Jewels inspired by the sun, sand and sea

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Updated 24 March 2015

Jewels inspired by the sun, sand and sea

Every now and then some large fashion house or jewelry line creates a trend of its own, something unique and significant yet fashion houses around the world catch up on the trend and the “uniqueness” and significance is merged, turning this trend into the new norm for the season. Jewelry also follows the same pattern, yet there are those who break that cycle and create something unusual yet amazing at the same time. The art of wearing jewelry is to make a statement and speak for one’s choice of fashion. Who doesn’t love a diamond necklace or pearl earrings? Everyone! But there are those who are more connected to their jewelry and Lorena Azizeh Abuabara is one of the most unique designers out there with her beautiful jewelry designs all incorporated with nature and her love for it.
From a tender age, young Lorena had a love for jewelry making. Picking up fallen beads as she visited Neiman Marcus while shopping with her mother, she would then go home and create necklaces with her little treasures. Her love for beads and jewelry continued to grow as did her love for making them. She started collecting stones and beads from all over the world. At the age of 13, she interned with her mother’s jewelry designer friend and learned about the business. She learned how to melt gold, solder and get involved with the real world of jewelry designing. Her hobby turned into an eponymous jewelry business not found anywhere else.
During her college years, she signed up for a jewelry design class but soon dropped out due to lack of creativity, which didn’t suit young Lorena’s wild spirit. With no official education prior to creating her own jewelry business, this designer continued on with her passion for creating unique pieces all on her own. Her love for colors, statement pieces and nature was all that was needed to succeed in the jewelry designing world.
“In college I started making myself large statement pieces because I couldn’t find any jewelry I liked anywhere. Everyone was wearing the same pieces and I hated that. People quickly noticed my unique designs and would stop me to ask about them and would even beg to buy them off me. I never thought or planned to make a business out of it, I just stumbled into it. By word of mouth my clientele basis grew and that is how ‘Azizeh’ the brand began.”
Her line comprises different handmade pieces; all one of a kind. Her large chunky bracelets, large rings and necklaces are adorned with colorful stones, weaved with large crystals, semi-precious stones, gems, beads, tassels and threads all intertwined in a way only Lorena can. Her designs are loud and personal; she also uses amethyst crystals and turquoise with healing powers and metaphysical properties. The designer is connected to her spirituality in a way that shows in her choice of collaborations. After living in Maui, Hawaii for two years, she has become attuned to her spiritual side and connection to the universe. In her words, the magical energy of Maui makes everyone appreciate nature, life and everything about it.
“I like embracing individuality. I find inspiration in anything and everything! From the grinds that come out of my juicer to the coral in the ocean.”
The art of creation doesn’t just pop up suddenly, artists find inspiration in every turn and incorporate it in their work, resulting in creative designs and Lorena’s keen eye, travels and inspirations surround her along with her choice of lifestyle. Her choice of semi-precious gems and stones are collected from all over the world and Hawaii’s natural wonders have influenced the designs greatly, getting in touch with nature one on one. Since starting her business in 2005, Lorena has expanded her designs to bags and clutches using the same motif she uses in her jewelry with the addition of sea shells, ethnic patterns, and large charms.
The designer’s bohemian chic pieces speak loudly and have gained attention amongst A-list Hollywood stars; they have been featured in a number of magazine spreads and are a favorite amongst bloggers and beach lovers with a flair for a laid back bohemian style.
Lorena is very adherent about being exceptional and is against mass production for her line, this is due to her rare connection with her pieces and wanting each piece to be special on their own.
For more information on Lorena’s beautiful statement pieces, follow her on her Instagram page Lorena Azizeh. Her jewelry is sold in Four Seasons Resorts worldwide, and customers can contact her personally through her website

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TheFace: For this successful fashion designer, one dream was not enough

Updated 2 min 17 sec ago

TheFace: For this successful fashion designer, one dream was not enough

  • Lacking in financial assistance but armed with grit, perseverance and passion, a young Saudi woman fashion designer launches her own brand while pursuing further studies, and succeed in both

I was born and raised in Riyadh and moved to London in 2004 to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree, followed by a Master’s degree in Mental Health.

Eight years ago, when I started on my Ph.D. in Psychology, I felt compelled to go into fashion design. Armed with grit, perseverance and passion, I took the plunge and launched my own brand, LUM, in May 2010.

I had no financial assistance and no fancy business plans — but I believed in it. No one else did, except my older sister who stood by me.

In spite of its humble beginning, the brand was well-received in the Kingdom and the Gulf region. But my father, a physician, was not convinced. I placed a bet with him, vowing to make substantial sales and revenue within one month. On July 1, 2013, I won that bet, making him my number one supporter.  In 2016, I achieved my academic dream, obtaining a Ph.D. in psychology at City University London.  

But it was not easy. Enduring sleepless nights and homesickness, I persevered to meet high academic demands. Meanwhile, the LUM business continued to flourish.

People asked why a successful fashion designer would pursue a doctorate in psychology. I was constantly asked to pick one — but my heart was in one and my mind was in another. 

Few believed I could achieve both. At times, I too doubted myself.

Today, I am an assistant professor at Dar Al Hekma University in Jeddah, supervising award-winning researchers. I am also a Saudi designer and manager of a successful fashion brand sold in the GCC, New York and Los Angeles.  I share my story to empower women to pursue their dreams, to believe in themselves, to fight for what they want.

People still ask: “Why both?” 

I reply, smiling: “Because one dream was not enough.”