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.
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.
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.
“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.