In Conversation With Fine Jewellery Designer Nigora Tabayer

BY Shivani Mathur / Nov 15 2019 / 17:50 PM

"A diamond looks just as good with workout clothes as it does a beautiful red carpet dress"

In Conversation With Fine Jewellery Designer Nigora Tabayer
Tabayer Jewellery

What do Bella Hadid, Gwyneth Paltrow, Candice Swanepoel, Halima Aden, Coco Rocha, Vanessa Hudgens, and Rebel Wilson all have in common? Their love for Tabayer Jewellery. The chic brand which debuted at Paris Fashion Week, is rapidly attaining a cult status with its iconic Eye series and lettered pendants becoming go-to pieces for fashion's "it" girls.

Harper's BAZAAR Arabia sat down with the brand's 33-year-old founder, Nigora Tabayer to talk about her her journey, her upcoming collection and her showcase at Jewellery Arabia 2019 in Bahrain this month.  

Coco Rocha, Vanessa Hudgens, and Rebel Wilson wearing Tabayer Jewellery

Tabayer Jewellery

Harper's BAZAAR Arabia: Did you always know that you wanted to be jewellery designer? How did you find your passion and way into the industry?

Nigora Tabayer: I always knew I had this creative impulse. I grew up in a creative home: my mother was a designer and my father was an architect. I initially studied business, but, having worn fine jewelry as an adult, I found myself sketching one day and, well, the sketches kept coming! TABAYER took off from there.Harper's Bazaar Arabia: The Eye Series is one of Tabayer Jewellery's msot sought-after collections. What is the significance of the eye design for you?

HBA:  You’re a very young jeweller in an industry usually dominated by older designers. How do you think your perceptions around jewellery designs differ from those of the older generations?

NT: I think that, perhaps, younger generations of jewelry designers view the result of jewellery making as something that should be more versatile and dynamic. We are creating for every scenario, not just formal or evening occasions. This trend is industry wide. We see sneakers at the Couture now. We see t-shirts and sweatpants from the highest-level fashion brands. A diamond looks just as good with workout clothes as it does a beautiful red carpet dress.

HBA: Tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind the super popular Eye Series.

NT: The significance of the Eye design for me is rooted in family. When I was young, my mother would dress me in something—whether it was jewellery, an item of clothing, or an accessory—it would have the protective talismanic eye on it. She was worried about our safety. And this always stuck with me, especially now that I have children of my own. Protection, family, heritage, passion, comraderie—it is all seen through the eye, whether it's in the diamond or the emerald form. My grandmother has always worn a third eye; she had a long life, and lived to 104!

HBA: Would you say your take on jewellery design is more international or regional? 

NT: International, absolutely and undoubtedly. TABAYER has the rhythm of Miami, the grand spectacle of Central Europe, where I am from, and the elan of Paris. These places are all near and dear to my heart.

HBA: Which jewellery brand has most inspired you over the years?

NT: Cartier. J’adore Cartier.

HBA: Some of Hollywood's most prominent women such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Candice Swanepoel, and Bella Hadid have worn your designs within a year of launching your brand, how does this feel? 

NT: It feels great! I’m happy when anybody who wears the jewellery is happy. You can always tell. It can be anybody, whether that person is in the public spotlight or if they are a private collector. The inspiration comes from seeing my designs in the day-to-day. There’s a reason I’ve kept the collections tightly edited, I believe it helps in building the brand's image. This way the brand gets known for one key aesthetic, and can then expand.

Bella Hadid and Halima Aden in Nigora Tabayer's designs

Tabayer Jewellery

HBA: Could you tell us a little about your collection for Jewellery Arabia 2019 in Bahrain?

NT: A large inspiration behind my collection being shown in Bahrain is the protective eye. We have used emeralds that were sourced from Gemfields. I like to ensure the best high quality stones are sourced, while still being ethically responsible. The third eye was always a traditionally used symbol in my childhood, and I have brought this inspiration into High Jewellery. I wanted to share this at Jewellery Arabia Exhibition in Bahrain.

HBA: What newness from the Eye Series can people expect to see in the designs being showcased exhibiting at Jewellery Arabia this year?

NT: It has a few more layers, and more of an expansive offering. These two new collections are small evolutions, but high in impact.