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Maral Artinian on Empowering Women Through Her Fine Jewelry Brand Marli on its 10th Anniversary

Maral Artinian on Empowering Women Through Her Fine Jewelry Brand Marli on its 10th Anniversary

As fine jewelry brand Marli turns 10, its founder reflects on Big Apple energy and creating a brand that empowers women.
Photo: Ankita Chandra
“When I came to New York, it’s like they dropped me from the parachute and then I came and walked in my jeans and I was like okay, I’m ready,” laughs Armenian- Syrian Maral Artinian, the designer, entrepreneur, and founder of Marli fine jewelry. Her family boasts a jewelry heritage that goes back a century and spans Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. But ultimately, it was the architecture and energy of New York that seduced her, and Artinian subsequently founded her company that creates minimal, contemporary, and refined pieces in 18ct gold and with diamonds and gemstones.
Photo: Ankita Chandra
Photo: Ankita Chandra
Artinian shares that she has vibrant memories of her childhood surrounded by jewelers. “I used to go to my father’s boutique and just absorb everything,” she recounts. “I started working when I was 18 and I did a bit of everything.” She adds that her Armenian heritage plays a big role in her life. “It’s my race, it’s my mother tongue,” she affirms. Equipped with a strong sense of self, she began traveling to the diamond hub of Belgium, and slowly but surely, began creating her own designs and pieces. “I worked closely with our craftsmen, going to the workshop, and then spent hours just watching whatever was happening.”
Photo: Ankita Chandra
The brand creates minimal pieces in 18ct gold, diamonds, and gemstones
Once in New York, Artinian began to create her brand on the principles of modernity but also woman empowerment, which she says was always part of her journey. “I experienced it on a personal level – women came, and they were confident in knowing what they needed and what they wanted to buy as jewelry.” Working today with her two brothers as business partners, she says they are all committed to acquiring new workshops, growing their business, and creating jewelry that speaks to women. The brand started working with black onyx, “an iconic color because it represented the eyeliner of Cleopatra as this is where [the collection] Cleo is inspired from,” adds Artinian. “And then we started adding colors – jade, lapis lazuli.”
Lojain Omran wearing Marli jewelry
Emma Roberts wearing a Marli Cleo diamond slip-on necklace
Ten years on, with an elegant and vibrant New York boutique in Hudson Yards, alongside some of the world’s most established fashion and jewelry brands, the founder’s focus is as sharp as ever. Her jewelry is worn by the likes of empowered women Scarlett Johansson, Emma Roberts, and Balqees Fathi. “When I was working with an artistic director and he asked me how I would describe Marli, I said – happy luxury, and this is what I still want to translate today. When consumers put the jewelry in their hands, the pieces have a certain lightness to them and a flexibility that makes them easy.” Artinian is the embodiment of her brand. She practices yoga, contributes to New York culture via her support of the Metropolitan Museum, is forever delighted in the presence of her dog, whom she refers to as her shadow, and is fearless with her fashion – from wearing a Dior Bar jacket, to all-denim. The day of her interview with Vogue Arabia, instead of her usual elegant, deconstructed bob, she showed up with an unexpected long, chunky braid, showing a playful side reflected in her jewelry. And where does this real New Yorker love to hang out? Her favorite haunts are Avra restaurant on Madison Avenue and the L. Raphael Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel. Forever active like the city that never sleeps, she enjoys jogging by the Hudson River on the West Side.
Cleo diamond slip-on bracelets
Cleo diamond slip-on bracelets
From New York, the brand has expanded with boutiques in the Middle East, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Abu Dhabi and Riyadh are the latest store openings. “My dad would have been so proud of me if he was seeing all this happening,” she reminisces. “Every moment for me is celebratory. I have so many such moments actually. I’ve had many, many customers come to the store who’ve wanted to meet with me and congratulate me on my brand. One customer told me, ‘Thank you for creating.’”
A campaign still for the Make an Entrance collection
The New York boutique in Hudson Yards
Originally published in the October 2022 issue of Vogue Arabia
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Exclusive: Balqees Fathi Gets Into the Spirit of Ramadan With MARLI New York’s New Jewelry Collection

