Growing up in an entrepreneurial family, with the burning desire to create from a young age, Maryam Hassani was always destined to become an artist. It just took her a little time to realize that jewellery design was her true calling. After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from the Design Institute of San Diego, she founded LINX interiors and began designing cutting-edge homes and offices. But having been born in a city synonymous with pearls and gold, and with an undeniable fascination for jewellery since childhood, she listened to her instinct. Her birthstone being diamonds was the inspiration
As Co-founder and Principal Designer, Maryam fuses traditional Emirati culture with contemporary international fashion, resulting in breathtakingly unique, wearable works of art. Maryam is not only a successful businesswoman, but a devoted mother of three, who is inspired by her children both personally and professionally. Both Eissa and Fatima Intan have designed jewellery at 55FIFTY7’s Children’s Lounge. She sees the youth as an integral part of the development of this sector of the business, and her passion to nurture young talent leads her to believe that success in any arts has its roots in the family
In addition to nurturing young talent, Maryam has introduced the creative concept of the Incubator to 55FIFTY7 to help both qualified and emerging talents follow their dreams. The Incubator is dedicated to helping designers by sponsoring and supporting them in upcoming design competitions, producing their own line of jewellery, and giving them an opportunity to showcase and sell designs in partnership with 55FIFTY7.
Maryam’s dedication to her craft was recognized in the AI Influential Business Woman Awards 2017, when she was awarded Best Woman-Owned Jewellery Designer-UAE & Most Inspirational Woman in Jewellery Design-UAE. Checkout The 7th Magazine’s exclusive below with Maryam Hassani on Luxury Chapters interviewed by Megan Huxley –
1. Your company, 55FIFTY7, creates bespoke jewellery for clients. What is the process like when working with a client on a design? How involved are they in the overall process?
I design pieces according to my clients’ personality, what inspires me about them. I like my pieces to reflect the owner in every way as well as being a part of their lifestyle. Also, the pieces have to tell a story and speak for themselves.
2. Where did the name 55FIFTY7 originate?
55 is the longitude of Dubai and 57 is the number of facets in a perfectly cut diamond, so the name literally means; Dubai: the perfectly cut diamond.
3. Though you’ve stated that you have loved jewellery since childhood, you started out designing homes and offices. What led you to make the switch from interior design to jewellery design? Is there a moment that stands out to you?
I realised my endless love affair with the arts early on in life and sought to nurture it at the Design Institute of San Diego. Following my graduation in 2002 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design, I founded LINX Interiors and began designing cutting-edge homes and offices. Fuelled by an innate desire to create masterpieces and having grown up in an entrepreneurial family, it was only a matter of time before I merged the two facets of my life together. My flair for jewellery coupled with an undeniable desire to foster creativity led me down the inevitable path as co-founder and principal designer of 55FIFTY7, where I now inspire others to realise the artist within themselves.
4. What, if any, similarities do you see in designing interior spaces and jewellery?
Although they’re both different forms of art, there are number of similarities between interiors and jewellery as they both require creativity. Before you design a piece of jewellery or a space, the designers need to familiarise themselves with what inspires their client and what story they would like to tell from the design, to ensure they’re satisfied with the outcome.
5. How do you utilize your previous experience as an interior designer in your work today?
Working as an interior designer has helped me in many ways, as it has given me the ability to read the client and envision what they need, later on translating it into the bespoke design they were hoping for.
6. It is clear that nurturing young talent is important to you and 55FIFTY7 as a company. How do you guide young talent during a session in the design studio for children?
We support young talent in two ways. We have the Independent Retail Studio, where we guide our guest designers who want to design and create their own collection by helping them develop the concept and design they have in mind. We help them finalize the collection, advise them on trends and what works and what doesn't and how to perfect their concept.
We guide them with developing their brand and packaging if needed, and we support them with displaying their final masterpiece in the 55FIFTY7 studio as part of our retail offering.
7. How do you think creativity can be nourished outside of the studio for artists—from children to adults?
I believe creativity can be nourished by being exposed to different types of art, and the ability to think beyond boundaries. I take inspiration from my surroundings, whether it’s a structure of a building or the people in my life.
8. The Incubator at 55FIFTY7 gives jewellery designers an opportunity to further their craft and career. Can you describe what it is like for a designer to work at The Incubator?
We at 55FIFTY7 support new designers with our innovative concept: The Incubator, for both qualified and emerging talents, who are named “The Incubators”.
The Incubators are able to use the 55FIFTY7 studio facilities where we sponsor and support them for upcoming design competitions, produce their own lines of jewellery, and offer them an opportunity to showcase and retail their designs in partnership with 55FIFTY7.
9. The creative process doesn’t always go as planned. What do you do when your design isn’t turning out the way you envisioned?
Design is a process that has to be looked at in many different ways. Some designs might not turn out as envisioned but that’s how art functions and we have to let it take its form.
10. You’ve stated that blending traditional Emirati culture with contemporary fashion is a goal of yours as a designer. Can you describe your creative process when trying to blend culture and fashion for a design?
The UAE is rich with culture and how it represents tradition, which it makes easy to be inspired when creating my designs. I always try and incorporate traditional elements into my pieces in a way to represent the Emirati heritage in a modern way.
11. What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a creative entrepreneur?
My advice to anyone who wants to start their own jewellery line is to be fearless and to make sure to express yourself and what you believe in through your pieces. If you are passionate enough and believe in your vision and ability, then you will definitely find a way to succeed in creating your brand.