Zendaya dazzles in jewels by Saudi designer

Updated 13 November 2019

Zendaya dazzles in jewels by Saudi designer

  • "Euphoria" actress Zendaya wore jewels from a Saudi Arabian designer on Sunday
  • She chose a pair of diamond earrings and a matching ring from the Jeddah-based fine jewelry house

DUBAI: On Sunday, actors, models and directors gathered in Santa Monica, California, for the 2019 E! People’s Choice Awards. When it came to the red carpet, “Euphoria” actress Zendaya stole the show wearing a black, single-shoulder gown by Sydney-based designer Christopher Esber that featured sparkling details and a cut-out at the waist. 

Zendaya, who took home the Best Movie Actress award for “Spiderman: Far From Home” and the Drama TV Star prize for “Euphoria,” elevated the elegant gown with black pointed-toe pumps from Christian Louboutin and a swipe of red lipstick. 

But the one detail that instantly caught our attention was the shimmering diamonds plucked from the archives of Saudi Arabian fine jewelry house Nadine Jewelry that were worthy of their very own accolades. 

Zendaya, with a little help from her long-time stylist Law Roach, chose a pair of sparkling earrings that shone even brighter against her effortless topknot, and a matching diamond-encrusted ring from the Jeddah-based jewelry house founded by Nadine Attar in 2018.




Zendaya chose a pair of sparkling earrings and a matching diamond-encrusted ring form the Jeddah-based jeweler. (Photo: AFP)


The made-in-Italy bijoux were crafted with marquise and round cut diamonds and adorned with a large oval golden beryl. The pieces are from the not-yet-released Farah collection, which will be "revealed slowly next month, Attar discloses to Arab News.

Attar, who is a certified gemologist — she left a successful corporate career in banking to pursue her passion and establish her brand—  first launched her namesake label during an intimate suhoor event in the UAE during Ramadan 2018. She went on to celebrate her boutique opening in Jeddah a month later before debuting her unisex collections, including her most recent offering entitled “Sirr,” at a high tea event hosted by UN Women and The Alwaleed Philanthropies. 

Though it has only been a year since the brand’s launch, the jeweler’s designs — which are inspired by “nature, spirituality and culture,” according to the website — have been making waves in the fine jewelry world, grabbing the attention of a host of high-profile celebrities who have all been spotted rocking the label’s handcrafted pieces. Victoria’s Secret models Alessandra Ambrosio and Isabelle Goulart, as well as Egyptian icon Yousra and Tunisian star Hend Sabri, have all sported Nadine Jewelry on international red carpets since its debut.

Another memorable look from the evening was US actress Brittany Snow’s demure dark dress, complete with a peek-a-boo cutout. She accessorized the heavily beaded look with a dazzling silver orb bag by Kuwaiti handbag label Marzook.


South Asian marriage websites under fire for color bias

Updated 12 July 2020

South Asian marriage websites under fire for color bias

DHAHRAN: An online backlash has forced the matrimonial website Shaadi.com to take down an ‘skin color’ filter which asked users to specify their skin color using descriptors such as fair, wheatish or dark. The filter on the popular site, which caters to the South Asian diaspora, was one of the parameters for matching prospective partners.

Meghan Nagpal, a Toronto-based graduate student, logged on to the website and was appalled to see the skin-color filter. “Why should I support such archaic view [in 2020]?” she told Arab News.

Nagpal cited further examples of implicit biases against skin color in the diaspora communities – women who are dark-skinned are never acknowledged as “beautiful” or how light-skinned South Asian women who are mistaken as Caucasian consider it a compliment.

“Such biases stem from a history of colonization and the mentality that ‘white is superior’,” she said.

When Nagpal emailed the website’s customer service team, she received the response that “this is what most parents require.” She shared her experience on a Facebook group, attracting the attention of Florida-based Roshni Patel and Dallas-based Hetal Lakhani. The former took to online activism by tweeting the company and the latter started an online petition.

Overnight, the petition garnered more 1,500 signatures and the site eventually removed the filter.

“Now is the time to re-evaluate what we consider beautiful. Colorism has significant consequences in our community, especially for women. People with darker skin experience greater prejudice, violence, bullying and social sanctions,” the petition reads. “The idea that fairer skin is ‘good’ and darker skin is ‘bad’ is completely irrational. Not only is it untrue, but it is an entirely socially constructed perception based in neo-colonialism and casteism, which has no place in the 21st century.”

Overnight, the petition garnered more 1,500 signatures and the site eventually removed the filter.

“When a user highlighted this, we were thankful and had the remnants removed immediately. We do not discriminate based on skin color and our member base is as diverse and pluralistic as the world,” a spokesperson said.

“If one company starts a movement like this, it can change minds and perceptions. This is a step in the right direction,” said Nagpal. Soon after, Shaadi.com’s competitor Jeevansathi.com also took down the skin filter from its website.

Colorism and bias in matrimony is only one issue; prejudices are deeply ingrained and widespread across society. Dr. Sarah Rasmi, a Dubai-based psychologist, highlights research and observations on how light skin is an advantage in society.

The website took down the skin filter following backlash.

“Dark skin tends to have lower socio-economic status and, in the US justice system, has been found to get harsher and more punitive sentences.

“These biases for fair as opposed to dark skin comes from colonial prejudices and the idea that historically, light skin has been associated with privilege, power and superiority,” she said.

However, in the wake of #BlackLivesMatter protests, change is underway.

Last month, Johnson & Johnson announced that it will be discontinuing its skin whitening creams in Asian and Middle Eastern markets, and earlier this month Hindustan Unilever Limited (Unilever’s Indian subsidiary) announced that it will remove the words ‘fair, white and light’ from its products and marketing. To promote an inclusive standard of beauty, it has also renamed its flagship Fair & Lovely product line to Glow & Lovely.

“Brands have to move away from these standards of beauty and be more inclusive so that people – regardless of their color, size, shape or gender – can find a role model that looks like them in the mass media,” said Dr. Rasmi.