To mark the exclusive UK launch of the unisex jewellery brand, we meet its founders, Anwar Hadid and Yoni Laham

“I have always loved jewellery and the value that it holds. When I was growing up, many of my peers were trying their hand in the clothing industry, but no one ventured into jewellery. From a young age, I have always pushed myself to journey through new territories,” says Hadid, who loves how jewellery allows people to express their individuality. “I grew up wearing hoodies for their fit and material, not because they were classified as men’s or women’s – unisex jewellery reflects this new way of thinking and letting people decide for themselves without any judgement.”

From sculpted cherubs to the label’s slogan, ‘Pray for Us’, Martyre plays with motifs centred around faith. The brand’s namesake The Martyre necklace is Hadid’s personal favourite. “To me, the clasped hands represent unity and friendship, which I believe are the building blocks for success and collaboration,” he says. Fifty per cent of the proceeds from every purchase via Selfridges of the brand’s The Martyre necklace will be donated to the youth homelessness charity Centrepoint. “With everything I create, I always want to tie it back to helping people. We are in a fortunate position to shine light on some amazing foundations and organisations whose sole purpose is to impact the lives of others. Anytime we can bring an awareness to such important causes, we have the responsibility to do so,” says Hadid.

With everything I create, I always want to tie it back to helping people. – Anwar Hadid

How does he feel about working with his childhood friend and now business partner? “There are many things to admire about Yoni. As a friend, I admire his work ethic and moral compass; as a musician, I admire his creativity. As a business partner, I’m able to see these qualities work in unison,” he says.

“By manufacturing in LA, we are able to maintain quality control while providing jobs for people in our hometown,” says Hadid of the city that’s key to Martyre’s DNA. “It’s important for us to support talent close to where we grew up.” How does it feel to now bring the brand across to the UK through Selfridges? “Being from LA and living for extended periods in New York, I feel like London is the perfect balance of both cities – it’s full of inspiration and has a pace that I love. There’s a culture in London that is about the art and intention behind the work, which is very important to me.”


“We’re here to make pieces you feel confident in, and as long as you’re enjoying wearing them, we’re happy. Style is style, it doesn’t need to be broken up by gender,” says musician Laham of the pair’s decision to launch a unisex jewellery brand. How has his career as a musician informed his work in the fashion world? “When you make music, you draw inspiration from a pure place, and I think that transcends into the jewellery. The process of making an album and making a product feels similar, in the sense that you throw paint at the canvas and then keep narrowing it down to what you love. You bring a sketch to life, layer by layer, until it’s out in the world, and it’s the same with an album,” says Laham, who flexes his creative muscles by working on both the design and business sides of the brand. “Our slogan, ‘Pray for Us’, is very significant to me – it embraces praying for the people you love, those that need love, and throwing what matters to you most into the universe.”

Wherever you are in London you are surrounded by culture, music and history, I love how cosmopolitan it is. It’s a city that celebrates creativity and diversity. – Yoni Laham

What does Martyre’s use of faith-heavy iconography symbolise to him? “Without faith we lose our way. We need to believe in or be rooted in something to feel that we have a purpose in the world, and to move and live with intention. In my opinion, without some kind of faith, it would be hard to live a truly fulfilling life.” Tied to this sense of purpose and fulfilment is the brand’s aim to give back where it can. “We live in a connected world, with inspiring organisations that help to give people a voice,” says Laham of the brand’s charitable support. “Centrepoint is helping people to tackle physical and mental health, and it’s a no-brainer for us. We are grateful that Centrepoint has given us the opportunity to give back.” This encouraging, supportive spirit carries through to the pair’s working relationship, too. “Anwar is someone who always sacrificed things that were easy for him to pursue to do what he truly loves,” says Laham. “I really admire him for that.”

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