Growing up in Beirut, Nada Ghazal would sit by the fireplace with her grandmother, watching her weave delicate artwork with nothing more than string and a crochet needle; designs that a young Ghazal would repurpose as jewelry for herself, pretending they were headpieces, rings and bracelets. “I could sit for hours watching her methodical fingers and never tire, fascinated by the intricate details of her creations,” says Ghazal.
Those moments ignited Ghazal’s own creative spark, as evident in her namesake line today. “Creating jewelry lets me express feelings and stories that connect me with people around the world, which is at the core of the brand,” says Ghazal, known for her timeless hand-brushed satin-finished matte gold creations, often punctuated with a scattering of stones.
18k & Sapphire Oval Summer Nights Cocoon Earrings, 2.45ct
Ghazal’s path to launching a line was not a straight one; with no options to earn a degree in jewelry design in Lebanon at the time, Ghazal studied fine arts and graphic design, then spent the next ten years in Dubai working in creative departments and racking up awards for international advertising agencies.
In 2003, she returned to Beirut to pursue her dream of building her own fine jewelry brand. “I knew that I wanted my designs to reflect something that was missing in the industry, something unique, individualistic, timeless and has soul,” says Ghazal, who learned jewelry making via trial and error. She used her savings to buy gold and transformed it into wire to fashion 25 pieces that formed the basis for her first collection. In 2004, Ghazal showcased her inaugural designs, which sold out almost immediately. She was onto something.
18k & Champagne Diamond Pave Round Malak Ring, 1.65ct
Ghazal’s process starts with an experience or an emotion, which usually translates into a color and form that lends itself to a design. After sketching her vision on paper, Ghazal creates a digital design for her team, and sets about making a prototype. Pieces are typically rendered in 18k yellow gold, though sometimes a piece in rose or white gold makes its way into her work. Diamonds, rubies and a range of sapphires are the designer’s stones of choice, as well as green tsavorite.
For her latest pieces, Ghazal took cues from her hometown. “I have a strong affinity to my country,” she says. “Beirut has been my biggest inspiration.” The My Muse collection is a love story to the city, “designed as an attempt to preserve it in an ever-changing world,” she says. “It depicts Beirut’s charming streets, its domed homes, its glorious buildings and the changes we go through daily.”
Nada Ghazal 18k & Sapphire Mini Urban Summer Nights Pendant
Also carried by August, Malak is Ghazal’s most iconic collection, and “very dear to my heart,” says the artist, a mother of three. “It is named after my daughter and represents how I imagined her to be — bold yet grounded, glamorous but in an understated way.” Baby Malak, designed to bring joy to the wearer, features rings, pendants and cuffs full of color and joie de vivre.
18k & Ruby Rectangular Malak Ring, 2.20ct
And just as Ghazal felt tied to her grandmother through her crocheted work, so, too, does the designer feel a connection to her own customers, too. “I love meeting customers and learning why a piece or collection connects with them. I feel that when they wear it our paths become connected.”