She may have studied design in the United States, but it is her Middle Eastern roots that May Al Qassar pays tribute to in her work. The Kuwaiti jewelry designer has unveiled her latest collection, entitled “May’s Garden”, which takes cues from the fluid script of the Arabic alphabet with its graphic, yet undulating silhouettes. “I have always admired the shapes and elements of the Arabic letters, and I love how the flowers bloom from a bud to a flower and each petal moves with the wind,” the designer tells Vogue.me. “My love with Arabic letters and flowers inspired me to design this collection.”
Crafted in 18kt rose gold, and delicately studded with fine gems such as diamonds, rubies, and emeralds, the striking collection fuses recognizably Arab-influenced shapes with a modern simplicity. Al Qassar, who holds a BFA from Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute, first started designed jewels for friends and family in 2007, before launching her eponymous label in 2010, after moving back to her native Kuwait.
“I’ve been designing jewelry for the past 11 years, and up to 2017 I felt that I was discovering myself with design, and working with customizing pieces more than creating a whole collection,” she says, adding that she feels that has changed with her latest line. “When I was in college in New York, I was studying Visual Communications and it was all about western culture and it was in English. That made me want to get back to my roots, so I researched Arabic typography and Middle Eastern artists, which made me more interested in what I want to do as a designer.”
While there is no one person that Al Qassar would love to see sporting her pieces, the designer admits she loves to see anyone “who has their own sense of style” in the line. Of her own highlights from the latest collection, Al Qassar has a “special connection” to each piece, though reveals a 11.4 carat, bi-color sapphire ring holds a special place in her heart. “There is one piece that really played with my emotions which is called the Rose Ring,” she says. “This ring is so dear to me, because it really was a genuine love at first sight when I saw the stone.”
Scroll through the gallery above to discover more of the May’s Garden collection. Pieces can be ordered at mayjewelrydesign.com.
Photography: Djinane AlSuwayeh
Styling: Yousif Abdulsaid
Hair and makeup: Fatima Al Naqi