Susana Martins is a contemporary jewellery designer, born and raised in northern Portugal in a traditional goldsmithing town between Porto and Braga, she is trained as a goldsmith and stone-setter before pursuing a post-graduate diploma in Jewellery Design at the School of Arts of Oporto’s Catholic University and a qualification as a Gemologist and Diamond Grader at GIA. A few years back and today Martins design work is exhibited worldwide, in trade shows and galleries from London to New York, and including a permanent jeweled sculpture in the Jaguar Lounge at the Automobile Museum in Malaga, Spain. Currently residing in Dubai, as a jewellery designer Susana Martins introduced herself to the jewellery industry with bespoke collections of Art Deco Era inspired and influenced by the intersections between architecture and design. Embracing an array of diverse stimuli that infatuate her – the dominant presence of sculpture, the captivating decoration of Art Deco, the elegant simplicity of Minimalism, Susana seeks to embody these sentiments into jewellery and designs her own world of unique adornments that set out to differentiate the wearer!
One word – marvellous! I am so excited about what’s coming up next from this very talented woman. Since moving to Dubai as a Chief Creative Director of a prominent regional jewellery brand, Susana Martins has cultivated her passion for a platform where jewellery design, production, and education can be brought together in a single space, and in 2015, founded a project in Alserkal Avenue. This said, Susana coveted to launch into her solo project in 2017, a Design Atelier where she now designs for her eponymous label and collaborates, as a Consultant with up-and-coming and established Jewellery Brands.
Read on as the talented designer elaborately reflects on her time at Dubai, talks about her love for jewellery and reveals her future plans.
Lobe Clips featuring a pair of Gia Certified Trapiche Colombian Emeralds weighing 11.36 carats in fancy cabochon cut. One-of-a-kind piece crafted in 18k white gold, set with diamonds in round, pear and kite shape weighing total 3.4 carats. Embellished with black enamel inlay.
Jewellery Pursuer: Who Susanna Martins is? Please share your jewellery journey with us.
Susana Martins: Jewellery has always been in my blood and became my career, I’ve never had another profession. I was born and grew up in northern Portugal in an area with a rich goldsmithing history and I trained as a goldsmith and stone-setter myself. However, I found that I wanted a more comprehensive understanding of jewellery craftsmanship and so after this, I undertook a post-graduate diploma in design alongside gemology and diamond grading qualifications. This experience allowed me to work on projects ranging from product development and design to trend forecasting for fine jewellery brands. I moved to Dubai in 2012 as Chief Creative Director of a prominent regional jewellery brand and founded a jewellery project in Alserkal Avenue. In 2017 I started to fulfil my dream of creating my own consultancy atelier and launch collections under my own label.
Jewellery Pursuer: When did you discover your love for jewellery?
Susana Martins: At my first job, I was working at a luxury jewellery store as part of the sales team. During my path I discovered I wanted to create jewellery and became responsible for the clients' orders, every time we had customisation the results were overwhelming, I found out I wanted to make jewellery that inspires people. My approach was always "Find your story" and my purpose was to empower and engage the clients in the creation of their own piece helping them to express themselves authentically.
Mix of Collections, The One in Emerald, The Eye collection, High Jewellery Collections and many other Susana Martins collection
Jewellery Pursuer: What's the best thing about your job?
Susana Martins: The people we meet, the emotions we get to experience after a job well done, when
someone gets happy to get one of my pieces. I always wanted my clients to feel involved with the design evolution of their jewels, whether commissioned or acquired from my existing collections. Creating a story behind each piece brings back a concept that harks back to a bygone era of fine jewellery, which was handmade and personalised. In the 1920s, for example, you didn’t simply purchase an industrially made finished piece like most consumers do today – you could sit down with a jeweller at Cartier, Boucheron or Van Cleef, describe the jewel you wanted, and see it being sketched and created. Clients had a personal relationship with their jewellery, and this is an approach I want to keep and cherish.
Jewellery Pursuer: How would you describe your collections?
Susana Martins: By its aesthetic, clear, explorative that grows from the classics to a global trend-driven visual language. My jewellery can be a “minimalism manifest” as much as it can be bold and extra filled with colour and unexpected volumes.
Unstoppables Collection in 18k gold and embellished with white enamel inlay. The Collection can and be worn by itself or stacked with other pieces from the collection.
Jewellery Pursuer: Where do you find your design inspiration?
Susana Martins: The inspiration of my pieces come from a variety of historical periods – for example, I am particularly passionate about the Art Deco period with its range of exotic influences, and the glamour of the 1940s and 50s when ladies wore jewellery for most occasions. My work explores the intersections between these influences with architecture and design disciplines, my two other passions. My pieces are not about self-expression as much as they are about how they communicate with our senses, memory, emotions, and body.
Jewellery Pursuer: What do you like most about living in Dubai?
Susana Martins: Its pioneering spirit, Dubai is unlike any other city on the globe, brimming with life, it's a
melting pot of cultures and traditions. My first visit to Dubai was in 2003, so much has happened. I love the climate, (I hate cold) and the security we experience here.
Eye Collection in 18K yellow gold made using diamonds, coloured enamel and black eyeliner inlay. Complete with lobster style clasp.
Jewellery Pursuer: How would you describe your own personal style?
Susana Martins: My personal style combines the quality of an eye-catching piece with the simplicity of a
classic. With my multiple personalities, I am constantly trying new things out. So I would say my style is eclectic.
Jewellery Pursuer: Which are the best places to shop for jewellery in Dubai?
Susana Martins: We are so lucky to have our very own “Place Vendome” at Dubai Mall, but I would say
at susanamartins.com, (obviously), at savolinna.com and at Sauce Rocks a curated
designer’s boutique that I absolutely love.
Jewellery Pursuer: What are the future plans for Susana Martins Jewellery?
Susana Martins: My goal is to continue to build the brand. I'm so happy that Susana Martins Jewellery just
got selected for to Couture Atelier 2021 edition. Currently, I'm planning an exciting and demanding journey of growing globally and looking forward to seeing the outcome.