‘I’m from Uzbekistan, where amulets are part of our culture and close-knit family traditions, so I’ve always been inspired by the power and symbolism of jewellery,’ says founder and CEO of Tabayer, Nigora Tokhtabayeva. ‘When I moved to the US, I found a different way of life, different architecture, different spaces, the expanse of the Miami city, the parks, and modernist sculpture.

‘There I also formed a very diverse friendship group with incredible women of different backgrounds from all corners of the world, and came to the realisation that symbols of protection were linked to religious symbols. This realisation made me want to create something universal that could be worn by all of my friends.’

gold ring by Tabayer
Campaign by Matthieu Lavanchy

It is a philosophy encompassed in the sculptural silhouettes of Tabayer jewellery, which form imperfect swirls of Fairmined gold and diamonds hugging the earlobe, fingers and wrists. Tokhtabayeva takes ancient symbols – including the Mesopotamian symbol of protection, Inanna’s knot – and reduces them to their essential forms.

‘We wanted to translate an esoteric, strange, otherworldly object into a new symbol for today,’ Tokhtabayeva says. ‘We were looking to create a symbol where a link was visible but not immediately obvious. The idea of reimagining something sacred in a reductionist, contemporary way felt like how we could give something that lived and served its time a new journey in a new age.’

gold necklace by Tabayer
Campaign by Bibi Borthwick

The resulting coiled shapes are sensual and tactile, with a generously drawn form eschewing cold minimalism. ‘The tubular design of the “Oera” knot features a knife’s edge running from the centre to one side, resulting in a pear shape on one end, and the “tube” shape running from the centre to another side, resulting in a circular shape on the other end, which symbolises the balance of vulnerability and strength,’ says the jewellery designer.

‘Our process took us to Barbara Hepworth, Jackie Windsor’s 30 to 1 Bound Trees, Eva Hesse, and later to Isamu Noguchi’s tubular minimalism and Alexander Archipenko’s interplay of mass and void. The later influences also injected this almost mathematically precise consideration of every element in the design.’ §

gold bracelet
Campaign by Matthieu Lavanchy
woman wearing jewellery

Campaign by Josephine Lochen