A passionate jewelry designer and philanthropist, Her Highness Sheikha Sana Al Maktoum reveals a new collection that shows her fierce determination.
Born to an artist mother, Emirati Sheikha Sana Al Maktoum was exposed to creativity and the arts from a young age. Years spent admiring beautiful jewelry pieces passed down through her family members played an integral part in the royal choosing to create her own pieces – jewelry that sparked emotions and the desire for safekeeping. “Something that could be handed down from generation to generation and at the same time, something utterly feminine, ethereal, and contemporary,” she remarks.
Founding her eponymous brand in 2020 – at just 21 years old – Sheikha Sana entered the jewelry world with unbridled passion. “Launching Sana Al Maktoum Fine Jewellery was no easy feat and like many other businessowners, I am involved in every aspect,” she says. Her second collection, Talisman, draws inspiration from the art deco style of the 1920s. “I’ve always loved the Twenties; it was about the first time when women would start to be empowered in society as well as viewed as equals, and it felt right to draw inspiration from such a transformative era,” she notes. In her new collection, Sheikha Sana incorporates crystals with purported healing properties. “The main motivation behind this is my own spiritual journey where I was exposed to the healing power of crystals,” she says of the capsule consisting of 13 pieces where crystals, gold, and diamonds intersperse. “Created with intention, these pieces will identify with the rising need for incorporating healing crystals in our lives,” she continues, offering that her jewelry is for women who are not afraid to showcase their soft power, and are proud of their femininity and contributions to society.
The first preview of the Talisman collection took place at an International Women’s Day dinner hosted in collaboration with Harrods. “I was over the moon to be collaborating with Harrods. After showcasing the My Treasure collection in Christie’s last year, this seemed like the right next step,” considers the royal. The Talisman collection’s launch coincides with Ramadan, making it a precursor to a spiritual time of the year.
Her debut My Treasure butterfly-themed collection drew inspiration from her late grandmother and namesake Sheikha Sana’a, whom she remarks was a force to be reckoned with. “The butterfly is a tribute to my grandmother, as she is my greatest inspiration and my muse. My grandmother was one of the first educated Emirati businesswomen and I’m often told by family members that I have her spirit guiding me always. She was the leading light for the empowerment of Emirati women here and I hope to carry the torch,” says Sheikha Sana. “The butterfly is also a symbol of transformation. A woman today has many roles to play and she is constantly transforming – from a child to a teenager, a college student to a working professional, a wife to a mother, a co-worker to a boss. I knew early on this would be the overriding theme of this collection.”
Along with being an entrepreneur, Sheikha Sana believes in the empowerment of women and children’s education. “I have been on the ground working on discovering what women and children need – from creating and donating a painting called 634 for the Art 4 Sight auction organized by Noor Dubai and Sotheby’s to help raise money for the visually impaired, to celebrating UAE National Day with children of determination at Al Noor Training Centre, and hosting a lunch for orphans in collaboration with Red Crescent UAE.” Sheikha Sana also visits schools around Dubai and contributes to their reading programs through impactful donations to libraries. She has also inaugurated Fakeeh University Hospital’s new breast clinic.
The royal’s interests don’t stop there. Along with fine arts, Sheikha Sana is also an avid sportswoman, and has a keen interest in fashion. When it comes to jewelry design, her mind is always buzzing with fresh ideas. “I am looking forward to expanding the Sana Al Maktoum Fine Jewellery business internationally – Harrods is just the beginning. I’m also looking at possible design collaborations,” she further adds.
Free-spirited and driven, the young designer doesn’t follow codes in her creations, only her inner inspiration. “I don’t like to follow trends. If you have a blank canvas, trends add color to the canvas, but the story is within you. You make the story and your expression of what you want to wear.” Recognizing that her own story starts as an Emirati woman, Sheikha Sana notes how blessed she feels to be surrounded by women who have supported her endeavors since their early days, stating, “The support of our community drives me, and I often find myself marveling at how far we have come.”
Originally published in the April 2022 issue of Vogue Arabia
Hair and makeup: Sara Yunis
Location: Waldorf Astoria, DIFC