Leylâ Adler’s loss is deeply felt. We will always carry in our hearts the memory of her creativity, her courage and her exceptional personality.
There are people blessed with extraordinary strength of character. They are endowed with remarkable courage, the source of their vision, courage which can never be learnt or acquired because it is innate. Leylâ Adler was one of these exceptional personalities.
The creation of a jewellery brand which becomes appreciated and sought out by princesses, celebrities and collectors, certainly demands sacrifices and an enormous workload. The creation of an exceptional piece of jewellery entails the unspoken obligation to equal, even surpass, the previous success. Leylâ Adler used to say that she remained true to the family tradition by using technical skill to celebrate beauty and elegance.
As a young girl, Leylâ did not spend her time dreaming of sparkling jewellery. Her passion was painting, but at that period she could not realise her ambition to study at an academy of fine arts. As with many other obstacles that would present themselves, this did not prevent her from finding her way forward. Her interest in the creation of jewellery revealed itself when she met Franklin Adler, her future husband.
Leylâ told me about this part of her life. « We were very young. My husband was learning the business to eventually take over the family firm, and I was working in a bank. Soon after our wedding, we decided to settle in Switzerland. When the children were born I stopped working for 8 years. That period, from my 25th birthday to the age of 35, was the happiest decade of my life. Then I decided to go back to work and to open an antiques shop with a friend. My father-in-law wasn’t very happy about this idea; he wished to see me working in the family enterprise. I began as a novice. I opened my eyes wide and listened patiently to everything that was going on around me. »
Eager to learn, Leylâ Adler only took 3 to 4 years to master the creation of a jewellery piece and the day-to-day running of the business, to acquire insight into the market niche and to get to know the clientele. She then created her first collection, entitled ‘the Leylâ Collection’, which was a great success. “Everything takes time. Mastery of a profession is not granted overnight. » she would say, insisting on the importance of patience. She didn’t believe in ‘lucky breaks’, she believed in her ideas. In fact, she was sharing with us her vision of life. One day I asked her, « Would you say you were ambitious? » The answer came back, « I am absolutely not ambitious, but very courageous, and I will always do whatever it takes. »
Leylâ gave great importance to the ties of friendship that she was able to build up with many of her clients, considering these relationships one of the House of Adler’s strong points. She observed the evolution of the market, as the taste for the sumptuous jewellery sets of former years gave way to a demand for simpler pieces that were easier to wear. Adler is a brand that has found a perfect balance between these two extremes. Distant but warm, sober but audacious, modest yet also sumptuous . . . Leylâ would say that setting a row of diamonds along an edge, or in a vertical line makes no sense for the true creator. «We must give them the breath of life ». Bringing gemstones to life . . . a true mystery! I noticed that even Leylâ Adler had difficulty putting into words the concept of bringing jewellery to life. « If I had to sum it up I would say that a spirit of harmony, and a certain fluidity are necessary for a truly beautiful creation. The gemstones must be allowed to speak! » she said. Leylâ loved pearls, but real ones. She often exclaimed how difficult it was to obtain real pearls nowadays. She also loved Art Deco pieces, but once again found it almost impossible to find genuine originals.
A life lived to the full … to live and work surrounded by so many beautiful objects, necessarily develops and refines one’s sensibility. Once the eye is used to seeing the best of the best, the ordinary is no longer acceptable. Leylâ told me that she was very satisfied with the 40 or so years of her life she had invested in Adler, and welcomed the handover of responsibility accepted by Allen Adler, Daisy Adler and Karen Adler, representatives of the fourth generation who have restructured the family firm and strengthened it with their fresh outlook. She had great confidence in Daisy Adler, responsible for new creations, and appreciated her excellent taste and original ideas. The transformable jewellery pieces now proposed to the clientele are one example among many of this new vision.
I was very impressed by something Leylâ once said, « The greatest luxury given to the young is their lighthearted insouciance. Believing that one’s days are counted makes the wheel of time turn more quickly. »
Leylâ Adler had a clearsighted, resolute attitude to life. She always knew what she wanted, and what she didn’t want. Life’s risks and misfortunes, and her long struggle with ill health never managed to deter her. Her soul was focussed on the quest for perfect harmony between patience and courage, like the vision she expressed though the jewellery she created.
Pelin Akşenkal, a close friend.