In our encounter with Ralph Masri – the fresh talent in jewelry design – we expose the inner workings of his creativity, genius collections and journey thus far.
An amalgamation of international inspirational resources – from Lebanon to Canada, France and the United Kingdom – is nestled in the mind of outstanding Lebanese jewelry designer Ralph Masri. A graduate of Central Saint Martins, winner of the Swarovski Award as a first-year student and the youngest nominee (at the age of 20) for the UK Jewelry Award, Ralph Masri is establishing his reign in the world of jewelry design, undeterred and with steadfast steps. This young mind is captivated by the fine allure of everything glamorous, resulting in fine jewelry of the highest caliber in craftsmanship, artistry and a sharp eye that spots minute details. Who is Ralph Masri? Tell us about your background. I’m Lebanese. I was born in Beirut in 1989 towards the end of the war; soon after that, my family moved to Paris then Montreal, where I lived until I was six, and then we moved back to Beirut where I went to school until I was 18. As a kid, I was always into arts and crafts. I loved working with my hands and being creative – I was not sporty at all! I kept developing my creative side all throughout my adolescence. My first love was painting and I thought I wanted to become a painter for a long time. Then, at the age of 18, I moved to London to study at Central Saint Martins. When did you first discover that you wanted to be a jewelry designer? My parents were both in the jewelry field, so it’s something I grew up with. But as a kid, I wasn’t really interested in following that path; it never seemed like an option for me. I eventually discovered my love for jewelry as a student during my foundation year at CSM, where we experimented with a bit of everything. Although I had originally planned to specialize in graphic design (since painting didn’t seem like a realistic career option for me anymore), at the last minute I had a change of heart and realized I really love the world of jewelry and decided to specialize in that, which is what I ended up doing my BA in. That was the best decision I have ever made. Needless to say, it became my passion. Your first major milestone is marked with a Swarovski Award as a first-year student. Tell us more about that. Swarovski hold an annual competition for first-year students who are supposed to design and make creations using their crystals. I ended up being the winner of the competition during my first year and I was offered an internship at their London headquarters, which really gave me my first glimpse of the business side of the jewelry field. Seeing things from inside such a huge multinational corporation was incredible; I learned a lot from that experience - a lot of which went on to help me launch my own business. What was the first jewelry piece you created? How have your designs evolved since then? The first piece I created was just a basic copper ring band back in my foundation year for a project we were given - it was really nothing special; just a technical exercise. That was back in 2007 when I had zero knowledge about anything and hadn’t discovered myself as a designer yet - eight years later with a degree and my own line, there’s obviously been a lot of evolution.