Conversation Pieces Featured

Hot jewellery designers on our radar

by 11 May 2012

Like a good man, if you pick the right piece of jewellery, it’ll do you well for years to come. And while you might find it a tad impolite to ask a fellow female “where’d you find him?” you don’t ever have to think twice about asking her “where'd you get that?” Though handbags and clothing trends come and go, these pretties stay the course.

Being big fans ourselves of those one-in-a-million conversation-starters, we caught up with the designers whose scene-stealing collections turn our everyday t-shirt and jeans getup  into everyday glam.


Fresh, young and fearless, this London-based designer trained at the prestigious Sir John Cass School of Art and Design before launching his eponymous brand in 2009. He’s made a name for himself with his punk-infused styles that blend edgy with lovely. Jones has already nabbed Best Jewellery Designer awards and distinctions from Elle and New Gen and counts Rihanna and Florence Welch as loyal fans.


Another young and bold jeweller, Eddie Borgo first came on the scene designing one-of-a-kind accessories for stylists and collections for runway fashion shows. His attention-grabbing goods are inspired by a range of topics from American costume jewellery to rock and roll and New York City. Last year he picked up the CFDA Swarovski Award for Innovation in Accessory Design.


In Miami, we visited the atelier of independent jeweller Daniela Swaebe. Swaebe’s standout collections are favourites among celeb stylists – her signature fine gems have been spotted on the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Demi Lovato. We spoke to Swaebe about starting out, being unique and her favourite jewels for the beach.

When did you first get interested in jewellery design?

 I was raised by gemologist parents and travelled to all the fine jewellery trade shows as a child. I remember my mother in particular taking me to the Milan Oro show when I was 15. I was overwhelmed by all the beautiful designs.

What makes your style different?

The most obvious advantage (of being an independent designer) is individuality. I (originally) launched my collection with an inlay line of mother of pearl and turquoise. That immediately set me apart from other designers at the time. It was admittedly limiting and I have since branched out to more gold and colour-intensive designs. I also incorporate texture and dimension into most of my looks. I add characteristic surfaces to my jewellery such as crocodile patterns and feathers.

In your opinion which type of jewellery should be worn for a certain occasion like a formal affair or a first date?

For formal wear, I truly believe earrings and a ring are a requirement. The necklace is not unimportant but earrings are essential. They could be anything from a beautiful diamond or pearl stud to something big, bold , and colourful. The same can be said for the ring, these two items are akin to dotting an "i" or crossing a "t."

For a first date, I would keep it simple but not completely unadorned. For every day, go with your mood. A nice pair of gold earrings can take you from day to night. I personally love to wear bangles and hoops during the day, but I do live on the beach after all!

Do you make made-to-order pieces?

Absolutely. Most of my private clients have an eye for design and want to embrace their own creativity.


Jewellery brand Etten Eller’s designer Christina Bloom finds her muse in everything from nature to her favourite films. We fancy her charms because of their keepsake appeal - each collection is named for a significant date in time (when Amelia Earhart went missing, when Diana Ross first introduced the Jackson 5 to the public, when Bob Dylan went electric etc.). These timestamps make Etten Eller a whole new kind of commemorative item, unlike any we’ve seen before.

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