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Five minutes with: Egyptian jewellery designer Jude Benhalim

A rising talent
Cairo-based Jude Benhalim began designing jewellery at the age of 17. Now 25, she has her own eponymous line of jewels to armour the women of the region in. Here, we meet the talented designer to talk more about her line, what the pieces represent and what we can expect next...

Tell me a little about how you got started…

It started eight years ago, when I was only 17; I had to do a creative design project to complete my high school graduation diploma, so I decided to make a small collection of beaded jewellery. I was surprised to see how well people perceived my designs, and how much joy it brought me to see my sketches come to life. That was when I knew I wanted to pursue jewellery designing as a career.

How would you describe your brand’s aesthetic?

The brand’s aesthetic is unique; my designs are aesthetically inspired by modern art and architecture, sharp edges and abstract constructions.

Who is the woman you design for?

I design each piece of jewellery with a fearless female spirit in mind. Each design is an expression of this muse and each collection moves with her, reflecting a specific sequence from her ongoing story. I believe in giving more than just a piece of jewellery, I love to tell a relatable story with every piece I make, and inspire women to feel confident and empowered just like I am inspired by them every day.

jude benhalim

How does your Middle Eastern heritage influence your designs?

The Middle East has a rich history with the art of jewellery making and craftsmanship. The Middle Eastern heritage inspires me to mix the traditional craftsmanship with modern art to create avant-garde jewelry.

Tell me a little about the way you support Egyptian women through your manufacturing process?

Encouraging and empowering women is at the essence of the brand. Jude Benhalim is proudly managed by a team of eight women and is committed to empowering women with job opportunities.

Why is jewellery so empowering for women?

I think that especially the women that wear my designs love to make statements through their appeal. They are bold with an edgy and daring sense of style. I design each piece with a woman that is self-confident and values her individuality in mind. I love to see women relate to my jewellery; it speaks to them automatically.

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What was your first memory of jewellery?

My first memory of jewellery is when I used to play with my grandma’s jewellery; I remember the beads, crystals, long chains of pearls and more.

How would you describe the process of establishing your own jewellery line? Have you faced any opposition along the way?

The process hasn’t been easy but it was definitely a fruitful one; the struggle was juggling between the work, my studies and my social life, but I was supported by everyone around me and I’ve been blessed for not facing any oppositions.

What’s next for the brand?

Right now I am working on expanding my brand on a global scale and build exposure for my first flagship store in Cairo (which opened on October 30). I’m also launching my Summer collection soon, which took a different but interesting direction.

Now, learn more about Emirati jewellery designer Noora Shawqi