Design: Wear your emoji!

Design: Wear your emoji!

Feeling sad, happy, frantic or just plain ecstatic? With ‘The Twist’, Danya Jabre’s quirky emoji-themed jewellery brand, you can let your accessories do the talking for you!


Janice Rodrigues

Published: Fri 19 Jun 2015, 12:48 PM

Last updated: Sun 26 Jul 2015, 2:53 PM

It’s not at all unusual to find jewellery inspired by the things around you. After all, over the years, jewellery has been created to mimic the shapes of just about anything found in nature — from floral patterns to &intriguing, odd animal designs (who can possibly forget that snake jewellery trend that celebrities could not seem to get enough of last year?). Which is why, in the modern, tech-obsessed world that we live in today, it’s no surprise &that the next big craze in fine jewellery would be things you see on your screen every day — emojis!
“We live in an age where everything is all about social media and we express our every emotion online — be it via our Facebook statuses, Instagram posts or Twitter feeds,” points out Lebanese jewellery designer Danya Jabre, whose bold collection of emoji jewellery is turning quite a few heads. “All social media sites have provisions to help us explain our feelings through various emojis because that resonates so much better than just text. At the same time, emojis are being used on everything from school supplies to home accessories. And that made me think, ‘Why not fine jewellery?’”
Which is why the Beirut-based des-igner decided to create a fine jewellery brand that is a blend of fashion and modern-day culture. From bracelets to pendants, her emoji-inspired creations represent just about every emotion — in precious stones like sapphires and rub-ies, to boot. Moreover, her quirky coll-ection includes a series of symbols we see on screens but hardly on our jewellery, from diamond-studded hashtags to gold plated question marks.
Having spent many years travelling around the world when younger, Danya grew up in Canada before moving to the US and France and finally shifting to Beirut — something she credits to having had an impact on her distinct sense of design.
Danya also admits that her fascination for offbeat jewellery designs started at a very young age, and isn’t just limited to emojis alone. “Jewellery is something I have loved ever since I was a little girl. I was always fascinated by precious stones and the entire jewellery-making process, and used to ask mum’s jeweller a lot of questions when I was only nine years old. By the time I was 13, and living &in London, I had a quirky collection of earrings, zippers, safety pins, as well as faucets and umbrellas! As you can see, I always had a love for these ordinary household things that could be turned into fun accessories.”
Which is why, despite have no experience in the jewellery business whatsoever, Danya decided to forge ahead when she got the idea of making emoji-themed jewellery. A graphic designer by profession, Danya majored in fine arts, interior design and graphic design while in college in Canada, and was also a partner in a design company based in Beirut only two years ago, after having moved back to Lebanon. “I took a break after having my two kids, and it was then that I discovered my love for graphic design. I’ve always had a love for jewellery, but to be honest, The Twist came about completely spontaneously. It was just supposed to be a capsule collection, but one design seemed to lead to another and before you know it, the brand was born.”
So what gives The Twist, well, its twist? “Jewellery is meant to reflect a woman’s personality. For example, women who appreciate classic beauty tend to choose pearls or brooches, feminine women opt for flower jewellery and other dainty pieces, while dynamic women are more modern and bolder.” It’s a no-brainer to figure out which type of women appreciate Danya’s whimsical designs!  
“The best part of creating the collection is the kind of feedback I have been getting,” Danya adds. “A lot of women have gone so far as to tell me that my jewellery makes them happy, and that it lifts their mood.”
So is she on a mission to spread joy through her quirky collection? “Funny, I never thought of it that way,” she muses. “It wasn’t the point in the beginning, but I would definitely love that!”
Today, the sky seems to be the limit for the talented mumpreneur. Her collection is doing well, despite reservations from those around her. “Initially, I was rather scared to pursue this dream, and many people tried to talk me out of it. They said it wouldn’t sell well as it is a new concept in the world of fine jewellery. When you say fine jewellery, most people tend to think of really blingy, expensive pieces. But my jewellery is about fun pieces than the usual head-spinning ice most women tend to wear.” 
Well, she couldn’t be more right — if her jewellery isn’t a good conversation-starter, we don’t know what is. And this could very well could be the start of something big — perhaps the future will see us not only using our Facebook and Twitter accounts, but finding a way to wear them — literally!  -

Most of Danya’s creations are made using 18K gold and precious stones. Besides Dubai, they are also available in  Monaco, Cairo, and Lebanon 

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