They say that jewelry complements its wearer, but some go even further by telling a story. Salama Khalfan, a renowned jewelry designer in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), prides herself in surprising her customers with stunning designs based on specific themes and locations. Her collections truly resonate with wearers as she was awarded the Best Daywear Jewelry Prize at the third edition of Ebda’a Award held in Abu Dhabi in 2015, one of many accolades she has received over the years.
As a young girl, Khalfan had a passion for arts and crafts as she often used gouache and oils on her paintings, and as an adult, she fell in love with the Earth's precious gems and stones. She decided to combine her love for art with her new passion for jewelry design, which motivated her to obtain certification on the field at the Gemological Institute of America before kick-starting her career.
However, it would be Khalfan's love for horses that would help the jewelry designer find her concept. In 2009, she bought her horse, Penelope, and would go on rides over the fields.
This gave her a sense of freedom while taking in the sights and sounds of nature but, perhaps, Penelope's grace, strength, and elegance was a source of inspiration for the type of woman Khalfan wanted to craft her jewelry for. Simultaneously, it was the main theme behind her first jewelry pieces, an equestrian-themed bracelet using gold jewelry intertwined with a leather wraparound strap.
In 2014, Khalfan launched her career with her first collection and, in November 2018, she inaugurated her first flagship store at the Dubai Marine Resort & Spa in Jumeirah, Dubai. Ever since then, she has gone on to build collaborations and partnerships with other designers, while designing jewelry pieces for A-list celebrities in Hollywood.
Many of Khalfan's pieces are based on classic Arabic craftsmanship, designed to cater to the modern and stylish women. Just like her first pieces, some of her collections are crafted to reflect certain themes. For instance, the Calliope collection is centered around circuses of the mid-20th century reflecting the tents, popcorn, the music, and acrobat rings. Among her most recent works is a collaboration with Mouawad, designed to reflect the palm trees across the UAE and the Gulf region. The headpiece was showcased at Abu Dhabi Art from November 17 to 21, 2021.