The first thing that strikes you upon meeting Alia Mouzannar is how naturally beautiful she is. With a sparkle about her – and not just from the three-carat diamond necklace gifted to her by her father the day she was born – Alia is adamant it’s her clean living and healthy lifestyle that she has to thank for the youthful glow.
“I stay away from all processed foods and eat clean,” the sixth-generation jewellery designer of The House of Aziz & Walid Mouzannar says. “I grow my own vegetables in my garden, which allows me to have the freshest and cleanest seasonal foods.”
When it comes to her beauty regime, Alia’s clean-living mantra continues. “I use a lot of essential oils and organic make-up,” she says, while adding that she wished women in the region didn’t feel the pressure to go under the knife. “We are beautiful women with olive skin, big eyes and amazing hair. Why change? Wrinkles define a story and life’s journey. Why erase that?”
It’s an appreciation of her own journey and heritage that’s woven throughout her work – and it’s seen her win the prestigious HRD Award for international jewellery designers in both 2011 and 2013. “My work is delicate and sophisticated, very precious and yet easy to wear,” the Beirut native explains. “I love mixing old traditions with a contemporary feel.”
Alia’s work hit another critically-acclaimed high note when she collaborated with famed Iraqi/British architect Dame Zaha Hadid, DBE. “The collaboration started in 2014 and is now fully-fledged with a complete jewellery line which we just launched, called the Silene Collection.”
Asked what she believes has defined the person she is, Alia doesn’t skip a beat. “The mix between the characters of my mum and dad,” she says. “He is a little bit eccentric and my mum is very musical, natural and quiet in her own way. That mix has made me the person I am today.” She pauses a moment before adding her favourite piece of advice, “Cultive ta difference.” Translated from French, it means, “Cultivate your difference.” And we can’t help but feel that Alia already has.
Photography: Richard Hall. Styling: Charlotte Blair. Words: Kerrie Simon-Lawrence