Originality, key to smart branding, says Qatari jewellery designer

Leila Issam Abuissa

In the jewellery industry, luxury houses need to stand out among other brands in the market, and for Leila Issam Fine Jewellery, having a unique and distinct brand plays a significant role in keeping up with the competition.

Asked what distinguishes Leila Issam Fine Jewellery from other Qatari and international luxury houses, 29-year old Leila Issam Abuissa noted: “I try to stay as original and as authentic as I can in terms of design and branding in order to really be recognised as a brand and not just a jeweller.”

“Our designs are original, yet we try to keep within actual trends; our design process is well-thought and well-researched,” she continued.

A creation of Leila Issam Fine Jewellery

Qatar is the perfect jump-off point to launch her collections and expand the brand before taking on major luxury markets, according to Abuissa, who is among the leading Qatari designers participating in the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE).

The 16th edition of the DWJE will run until February 25 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre where many local as well as international jewellery houses are showcasing their latest pieces.

While penetrating international markets adds value in terms of branding and market presence, Abuissa said she takes things in stride and aspires to make a name for herself in the local market before launching her collections abroad.

“Qatar is definitely an important market for me; as a Qatari I wouldn’t start anywhere else. However, in terms of expansion plans, I also would see myself in foreign markets, as well,” Abuissa told Gulf Times.

“I think location is key; being well-positioned can really help your brand credibility, and I work really hard on the brand image, as well, with high-quality advertising, professional photography, and detailed branding. I think we will be able to position ourselves as a leading Qatari brand,” she emphasised.

On the local front, Abuissa is determined to expand Leila Issam Fine Jewellery’s market presence by adding new outlets but she also leaves the door open for expansion in the European and Asian markets.

“I am aiming for my line to be available in Doha and two other locations by the end of the year, if all goes as planned. I would love to be in Europe as a next phase; being in a respected and mature market is important for Leila Issam Fine Jewellery. Perhaps, after that I would like to be in China because it is such a big and growing market,” she pointed out.

Abuissa also commended the organisers of this year’s DJWE, and the role the exhibition plays in promoting Leila Issam Fine Jewellery’s collection as a local luxury brand: “The exhibition plays a very big role, and it is the perfect set-up to be able to get the exposure we need to introduce our brand to the media and important clientele.”

She also expressed her admiration for the Qatari woman’s confidence and taste in fashion and jewellery. “It is really interesting to get their opinion and perception of our designs,” she said.

Abuissa first obtained her Baccalaureate in French Literature and Philosophy – a combination she felt she needed first in order to understand the discipline that continues today in her thinking process of creating luxury products.

She then moved to Paris to study art and design where she experimented with different fine art techniques, as well as design in all its forms whether conceptual or interior. But it was after she moved to Florence did the jewellery world struck her from every angle, and began a quest for an art form she would take on as her own.

Coming from a family of luxury retailers, Abuissa grew up with a sense of the business. Although prior to launching her own brand, Abuissa started her career in the corporate world of gold and diamond trading where she was able to get a better understanding of the industry.