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A talk with Salama Khalfan, the founder of the fine jewelry brand that turns heads

Salama Khalfan Calliope Collection

We met with Kendal Jenner’s jewelry crush: the Dubai-based jewelry designer Salama Khalfan during the launch of her new collection Calliope unveiled Mad Lords, the ultimate Parisian destination to spot the coolest jewelry trends. She opened up about her inspirations and the philosophy of her brand.

Author By Marie-Caroline Selmer

Portrait Salama Khalfan
Salama Khalfan

THE EYE OF JEWELRY- CAN YOU INTRODUCE US YOUR NEW COLLECTION?

Salama Khalfan- The Calliope collection is inspired by the circus theme and all the childhood memories that are related to it. The colors of the tent, the smell of the popcorn, the music of the calliope, the stripes and the pattern, the main purpose is to capture them into a collection that exudes this playful atmosphere.

THEIOFJ-  Like in a circus, each piece of the collection aims to surprise us, isn’t it?

SK- Exactly! We have worked on the movement of the jewelry in order to replicate the movement of the performing artists. The Calliope acrobat ring embodies the concept of the collection: playfulness and versatility.  The piece has two sides :  one for the daytime and one for night time including diamonds. The ring can also be worn as a pendant. As a matter of fact, there are multiple ways to wear my jewelry : for example, your friend and yourself can own the same piece but it will look totally different!

Alezan by SK - Calliope Acrobat Ring
Alezan by SK – Calliope Acrobat Ring

THEIOFJ- This collection includes pearls for the first time. How do you feel about them?

SK: The circus theme brings everything together – it’s a circus theme from the 1930’s and 1940’s, when women used to wear a lot of pearls in their jewelry. Pearls have also found their way into this collection because they are so important in the heritage of my family, they are related to my identity and draw out of things that I am used to see. Also, my ancestors happened to be pearl divers.

THEIOFJ: Why did you choose to highlight the pearls with enamel?

SK: It resonates inside me. Enamel also reminds me of the jewelry I used to see on my mother when I was a kid, I think there is a little bit of nostalgia! I like the contrast between pearls and enamel because I am a firm believer that this material turns pearls from something classic to something modern.

THEIOFJ: Your horseshoe design is your signature and noticeable in most of your collections including in the Circus line. How did your love for horses and equestrian heritage prompted your jewelry creations?

SK: As a rider myself, horses work like my muses but not only. I draw inspiration from architecture, art and cultures around the world. I like the idea that horses transport us and open us to new cultures. For instance, with the Shanhan collection, inspired by the Asian culture, the wearer whisks back in time to 3,000 years ago under the era of the Shang Dynasty and its majestic color palette.

Above all, I think that surrounding myself with other cultures creates a certain ambiance in my heart and soul. Inspiration naturally comes out this way. With jewelry, I am able to combine my love for art and horses, so I am in a place that is very balanced and allow me to experience a lot within my jewelry creation.

THEIOFJ-  You said that your brand’s purpose is to create jewelry for modern women. How do you want women to feel  wearing your pieces?

SK: With their busy schedule, modern women need jewelry they can wear daily, that does not prevent them from their regular lifestyle. When I started designing, I didn’t want to put more jewelry in the market. I am an artist before becoming a jeweler, so I wanted to create pieces of wearable art that are able to trigger emotions inside you. My jewelry has to be beautiful but also has to make you feel special, happy and complimented. I have created the designs, but I don’t like to impose my style to the person who wears them. I just want women to feel utterly themselves, no matter what the environment and the surrounding expect you to be!.

Alezan By SK - Calliope Phantom Juggler Ring
Alezan By SK – Calliope Phantom Juggler Ring
Alezan By SK - Calliope Adagio Ear Cuff
Alezan By SK – Calliope Adagio Ear Cuff