HBA: How did you start your own jewellery label?
YP: We met while studying together at the Gemological Institute of America in 2009. My family has been in the jewellery industry for five generations, and I managed the business in Dubai prior to co-founding Alessa.
AR: I grew up in Guatemala where its colourful culture and arts shaped my appreciation of handcrafted goods with a story behind them. When I met Yuvraj our life experiences and creativity merged to become Alessa Jewelry.
Alessa founders Alessandra Robles and Yuvraj Pahuja
HBA: What are the themes and ideas behind Alessa’s collections?
AR: To be honest we draw inspiration from all over the world; history, textures, colours, cultures, art and travel are all important influences in the creative process of each collection, and their ethos lies in the empowerment of women. When designing the pieces, we consider every detail and prioritise comfort, versatility and beauty above all.
Amara Star ring, Dhs 14,985, Alessa Jewelry
HBA: Do you see any similarities between Guatemala and the Middle East?
YP: Yes, in that both countries are constantly changing and dynamic places. The vision of their respective leaders is also a big inspiration that constantly drives us to do bigger and better every day.
Spectrum Impressions bangle, Dhs 7,485, Alessa Jewelry
HBA: Are you noticing any particular jewellery trends amongst your customers in the Middle East?
AR: Our customers here are always looking for pieces that are most relevant to life today. For example, they seek statement pieces with attitude that can also be worn every day for all occasions. There is also a particular demand in the region for made-to-order and one-of-a-kind designs.
Amara Arrow Stud earrings, Dhs 22,485, Alessa Jewelry
HBA: You have an extensive presence here with your flagship store in Dubai and stockists in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Why is the region important to you?
YP: The rich tradition of jewellery making in the Middle East is part of our heritage and identity, and we create high-end pieces that are made to last forever. This region is a market of emerging talent and infinite opportunities: it’s impossible not to get inspired here!