Born under a supermoon one night in 2013 and meaning moon in Tibetan, ZLABA jewellery is the creative brainchild of artists Noran Bakrie and Salvita de Corte. Based between Bali and the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, the duo create organic, light jewellery that’s designed to last and isn’t defined by a passing trend.
From the quirky rose gold initial rings of their Alphabet collection to the raw beauty of the Dead Sea collection, their jewellery is completely authentic and highly wearable. We chat to Noran about the importance of quality over trends, collaborating with animal welfare communities and making their customers feel humbled.
How did ZLABA begin?
“ZLABA was founded by a couple of artists: myself, being a photographer/creative director, and painter/actress Salvita De Corte, in early 2013 and officially opened on Sunday, 23 June 2013. It was a super moon night. The name ZLABA itself means the moon in Tibetan.”
What are your core brand values?
“We believe in value. We believe in elegance. We believe in modesty. We believe in realness. The rules are simple - it has to be organic and light, it has to retain quality, and it has to last more than just a single trend.”
"The rules are simple - it has to be organic and light, it has to retain quality, and it has to last more than just a single trend."
What materials do you use to craft your jewellery?
“We always work with 22kt quality when using gold and .925 sterling when using silver. All of our creations are handmade, no cast involved. When it comes to gemstones, we only use the Grade A gemstones that are ethically sourced. Other materials are natural such as sea corals, which are collected in rare limited numbers.”
What inspires your designs?
“Mostly art. We've come from an art background (photography & painting) and we are the daughters of a nomad painter and an architect. We were raised with works of art surrounding us.”
How do you want people to feel when they wear ZLABA jewellery?
“Confident. Happy. Humbled. Special.”
"We were raised with works of art surrounding us."
Are there any celebrities you would love to see wearing your designs?
“Scarlett Johansson. FKA Twigs. Charlize Theron. Beyonce. Gigi Hadid. Zoe Kravitz. Uma Thurman. Natalie Portman. Emma Watson... Please?!”
If you hadn't become a designer, what would you be doing?
“For paying bills - pilot, neuroscientist or interior designer. For a peace of mind - running an animal shelter.”
Do you work with any charities?
“We collaborate with animal welfare communities. Recently we sponsored a massive neuter program for stray Balinese dogs in Tabanan. Also, we donated to support medical for an animal shelter in Syria, Il Gattaro d'Aleppo, for its neuter program.”
What's the best piece of advice you've been given? (And have you actually used it?)
“This piece of advice works in most situations - ‘Be the light’. And yes, we use it all the time!”
How do you ensure you have a good work/life balance?
“It's something everyone's been working on. I haven't found the remedy to that yet, I just love to work. I guess having someone to take care of, be it human kids, animal kids or charities, helps us to be humble and balance our ambition. Well, in theory!”
What’s your favourite quote?
"We don't live, if we don't fight.”
What’s your signature dish?
“I have a good chemistry with (Indian) curry, I can't help it. It's what I cook the best.”
What are your 3 desert island books?
“The Little Prince, Old Angel Midnight by Kerouac and any of the Harry Potter books.”
How do you wind down after a long day in the studio?
“We have 26 cats and 4 dogs in our home studio to speed up that process!”
What does the future hold for ZLABA?
“We've just finished building our Jakarta office and are in the process of buying a 1.4-acre plot of land on a mountain in Bali and plan to reside there to continue our studio work. More work, more peace, more shops and more travel to expand our possibilities.”