Saudi designer’s humanitarian slant puts sheen on jewelry brand

Sheen combines artistry and social causes. (Supplied)
Updated 06 November 2019

Saudi designer’s humanitarian slant puts sheen on jewelry brand

DUBAI: All too often jewelry designers boast only of sparkling gold and attention-grabbing diamonds, so it is refreshing when humanitarian causes are at the heart of their creations.

Saudi designer Nosheen Bakhsh, founder of jewelry brand Sheen, is one such passionate example, combining her artistry for the Dubai-based label with social causes.

Most of her collections are in 18-karat gold with diamond precious and semi-precious stones. (Supplied)

Bakhsh, of Kashmiri origin, told Arab News: “The purpose (of moving into jewelry) was that I wanted to combine my passions. I wanted to come up with the perfect job. So that helped establish the founding principles of the brand: Design, culture and humanity.

“I knew that whatever I wanted to do needed to be creative. I needed a creative outlet, but I also wanted to give back somehow,” she added.

With every collection based on different cultures, Bakhsh selects a cause to receive a percentage of the proceeds from items sold. These have included the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ Syria crisis appeal, the Rohingya emergency fund, the Doctors Without Borders medical organization, and the Revive Kashmir long-term economic development program.

The Triangle Diamond piece is from Bakhsh’s latest collection, Kenza. (Supplied)

Bakhsh’s latest collection, Kenza, which is derived from the Arabic word “Kenz” meaning treasure, was launched on Saudi National Day.

“It is inspired by the Gulf ... Considering all the changes that are happening in Saudi Arabia at the moment, and all the women that are doing great things in the UAE and Saudi, and that all being highlighted, I thought it was the right time to finally do a collection dedicated to the region,” she said.

For every collection, Bakhsh looks into the cultures’ heritage, and that has applied to her recent release.

Bakhsh launched her brand in 2013. 

“A few of the pieces are inspired by really old Khaleeji jewelry, which usually used to be very chunky and made in silver. But my take on it is still consistent with my style. It is very dainty and symmetrical, but a lot more intricate than what they had in the past.”

Bakhsh, with a background in advertising, launched her brand in 2013. Most of her collections are in 18-karat gold with diamond precious and semi-precious stones. She also experimented with silver in one of her older collections, Chandi.

Top trends for next spring from global fashion weeks

Updated 3 min 48 sec ago

Top trends for next spring from global fashion weeks

  • Six of the hottest tips from the catwalks (virtual or otherwise) of fashion month

MILAN: Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the international fashion weeks in New York, Paris, London and Milan recently were a mix of physical shows and digital presentations. And it wasn’t just the events themselves that were affected by the coronavirus — many designers from around the world showed collections that were clearly influenced by social-distancing and lockdown, in often-contradictory ways. Whether that was the somber color palette of Simone Rocha in London, the face coverings and gloves that dominated several shows, or the more subtle nods to our ‘interesting times’ through the DIY vibe of crochet (Alberta Ferretti, for instance), the unexpected return of the sweatsuit (particularly predominant in New York Fashion Week), and the aspirational glamour of flamboyance and glitter. Tom Ford, who presented his Spring ’21 lookbook via video, provided plenty of the latter and suggested it was because he wanted to present clothes that “make us feel good” and hold out “hope of a happier time.” A sentiment that — regardless how you felt about his sequin-usage — was hard to find fault with.


Some designers — Molly Goddard in London, Salvatore Ferragamo in Milan — went bright, others were more muted — Max Mara’s sand and beige, say — and some were both — Boss in Milan, with shocking pink, cream, and sand examples. But they all seemed to agree that single-color clothing will be en vogue in spring next year. It’s bold and confident, certainly, and hopefully reflects how consumers might be feeling by the end of the winter.


If monochrome isn’t your thing, maybe you’ll feel more at home with another major — almost opposite — trend that saw many designers stamping all over conventional fashion wisdom. Cardinal sins were everywhere: Mixing colors that ‘shouldn’t’ be mixed (Pucci’s multi-colored tights), pairing patterns that shouldn’t be paired (stripes and squares!), throwing in animal prints willy-nilly, or, like Sunnei, constructing a shirt dress from four different plaid patterns. It was chaos, and all the better for it


Oversized clothing was everywhere in fashion month. Boss (again) had large sporty jackets in its Tik-Tok-streamed show; Louis Vuitton’s Paris show displayed a largely asexual collection — plenty of oversized jackets and blazers, along with ‘roomy’ pants; and Chloé paired voluminous blouses with high-waisted shorts and trousers. And mammoth handbags were ubiquitous throughout the month. Some observers suggested the super-sized clothes encouraged/forced those around to grant the wearer more personal space in these socially distanced times, others saw them as a throwback to Eighties power dressing. Either way, big is in.


From Tom Ford’s aforementioned sparkly sequins in New York to Molly Goddard’s dazzling A-line dresses in London via the floral prints beloved by Loewe in Paris and Valentino and Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini in Milan (the latter put on an open-air show, whether because of COVID or because flowers were such a dominant motif we’re not sure), many designers were clearly aiming to lift our collective spirits with a healthy dose of bright, bright beauty. And who could blame them?


For the last couple of years, retro fashion has been dominated by Eighties and Nineties throwbacks. If Simone Rocha and Erdem, to name but two, are to be believed, we’ll be looking a little further back for spring 2021 — almost 100 years further back. Rocha’s understated collection showed clear Victorian and Edwardian influences with its puffy sleeves, voluminous skirts and high necklines, while Erdem’s dramatic collection also pulled from Ye Olde Worlde, but somehow managed to seem more up-to-date than anyone.


Whether the non-medical-grade facemasks (see Oak & Acorn, Rick Owens) or other face coverings (Chanel’s veils or Paco Rabanne’s sequined hoods) and gloves (Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini’s rubber gardening gloves or Fendi’s bodysuits with attached gloves) are really what designers believe we’ll want to be wearing in the spring or simply a recognition of the current global situation it’s hard to say. But they were certainly impossible to ignore.