1. They were destined to be friends, meeting by chance over and over again. Noor starts, “Eugenie and I met a really long time ago. We were living in Paris at the same time and met at the horse races when we were either eight or nine. We realised we had gone to the same primary school and when we crossed paths ten years later we remembered this same conversation. Moving to London within a year of one another, me in 2005 and Eugenie in 2006 we met again through common friends and that is where the great adventure and our amazing friendship began.”
2. They love to discover new things together. “The first trip we went on together was to the Baselworld Jewellery show and at the time we were both taking courses at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Eventually, we ended up taking a short course together, where we discovered our love for not only jewellery but adventure and a love of travel” says Noor.
3. They aren’t competitive at all. Eugine explains, “What’s so positive about our friendship is we could be very competitive because we’re doing the same sort of thing. We are also often drawn to similar things, but we interpret them in a different way. It’s interesting when we go to an exhibition for example and she’ll like a painting because of one reason but I’ll like the same one for a different reason.
4. Eugenie creates species for her collections. Inspired by The Life Aquatic by Wes Anderson, for her third collection for Venyx, she invented a tiger ray. “I wanted to reproduce the glistening effect of when you see the animals under the sea, so I used glow-in-the-dark enamels.”
5. Noor is inspired by the healing properties of gemstones. “I’m always on a quest, researching symbols and patterns. The underlying inspirations behind all of my collections are protection and positive energy and how gemstones and jewellery across time, have been attributed symbolic meanings and used for their healing properties. My first collection as an example was made by combining wood with gold and silver. I was interested in wood because of the organic feel of the material, but also to the symbolic references in the Middle East and how you knock on wood for good luck.”
6. They both aim to push the boundaries of jewellery design. “We really try be innovative and push the boundaries of traditional jewellery. Unlike fashion which changes almost every month, jewellery remains stuck in its ways with rules, like the engagement ring as an example. Only in the past seven years designers have really been trying to change the way pieces are designed and worn. However even though we are thinking outside the box we still like to respect traditions and culture. In the end jewellery is meant to make a woman look more beautiful” says Eugenie
7. At the same time, they want to create timeless pieces. “We want women to have this emotional connection to our jewellery. A woman’s relationship to her jewels is very personal and intimate and she does get attached to certain pieces” says Noor. Eugenie explains, “We want to create pieces that a woman wants to buy for herself, that won’t just end up in a safe.”
8. Personalisation is the way to go when gifting. Noor says, “When I gift someone I firstly think of what they would choose for themselves. What would she wear and how would she wear it. Then I try and choose something that will really stay in their memory. Meaning is very important as is personalisation.” Eugenie adds, “Nowadays luxury has become so available and so in your face that people are looking to custom made items. Whether it’s your initial, name or birthstone as an example. People know there’s thought put into their gift then and not something you just bought on a whim.”
9. If a piece is really special, they will wear it regardless of their outfit. “If we receive a piece of jewellery we really love we will both keep it on for a long time and if it doesn’t go with our outfit or other pieces we're wearing, we don’t care” says Eugenie. Noor continues, “Jewellery is an extension of yourself in a way and we both tend to wear a piece for a few months, rather than change it every day.”
10. Their rule when it comes to jewellery is there are no rules. “It’s always fun to mix coloured gold or silver jewellery with fine jewellery. We also don’t just stick to our own brands, we mix our own pieces with other designers that we love” finishes Noor.
Venyx by Eugenie Niarchos and Noor Fares Jewellery Collections are both available at s*uce Rocks, Galleria Mall, Dubai