Exclusive: Balqees Fathi Gets Into the Spirit of Ramadan With MARLI New York’s New Jewelry Collection

Photo: Courtesy MARLI
Among the list of the most loved musicians in the region is the name of Balqees Fathi, more often lovingly known by her fans simply as Balqees. Over the years, the Emirati-Yemeni singer, who has also counted herself as a UN Champion for Women’s Rights in the Middle East, hasn’t just taken over with her powerful voice and strong opinions, but also her unique style. A reflection of her fiery personality, Fathi’s wardrobe comes with more than its fair share of statement-makers, and it seems like her taste in jewelry falls perfectly in line with the aesthetic. This festive season, the musician is getting into the spirit of Ramadan with a special collaboration, lending her face to the Ramadan campaign of jewelry house MARLI.
Though its home may be the dynamic city of New York, MARLI takes inspiration from Asia, Europe and the Middle East, and manages to strike a cord with women across the globe with its minimal shapes—and oh, so wearable—designs. For Ramadan 2022, founder and creative director Maral Artinian crafted what is now called the Tip Top collection, a sparkling series of earrings, bracelets, neckpieces and rings that blur the lines between traditional and contemporary jewelry. And to share the collection with the world, Balqees Fathi was a natural choice. “Balqees embodies the MARLI persona,” Artinian reveals to Vogue Arabia. “She is independent, accomplished, and carefree. Her personality and perseverance inspired this collaboration.”
Photo: Courtesy MARLI
Dressed in free-flowing modest ensembles, Balqees Fathi plays the perfect muse for MARLI’s Tip-Top collection, which feature diamonds and precious stones in blue for an unexpected twist. Describing her relationship with the brand as “magnetic”, the star shared, “I was always fascinated with MARLI creations and I have always been a MARLI client since they launched in the region. The TVC concept has an extraordinary story line to celebrate Ramadan… It was a privilege to work with the team and Angy Akly, the creative producer and director.” In an exclusive chat with Vogue Arabia, the musicians opens up about her favorite Ramadan rituals, her festive style, and of course, all things jewelry.
Congratulations on starring in MARLI’s Ramadan campaign! Can you tell us about your most precious pieces of jewelry? 
I have two pieces of jewelry that are very dear to me: a gold bracelet from my dad which I wore as a kid and see in all my childhood pictures, and the second piece was a necklace gifted by my grandmother, may she rest in peace, after I graduated from school, and I still have both these pieces to this day.
From sharp pantsuits to shimmering jumpsuits, your fans have seen you acing it all. But what is Balqees’s true personal style? What do you love to wear when you’re not out and about?
I’m a person who loves to change and you can see it even in my art. Being able to perform in different facets helped me to get closer to my audience. My personal style is always minimalistic, at a times even carefree, but always with a statement.
Photo: Courtesy MARLI
Is your style any different during the Holy Month of Ramadan? What is your ideal iftar look?
Elegant, minimalistic, and I love wearing a kaftan or an abaya.
How important is jewelry in defining your personal style?
It’s a part of my lifestyle, wherever I go, wherever or whenever I have an appearance; it wouldn’t be complete without the perfect piece of jewelry
Ramadan is a special time for all. What’s your favorite Ramadan tradition?
Being with my family, including all the beautiful the gatherings, and reunions — the whole Ramadan vibe.
The festive season helps us all come together with the people that matter most to us. How do you like to spend quality time with your family?
Family always comes first; I cherish every moment that I spend with my son.
Photo: Courtesy MARLI
It’s safe to say that music is, of course, a major part of your life. While your voice has inspired many, who are the musicians that most inspire you?
Definitely Fayrouz is my inspiration, and of course those who created change in the East and the West such as Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, and Celine Dion.
And finally, Ramadan is a time of self-reflection and appreciating everything in our lives. If you could gift someone a piece of jewelry from MARLI, what would it be? Who would you gift it to?
I would give the timeless MARLI Cleo bracelet to my elementary school teacher. I always remember her; she was very patient and kind to me.

