A sparkling debut on the jewellery scene made this designer a NexGem.

Who has made it into the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2012 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers and supported by gold partner Ti Sento won’t be unveiled until September 4, so until then we are looking back to the leading lights of the jewellery industry who made it into the Hot 100 2011. Today is the turn of jewellery designer and journalist Leyla Abdollahi whose explosive entry onto the scene caught our attention faster than most and won her a place as a Swarovski NexGem. 

After completing a fine art degree in Iran, Leyla Abdollahi studied at Central Saint Martins, where she discovered her love of jewellery, and since then she has never looked back.


Her designs have been garnering attention across the industry, and Leyla – who is also jewellery editor at Urban Life magazine – is surely one of Britain’s hottest new fine jewellers.

“My biggest achievement this year has been introducing my collection to the market,” she says. Leyla made her first public appearance as a jewellery designer at Treasure during London Jewellery Week, which she says she found an invaluable chance to promote her collection and get direct feedback from customers.

In her fledgling year, Leyla has been working hard to launch her brand while continuing her journalistic work. “Getting my business off the ground while carrying on writing editorials for Urban Life magazine and participating in fashion photo shoots has been quite a journey,” she says.

But the journey and the effort has paid off and Leyla’s efforts were rewarded when she was named as one of the winners of the 2011 Lonmin Design Innovation Award.

Ever determined to source new ideas, Leyla says that when she’s not cuddling her gorgeous Persian cat or painting – a hobby of hers – she is much like a method actor in how she sources inspiration. “Living by the sea for three months and sketching sea creatures was how I came up with designs for my latest collection,” she explains.


This interview was taken from the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2011. This year’s list and photographs will be unveiled at an exclusive invite-only party at The Freemason’s Hall in London on September 4. To find out how you can get invitations as a sponsor email andrew.martyniuk@itp.com.