“I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in fashion,” Jordanian jewellery designer Zein Belbeisi begins. “I’m quite confident when it comes to my personal style, I don’t put that much thought into it, and I wear and buy what I like regardless of the brand.” Zein, 38, describes her style as “effortless and feminine” and the clothing she chooses emulates her laid-back approach. “During the summer I wear a lot of pyjama sets and kaftans, which I buy from local designers or souks when I’m travelling – anything with puffy sleeves and dreamy details is always a winner!”
Her delicate fine jewellery designs also reflect the kind of “uniqueness, elegance and confidence” she finds inspirational in other women. “I love the way actresses in the old Hollywood used to dress: Elizabeth Taylor for her jewellery collection, Jackie O for her elegance and femininity... Those days when couture was avant-garde and dressing was an art, and an experience.” Today, it’s the street style prowess of the likes of Olivia Palermo and Caroline Issa which she is drawn to.
Within the realms of her wardrobe, fashion and jewellery passed down through the generations take pride of place. They include her “mum’s first Dior clutch, a vintage “gingham Jean-Louis Scherrer blazer and trouser set” and her “dad’s first Rolex watch.” Overall, her wardrobe reads like a perfect mix of decades past, modern-day designers, lesser-known-labels and high street finds. Hitting the high notes are Sonia Rykiel, Zimmermann, Temperley London and Stella McCartney, multi-brand stores like Anthropologie, and Zara and Topshop. “I also recently discovered Markarian,” she adds, the New York-based label launched its debut collection of dreamy dresses last year to rapturous applause. And although she concedes to a weakness for shoes, she has recently uncovered an underlying affection for jackets – “mostly leather, but also jean jackets, blazers and robes,” she says.
When it comes to shopping, Zein prefers to do it on a whim. “If I’m travelling I like to explore local boutiques and designers. I love discovering hidden gems where I can hunt for unique and rare things – markets, and jewellery auctions are my favourites.” Travel is a prerequisite for Zein’s design inspiration. Recently, she visited Jaipur and consequently this year she launched a new line of jewellery coined, Jaipur. Closer to home, she is in love with the Louvre Abu Dhabi, “not only for the unique display of art but also the breathtaking architecture. I always get inspired by art when designing my jewellery.”
Zein Belbeisi Wears Giambattista Valli Dress, Charlotte Olympia Shoes And Zein Belbeisi Jewelry, All Her Own. Earrings, De Grisogono.
Photography: Christos Tsamadias. Styling: Teresa Karpinska. Words: Elaine Lloyd-Jones. Hair And Make-Up: Blowout & Go. Blowout&Go. With Thanks To Dubai Miracle Garden.