The series of interviews with women and men who have personalities, story to tell and their own GEM style. They make it happen for themselves all over the world and follow GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla.
Name: Raneem Khalid Bagedo
Alma Mater: BA in Global Business Management and Design Management, Regent’s University
Occupation: Saudi in London founder, Entrepreneur and Student
Hometown: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Languages: English, Arabic and Italian
LOCATION AT TIME OF INTERVIEW: At a private residence around Hyde Park. My favourite area is Marylebone. To eat, Coya is my go-to place, and Laduree in Harrods does the best macaroons! Selfridges is my second home. I normally go to V&A for my museum fix.
SAUDI ARABIA: I go to Toki and Soy, which are both Asian fusion. Salad Boutique: the view, you can see the waterfall and the sunset. I also like to go to TAO: it is one of my favourite places to lounge and have coffee, they have the best dessert called Saudi s’mores. I do also really like traditional Arabic food and restaurants. In Saudi I spend most of my time at my beach house or at the farm we always have gatherings during the weekend for lunch and dinner.
SAUDI ARABIA DEBUT: I am currently in the process of creating ARK company. The name was inspired by my siblings, and it combines all of our initials. As I have recently graduated, I will be working all summer to achieve the goal which is to combine my own and other designers’ work. ARK will bring together fashion consultants and a factory. I wanted to create my own fashion line, but at the same time I wanted to give other people an opportunity, because in Saudi it is very hard to find materials or to find people who would do the tailoring. It is going to be a full women’s empire. All the people working there will be Saudi women. I believe that this is a man’s world but it would be nothing without girls and women. Men are dominating the Saudi industry while women are kept in the shadows. However, recently women are starting to come out. My goal is to empower women and not to be looked down on – in Saudi we have too many talented girls. The problem is either the parents do not agree with “design and fashion”, since it is considered a hobby, or your parents cannot provide you with the right atmosphere where you can create your own line, since they do not have the funds to have access to a factory. Our aim is to enable them to produce what they want while producing our own designs: taking advantage of economies of scale, so to speak. We want to facilitate other’s dreams with the skills and local force. Everything is going to be local, apart from the designers, which will add an international twist. A French consultant, with a great experience in her field. I have always had this vision: there is so much in women that men cannot see. My parents are very open minded: they do not see a difference between my brothers and me. Whereas, in other Saudi families, boys are boys, and they can get away with anything!
ICONS: I admire my dad the most: I look up to his in a number of ways. He has always been a leader to us. The things he does inspire me to do something even better. He always looks at things at a different angle. He always helps people. He reminds us of the fact that you have to give back, not everything is yours and to try to give others the opportunity. Unfortunately, not everybody has the same standard of living and many others have less than you. Not being selfish is something very important that I have learnt from him.
MY EVERYDAY JEWELLERY: My style isdelicate, feminine and on the go. I wear the same pieces every day: I do not change them, I do not add or remove. This is it. I got used to it. I wear my two Cartier bracelets because of the story behind them, Van Cleef bracelets, bespoke piece from Egypt, Monica Vinader bracelet gifted by the staff at my house, and a Swarovski piece. For events, on the other hand, my jewellery style needs to be lavish and bold.
TOPSHOP OR CHANEL: Chanel, of course! In everything I do, I like to match high end with high street. In jewellery, I like to match diamonds from costume jewellery from a shop around the corner. I really care about the jacket, the blazer the top and the skirt. The shoes and the bag, they always have to be designer pieces. My wardrobe is such a mess, I do not think I could show it to you! Chanel and Céline are my favourite for bags. For shoes, I like Valentino, Balenciaga and Christian Louboutin. For clothes, it is Joseph, Céline and Dries Van Noten. I do not wear trousers: they are so uncomfortable. I like things that are flowy.
FIRST JEWELLERY: I cannot remember. I grew up wearing so much jewellery, since I was two months old. I do not remember buying or receiving a piece of jewellery as a gift. The first valuable things was a Garrard ring I got from my brother. He gave it to me for my 16th birthday. I have never bought really expensive jewellery: it was gifted to me. I am a bit of a collector.
ROLEX OR CARTIER: I prefer Cartier, I am not really a big fan of Rolex. I only have one of the latter: it is vintage, a 1980s piece. I had to get it only because it was vintage… but I rarely wear it! For me a watch is an accessory. I like Van Cleef watches the best, because of a very interesting story within each watch: the fairies, the moon. They capture my fantasy. But I am not a watch person, it is not something I wear every day. My mum buys watches because their are beautiful. My Dad and brothers love wearing watches, but my sister and I wear a watch as a piece of jewellery. Most of the time they need to have a battery changed, or the date and time are wrong. I use my phone to tell the time, and not my watch!
PERFECT ENGAGEMENT RING: I once saw a 4 carat solitaire princess cut diamond ring in a Cartier display… A jewel that has captured my heart!
FINE JEWELLERY: Fine jewellery is a statement piece representing your character. A piece that has something special, very different and unique. Something that would last for very long; something that you would not get bored of. I look for something that has quite a bit of bling. It has to be a statement piece, and it has to have diamonds. The size of diamonds depends on the kind of occasion that I would wear it to! If I am going to get something for an event in Saudi, the stones would need to be big. Cartier, Van Cleef, Chopard – I value those brands because I always wear them: I can afford them myself. Playful, fun, young and precious. In Saudi I have seen small girls wearingCartier bracelets, and they still look young and innocent!
DIAMOND OR COLOURED DIAMOND: White diamond only. I like the glimmer of white diamonds against my skin tone – it is particularly lovely!
COLOURED STONES: I have some in my collection, but not something I am very much in love with. I love the mesmerising sparkle of the diamonds. It makes me feel something deep inside. I think the way they present diamond pieces in stores, the way they shine the light unto them, makes them irresistibly attractive.
JEWELLERY AS INVESTMENT: I believe in jewellery as investment, especially in solitary diamonds.
VINTAGE JEWELLERY: I do not like the idea that it has been worn by someone else. I like wearing vintage fur coats, but not jewellery.
FASHION JEWELLERY: Sometimes, I do wear fashion jewellery, but I tend to give them away to people that would value them and enjoy them.
GOLD: 18K rose gold is my favourite. I like Cartier’s shade of rose gold. A really lovely shade, very close to yellow…
PERFECT GETAWAY: From what I have seen: Bora Bora. I need to go there. I love the fact that it is very private. From places that I have been to: it would have to be Sardinia. We travelled around this island on a yacht. It was somewhere where I enjoyed everything: weather, food, nature, water. My favourite hotel ever is the Mandarin Oriental in NYC. You are amidst a very busy city, and it has the most incredible view over the park.
WILD WISH: to travel the world in six months.
MY WEAPON OF CHOICE: Bracelets.
GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla features exquisite global discoveries, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews – a celebration of fine jewellery, fashion jewellery and vintage jewellery.