Designers / Industry

NÜR Designer Nilo Celebrates Family and Culture on Eid al-Fitr


For Nilo, the designer behind jewelry brand NÜR, the festival of Eid al-Fitr is part of her heritage but also a time to share gifts with the people she loves.

“Growing up, jewelry has always been symbolic in how we celebrated not only ourselves but also life achievements and milestones,” Nilo says. “A gift of jewelry offers so much to both the giver and recipients. In my case, it was often tied to a memory or story.”

Marking the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting for Muslims, Eid al-Fitr occurs on April 10 this year (eid means feast in Arabic). Nilo says her fun and modern takes on traditional jewelry pieces can be ideal gifts for Eid al-Fitr and other holidays.

She points to three particular pieces om NÜR’s collection: the Allah pendant, a simple statement necklace that Nilo says she never takes off, and the Noor pendant and ring (pictured at top), made from vintage nomadic Afghan coins. Noor, which means light, is one of Nilo’s favorite words, she adds.

Nur Aya necklace
The Aya necklace ($52) is lightweight, hypoallergenic, and easy to wear, qualities Nilo says she was looking for in jewelry when she decided to create NÜR.

Nilo says NÜR, which she founded in 2014, is directly inspired by her grandmother, who loved gold and wore it whenever she went somewhere. She also made jewelry for herself, her daughters, and her granddaughters. Nilo reworked a few of her grandmother’s designs for NÜR pieces.

“She used to make jewelry as a hobby. It was beautiful to see how excited she would get to share her new pieces with us,” says Nilo. “It wasn’t until she passed that I started to pay closer attention to her custom pieces. She had such a beautiful eye when it came to jewelry, and there was always a story of her travels or her process behind each piece.

“After she passed, I found myself reaching to her old pieces and gaining comfort in how connected it made me feel to her. I felt as though by wearing her ethnic rings or earrings, I was simultaneously representing two things she cared for so dearly: gold jewelry and our Afghan culture. These moments laid the foundation for wanting to express our cultural identity through jewelry.”

Nur earrings
NÜR is known for its hoop earrings, which come in a variety of sizes and styles, including these popular Crystal huggies ($45). 

As NÜR has grown through pop-up markets and word of mouth, Nilo says it has been gratifying to find a community for her brand and connect with her customers.

“Throughout generations in our family and our tribes, both women and men have expressed their identities through the accessories they wore,” Nilo says. “Most people can resonate with the feeling of never leaving the house without a ring on or a pair of earrings. These little details contribute to our identities and self-expression.”

Top: NÜR’s pendant necklaces include crystal letter ($50) and turquoise ($58). (Photos courtesy of NÜR)

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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