Lina Mansour is ready to make her mark in Egypt’s flourishing jewellery design scene. After spending a few years informally designing unique pieces for her friends and family, this up and coming designer has decided to turn her passion for design into a profession. Incorporating rare natural stones with classical combinations of diamonds and gold, Mansour is on her way to establishing a unique jewellery brand that sets her apart from the competition. eniGma’s Mohamad Nagi caught up with this exciting new designer to find out more about her career, her unique creations, and her sources of inspiration.
When did you start designing jewellery?
About two years ago I was making pieces for my friends and myself. These were my first steps at becoming a designer. Since then, I’ve taken a course to improve my design skills and six months ago I decided to take designing seriously. My family and friends encouraged me and really pushed me to do so. I launched my first collection in March. I have two lines and within each I have different collections targeting different age groups. The collection for younger people is also more affordable. I am now making jewellery for men as well and I’m planning to make more.
What made you become a jewellery designer?
In Lebanon, a lot of the jewellery designers were Armenian, so being half Armenian may have contributed to my passion for creating jewellery. Also, as a child I was always into fashion and I’ve always had an eye for accessories. I always felt you could play around and be creative with jewellery-making.
Do you feel that your work has changed since you started?
My designs change depending on the stones I find. In the beginning, I used to design extremely small things. Now I look for very delicate, unique, one-of-a-kind stones and incorporate them in my designs. I also started out only making jewellery for women, but now I make stuff for men too. For men, I use more manly materials like black rhodium, which showcases the diamonds differently and makes them pop out as well.
How would you describe your design style?
Delicate and dainty. Simplicity means a lot to me. But I also like bright colours and stones, specifically rare ones. When it comes to diamonds, my favorite shape is the pear-shaped diamond, although round diamonds usually have more value. I like using lace in making bangles and some rings. I used to mostly work with gold and diamonds, but now I incorporate natural stones in my designs. I don’t often make the common designs such as Nazar (evil eye) and the Hand of Fatima, since a lot of Arab designers have been making them. But when I do, I add a European twist to them.
Who do you have in mind when you design your jewellery?
I aim to appeal to people who are very artsy and very style oriented, but not those who are super classic because they would prefer simple diamonds.
Where do you get the inspiration for your designs?
I get new ideas from everything. I’m very inspired by nature. I love anything that’s natural. I can imagine a bird and get an idea. Coloured stones also inspire me. I develop most of my design concepts when I start playing around with stones. If my design is not made the exact way that I want and imagine, I won’t produce it. So I have to be totally convinced.
Which of your creations is your favourite?
One of my favorite pieces is a feather earring that I made out of pearl and diamonds; it was one of my first pieces. I don’t want to pick just one piece though, because they’re all special to me.
Can you give us some tips on how to choose the right piece of jewellery?
When wearing jewellery, you have to make sure it enhances the colour of your skin. I like dainty stuff and I’m not into bulky designs. I like pieces that are eye catching, but that can still be worn every day, like a statement earring but in a very delicate design. If you’re going to wear a big piece of jewellery, you have to wear it on its own. You can’t wear a necklace, ring, earrings, and everything all at once.
You can find Lina’s jewellry on enigmashopping.com