From London to Beirut, the latest collection from jewellery designer Maha Lozi, which was unveiled at London Fashion Week, is a reflection of her diverse background, integrating her Arab roots with a Western upbringing.
Born in Lebanon and educated in the United Kingdom, she lived in Dubai from 2006 to 2011 before moving back to London, where her atelier is based.
“My inspiration is the cultural mix present in both London and Beirut,” Lozi says. “The theme brings together two cities with so much in common, yet so different in influences and challenges.”
“Lebanon, with its history as a gateway to many historical periods, has created great craftsmanship that luckily remain today,” says Lozi. “The Lebanese are able to take both Middle Eastern and European influences and combine them in a unique way, whether it be music, art, or fashion, or simply a way of living.”
Lozi first ventured into jewellery design while living in Dubai, taking inspiration from the UAE’s crafts tradition. Her early pieces, in fact, were produced in the Emirates by local artisans. The gothic, edgy creations star in Lozi’s first collection – Sloane – named after her early London address. Lozi’s designs now include a more delicate and refined touch.
Her jewellery has been worn by stars including Rita Ora, Naomi Campbell, Miley Cyrus and Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer – clients that do their boundary-pushing of their own in their chosen fields.
“Jewellery is not just a function of how you want to look, but everything you’ve been,” Lozi says. “A woman should be who she wants to be. My designs help a woman make a statement.”
“I think cultural values are shifting. Sure, ‘diamonds are a woman’s best friend’ will continue to resonate with many, but prioritising ‘bling’ is no longer the case – and certainly not the intention with my designs,” she says. “I believe I push the envelope in many ways to balance style, luxury and craftsmanship – a point best illustrated by insisting on handmade pieces and limiting production lines.”
“Elegantly eclectic” best describes Lozi’s work, reflecting her current mixed bag of influences that include “rock and roll, punk, romance, loss, trees and leaves”.
“I love that whole organic look – antique, trying to create something that looks incredibly old but with the edginess of today,” she says.
“Where there is diversity or chaos, there is creativity, which is what I try to capture in my work. Grit and friction can create a pearl.”
Quizzed about the pressure of showcasing her work at the prestigious platform of London Fashion Week, Lozi says she is taking it in her stride.
“I’m not nervous,” she says. “I’m enjoying every moment of it, because after all it’s about living life in the moment, whatever the outcome.”