‘Every design stems from a concept to give it a more sentimental meaning to the wearer,’ says Dubai-raised jewellery designer Donna Hourani. ‘It’s unique and far from commercial – my jewellery mimics art pieces and sculptures that portray their own story, exquisite materials, uniqueness and aesthetic. Versatility is very important to me so my pieces can be worn both day and night, to dress up or down a whole look.’ Donna’s latest collection is based around the items you would find in your grandmother’s house; safety pins, cotton buds and other household objects have been incorporated into her elegant designs.
Why did you choose to have your brand in the UAE?
The UAE gives regional designers a huge opportunity to grow as a start-up brand and it is where I’m based and grew up.
What opportunities do you think being based here has given you?
I am proud to be an Arab woman doing everything that I am able to do in my life. I hope that all Arab women realize their capabilities, strengths and importance even if they face social or economic obstacles and constraints in some areas and situations in the Arab world. Things are slowly changing. We can achieve absolutely anything while staying true and authentic to our cultures and beliefs. It’s just a matter of time, education and persistence.
What about struggles as a fashion business here?
I think all kinds of businesses are challenging, especially startups. When it comes to jewellery and creating new pieces, I always try to make sure that I am bringing in something new, never seen before and authentic to me. It has to have meaning and I have to absolutely love it. I don’t create just to create. Hopefully this translates through to others and have my pieces stand out.
What do you see as the future of the fashion industry in the UAE?
The UAE’s unique vision for the future, shows that we can be pioneers in any field of industry. With the launch of DDFC, I feel like the fashion industry has grown and will continue to grow further.
What trends are you seen from the local fashion industry?
I think people are looking to more minimal jewellery after sporting colourful pieces in the summer – like layers of thin rings and skinny cuffs that can be stacked up. And the chokers! I don’t see it going out season any time soon – there are so many interpretations to it now.