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    Marli’s Maral Artinian on creating collections that speak to modern women

    Imogen Clark

    The founder of New York-based brand Marli shares how she has redefined fine jewellery

    Following in your family’s footsteps is no easy feat. But for Armenian-born Maral Artinian, her decision to establish her own name in the jewellery world with her brand Marli in 2014 has been met with a decade of continual global success. Known for her architecturally innovative 18 karat pieces that redefine minimalism and wearability, Artinian has found a position at the intersection between decadence and subtlety. 

    “I want to create collections within the brand that really speak to the woman of today – pieces she wants to wear,” explains the founder. “It’s not minimalistic in terms of design; it’s minimalistic in how you carry yourself.” This integral principle of pieces being a part of your everyday life lies at the core of Marli. “It’s important that, when I want to wear a piece, I want to wear it all the time. I don’t want ‘occasion’ jewellery,” Artinian says. 

An exquisite collection of diamond-encrusted bracelets in gold, silver, and rose gold.
    Marli cleo full diamond slim slip-on bracelet. Image: Supplied

    This style mentality has been with her since childhood. “I never wore accessories when I was growing up,” she reveals. “It was either diamonds or nothing.” As the daughter of Arto and Sara Artinian, the third generation behind European fine jewellery brand Sartoro, jewellery and its importance have been embedded in Artinian since she can remember. 

    “To me, heritage is very important, because you really have to understand the process of how to make jewellery,” Artinian shares. “It gave me a lot of opportunity to really go and see what’s happening behind the scenes at workshops, understanding diamonds, understanding craftsmanship.”

    While her insight into the industry is intrinsic, coming from a family business was as inspiring as its product. “We’re all entrepreneurial,” says Artinian, who broke out on her own to start Marli with her two brothers. “To me, it was very important to create my own identity in how I wanted to present jewellery, to not be too in line with what was expected.”

    Design drawings. Image: Supplied

    On moving to New York, the radiance of city’s sheer modernity struck Artinian, sparking a creative vision to craft her own pieces. “The energy of New York – it’s that competitiveness, there’s a power,” she says reflectively, explaining how the pace and space are stimulating. “That energy of entrepreneurship – you’re walking and you feel like everybody has that same energy, the same rhythm.” 

    Though her brand began in the United States, her multicultural background and expansive clientele have woven their way into inspiring new pieces. “Women in the GCC love wearing jewellery. It’s very inspiring to see how they layer; they have a very unique taste in terms of styling,” notes Artinian. 

    Unlike its competitors, Marli is still fairly young, with an evolving presence, but with a mentality of standing beside other designs rather than going against them. “At Marli, we always say we’re complementing, not competing,” says Artinian. 

    A pair of elegant rose gold earrings adorned with sparkling diamonds by Marli.
    Marli cleo rev mini full diamond drop earrings. Image: Supplied

    Loyalty may be one aspect every brand tries to secure, but Artinian is not just aware that her customers are likely to own and buy jewellery from others – it’s something she even admires. “It’s nice to see how women pick different looks from each brand and then mix them together,” she says.

    Adorning the wrists, earlobes and necklines of the likes of Balqees Fathi, Lily Gladstone and Taylor Swift, Artinian’s unique designs have become a transitional statement for some of the world’s biggest stars. But ultimately, “Marli is for a woman who’s young at heart,” she says. “At one of the trunk shows I was doing with Sachs [Fifth Avenue], a lady came with her husband. She was wearing a leather jacket and was a motorcycle rider. She had 20 bracelets on her arm and I was thinking, ‘Where’s the space for Marli?’ She found a space.”

    The inclusive beauty of Marli’s pieces is proven by stories like this and the extent of her collections, ultimately reinforcing her brand vision – “There’s a Marli piece for everyone.”

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