Zena K'dor, creative director of International Jewellery business House of K'dor is a powerhouse. Having risen to the top of the Jewellery game while raising three beautiful children, Zena knows the meaning of hard work & determination. Styled wearing new season Parlour X pieces, paired with House of K'dor custom jewellery pieces, Zena speaks to X Files about working in a family business, the art & importance of jewellery to complete any look & what is next.
Please explain your personal and career background?
I studied fashion when I was younger, and then I took time out to care for our three young kids. When they were a bit older, a joined my husband’s business, House of K’dor, as a creative consultant and it grew from there. To be honest, when I was younger I didn’t have much interest in jewellery at all, but being surrounded by these most beautiful pieces on the daily quickly changed my mind, and now I’ve even done my Fine Jewellery Certification with the Gemological Institute of America.
What does your role as creative director of House of K’dor involve?
I literally dance around the boutique all day from task to task, station to station. We love having good music on and hosting our guests warmly for a truly luxurious, homely experience! It’s not unusual for them to be enjoying a lunch, cake or Champagne in our boutique. I shift my focus between organising intimate events, staying in touch with our guests, styling guests for events in K’dor, setting the visual direction for the brand and having intimate design consultations. Basically, I am taking ALL day, every day!
Zena wears: Courrèges Vinyl Logo Jacket & Mini Skirt, Maison Poi Bodice Singlet Top, Balenciaga Void Sandals & Bottega Veneta Woven Pouch on Strap from Parlour X.
What is one piece of jewellery you will cherish forever?
My K’dor Morse Code Family necklace - the initials of my kids are spelled out in Morse Code using baguette and brilliant diamonds, set on a fine 18K gold chain.
Please explain the services that are provided at House of K’dor.
We are known globally for two areas:
The first is K’dor Bespoke, which is carefully handcrafted, custom design of a guest’s signature jewellery pieces. It could be a meaningful gift, an elevated talisman for one self, or an engagement ring that stops traffic. We ethically source the world’s most beautiful diamonds and precious gems, and only work with diamonds D, E and F in colour to ensure that K’dor sparkle. We service our guest’s jewels every three months to maintain longevity. We also redesign and elevate their existing fine jewellery pieces, or set them with meaningful, personalised touches, such as embedded birthstones in the band, names and initials.
The second arm is K’dor Concierge, which is where our team create unforgettable experiences that expand on the magic of owning a K’dor creation. We organise proposals, intimate curated dinners, flowers, champagne, music… and anything that will make the heart go WOW and form lasting memories.
Zena wears: Jacquemus Le Robe Pigolo in Orange & Balenciaga Void Sandals in Green from Parlour X.
What are the most rewarding and challenging aspects of working with your family?
It’s immersive - which means there is little time to decompress or switch off between work and home! All our emotions are heightened working and living so closely together. The most beautiful moments are when we sit around the table as a family and the kids have their paint kits out, designing new jewellery and just getting excited about this world… or seeing our kids smiling faces in the boutique, interacting with guests and fetching them water and making them feel welcome. I also love that my husband and I understand what each other goes through. That creates a beautiful intimacy and awareness of our inner landscapes. We live a life together as a team.
Is there a separation of work life and family life?
My husband is usually in our Sydney CBD atelier creating jewellery, while I’m in the Double Bay boutique, so we spend most of the day in separate quarters, which helps the novelty and mystery! Sundays are strictly for family, where everyone is off their phone. We love to cook, bike ride, explore our neighbourhood and plan our next travel adventure.
Zena wears: Paco Rabanne x Kimura Tsunhesia Graphic Print Knit Dress, Bottega Veneta Lagoon Bubble Sandals & Shell Bag from Parlour X.
House of K’dor has designed pieces for the likes of Kelly Rowland & Delta Goodrem, and collaborated with brands including Lamborghini, Moet Hennessey and Ethihad. Did you and Tarick ever envision House of K’dor gaining such high levels of success and notoriety?
To be honest, not at all. My vision and mission was always to spread love and light through the world with beautiful jewellery and House of K’dor are for everyone. Whether a guests spends $500 or $500,000 with us, they are treated exactly the same. We are very human in our approach. Everyone has a family, triumphs and tribulations, celebrations and challenges in this life, and that is the level we meet people at. And with celebrity clients that is what resonates. We see them for who they are and honour them as people, not just their image. We are there to give, rather than get.
This has fostered a life long trust and many of the artists and luxury brand custodians are now dear friends.
If you weren’t involved in House of K’dor, what do you think you would be doing?
I have a few fantasy careers, such as a florist! We get fresh blooms delivered to the boutique every week from either Seed Flora or Mandalay Flowers and I just love handling the beautiful roses and peonies.
What are some things about Zena K’dor we may not know?
Well, I already mentioned that when I first married Tarick, I didn’t care much for jewellery at all. You couldn’t pay me to glam up in diamonds, but it’s a very different story now! Also, I’m just very energetic and high on life… I barely drink but I am always zipping around and dancing! I had my kids quite young, so I think in some ways that helped me preserve some innocence.
Zena wears: Maison Poi Peplum Sleeve Top & Knot Skirt in Forest & Balenciaga Void Sandals from Parlour X.
Please describe your own personal style?
Glam, chic, classic, with a twist. I love black, I love body con silhouette, but I also love voluminous, chiffon sleeves, ballgown skirts and sparkly, fabulous shoes. When you wear diamonds, I find any look finds its balance. A white tee and jeans become elevated. A formal look becomes timeless.
What Parlour X brands are you loving at the moment?
I am LOVING the Fendi Vertigo dress, any of the Jacquemus dresses and anything Lanvin or Balenciaga, like the Prince of Wales Blazer Dress.
What is next for you Zena?
We are crossing our fingers and toes that we can travel next year, and show case our collection across the world. Italy is next! We were planning an event in Tuscany for 2020… and we would love to revisit that.
Keep up with Zena K'dor on Instagram @zenakdor. Explore the House of K'dor online & on Instagram @houseofkdor