managing director so I try not to go into too many details otherwise I sacrifice the time that I need to create and design new collections.
What's the biggest compliment that you have ever received about your work?
It was very motivating when Diane Von Furstenberg once told me that my wing earrings are my signature and they're such a strong part of my design identity. She told me to always keep doing them, to always develop them and keep on recreating them.
What's next for Noor Fares?
More one-of-a-kind pieces, personalised pieces and bespoke commissions.
Noor Fares' Akasha collection is now available at Net-a-Porter. Also defining the jewellery industry is Tiffany & Co.'s Elsa Peretti collection.