“When I was a young boy I said; I want to become a journalist, travel around the world and write stories… But unfortunately I didn’t have a pen, so I became a jeweler” And that’s what he did. Not just a jeweler… a pretty damn good one too! I am talking about one of my favorite Jewellery designers, Selim Mouzannar! Selim has glammed up woman for many years with his amazing fine jewellery. Born in Lebanon Beirut, but formed by the many countries he lived in. And that reflects in his jewellery designs that are elegant, young and above all beautiful. Visiting Bloomingdales Dubai to promote his new collection, I got the opportunity to sit down and find out who the dime is behind his magnificent jewellery.
To start with, the funny thing about jewellery designers is that they are totally different from fashion designers. Unlike fashion designers, who are mostly eccentric, posh and slightly arrogant, jewellery designers all have a different character. Some of them are old and dusty, some are too creative to have a normal conversation with, and some are too arrogant to speak at all.. So when I had the chance to meet with Selim Mouzannar, I know it would be hard to prepare the right questions to ask.. I honestly hate interviews that tell you stuff you can already find on Wikipedia, so the main thing I wanted to find out was: who is the brain behind the amazing jewellery designs of Selim Mouzannar..? And while sitting down with Selim, I realized that I could leave my questionnaire in my bag.. As an open book, he tells me about life, creativity and family. “Growing up in a family full with jewelers, it was almost impossible to not become a jeweler.. That’s probably why I wanted to become a journalist and do something different. I was a bit of the black sheep in the family, always wanting to go my own way..”
When he was 17, he packed his bags to travel around the world.. He lived in many places such as New York, Thailand (where he actually worked in a ruby mine) Saudi, and Antwerp in Belgium, the city of diamonds.. By moving from place to place, and taking bits and pieces from each culture, he grew into the person he is now, a charming, funny, down to earth man who knows how to enjoy life and love the people around him.
When I asked him the question; what really inspires you for a new jewellery collection?He answers: “Some of my collections get inspired by something specific, such as the Beirut collection. Beirut is a vibrant city full with energy.. It is a place with many tears and laughs, a city often bruised but always alive…That inspired me to make a collection reflecting the shape and soul of Beirut’s traditional homes and old souks.. But it is not always that I get inspired by a specific country or event.. I can try to tell you some amazingly entertaining stories, on how I got inspired by this and that, but to be honest, inspiration comes from everywhere… It can be from a dish you are eating, a song that you are singing, or even just by taking a shower..”
So imagine you are in your house, and the fire alarm goes off… what are the 3 things you would take with you? (Excluding your lovely wife and children) After a serious thought, he answers.. “First I would take my telephone to call the fire station..! (Which is a very good answer!!) I love to play the piano, but that thing is too heavy to take with me.. Actually, I’m really not that materialistic… Most of the things I have are replaceable, or will not make me unhappy to live without.. So if I have to take something, it will be an object with an emotional value, and that is not easy to replace.. I would take my poems, my wine collection and my photos..
By asking Selim, “If you could pick one person in the world to design a jewellery piece for, who will that be?‘ He rapidly responds; “Zaha Hadid! But I would love to design a jewellery piece together with her. She is a magnificent architect who makes extremely renewing architecture.
If you have to give me one life lesson, or one rule to live by, what would that be? “I think it is very important to be a positive person. It is almost a moral duty to be an optimist.. Even if things seems to be impossible, without being positive and optimistic, you will never reach close to where you want to go.. I rather am idiotic and optimistic, than sad and pessimistic!”
And if you had one last wish, what would you wish for?I would wish to be on a boat, (as I love sailing) eating good food, drinking nice wine and sharing sparkling moments together with the ones I love!
You can find Selim Mouzannar jewellery collection in the fine jewellery department of Harvey Nichols and Bloomingdales Dubai