Discover Marli New York’s Signature Jewelry Pieces Ahead of its Flagship Store Opening in Riyadh

Discover Marli New York’s Signature Jewelry Pieces Ahead of its Flagship Store Opening in Riyadh

Cleo earrings in white gold with diamonds; Cleo Rev pendant necklace in white gold with diamonds and white agate; Cleo Rev long chain necklace in white gold with diamonds. Left hand: Cleo Rev bracelet in white gold with diamonds. Vogue Arabia, February 2022. Photo: Mila Namida
Fine jewelry brand Marli New York is all set to open its flagship store in Riyadh, at the Kingdom Center in March 2022. Marli has long been known for being a brand that offers jewelry with a deeply magnetic aesthetic appealing to the modern woman, and customers can expect to see the New York brand’s architectural and contemporary pieces at the store, particularly its signature Cleo and vibrant Jazz collections created for the Marli woman who always makes an entrance. To mark the launch of the store, Vogue Arabia enlisted Saudi makeup artist and blogger Yara Al-Namlah to spotlight some of its key pieces.
Cleo Jazz earrings in white gold with diamonds, sapphires, tanzanite Left hand Cleo Jazz bracelet in white gold with diamonds, sapphires, and tanzanite; Cleo Jazz ring in white gold with diamonds and tanzanite; Cleo Rev diamond ring in white gold Right hand Cleo bracelet in white gold with diamonds and lapis lazuli; Cleo bracelet in white gold with diamonds and white agate; Cleo ring in white gold with diamonds and white agate. Vogue Arabia, February 2022. Photo: Mila Namida
A new addition to the Cleo by Marli collection is called ‘Rev’, derived from the word ‘reve’ meaning ‘dream’ in French. Embodying the visionary appeal of New York, the designs heavily mine inspiration from the city, with pieces mirroring its architecture. The collection aims to give rise to emotion with its craftsmanship and use of materials like lustrous gold, polished diamonds, and a variety of stones such as black onyx, red and pink coral, and green agate. “For me, the Cleo Rev is a radiant collection that perfectly represents the spirit of Marli, and what we stand for. To ensure every woman has something to wear that helps express her beauty and individuality,” says Maral Artinian, founder and creative director of Marli.
Cleo earrings in white gold with diamonds and lapis lazuli; Cleo Rev necklace in white gold with diamonds and lapis lazuli Left hand Cleo bracelets in white gold with diamonds, black onyx, white agate, and lapis lazuli; Cleo Rev ring in white gold with diamonds and white agate; Cleo ring in white gold with diamonds Right hand Cleo Jazz ring in white gold with diamonds, sapphires, and tanzanite. Vogue Arabia, February 2022. Photo: Mila Namida
Similarly, the Jazz collection embodies the spirit of the Marli woman—someone who basks in the golden hours and has a strong sense of self. The collection is arresting in its use of colors and its playful combinations give it an enduring impact. A multitude of stones features within the collection, from pink opals to amethysts which can be paired colors such as the white and yellow gold set with diamonds and several other earrings, rings, and bracelets.
Cleo earrings in yellow gold with diamonds and lapis lazuli; Cleo necklace in yellow gold with diamonds and lapis lazuli; Cleo pendant necklace in yellow gold with diamonds and green agate; Cleo pendant necklace in yellow gold with diamonds and lapis lazuli Right hand Cleo bracelet in yellow gold with diamonds and lapis lazuli; Cleo bracelet in yellow gold with diamonds; Cleo ring in yellow gold with diamonds and green agate Left hand Cleo bracelet in yellow gold with diamonds and white agate; Cleo bracelet in yellow gold with diamonds and white agate; Cleo bracelet in yellow gold with diamonds; Cleo bracelet in yellow gold with diamonds and lapis lazuli. Vogue Arabia, February 2022. Photo: Mila Namida
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Photography: Mila Namida Style: Ahmed Rashwan at 1602 studio Makeup: Sharon Drugan Production: Danica Zivkovic Retouching: Daemon Rafe Style assistant: Nadine FawziProduction assistant: Rama Naser

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